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International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) conference is this week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

By Samantha Hyde, Colorado Ballet Director of Education

Get ready for an incredible night - seven of the nation's top dance companies! Can you imagine Lula Washington Dance Theatre, followed by local Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, and with a finale of the unforgettable Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre? This Saturday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m.--this will be your experience!  The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) is bringing these companies to Denver as a part of their annual conference.

The conference begins Wednesday and runs until Sunday of this week--filled with workshops, panels and outstanding performances. The annual IABD conference is primarily for high school students in dance programs and emerging young artists/professional dancers. It is an incredible time for these students and artists to be engulfed in both the history and current trends of Black dance.

Colorado Ballet jumped at the opportunity to be involved in this exciting weekend! For the first time in 28 years, the IABD conference is also holding a ballet audition for women of color. Several of the nation's top ballet companies will be present and Colorado Ballet is thrilled to represent the state of Colorado in a truly national audition. You can find more information on the audition, including registration here: www.iabdassociation.org/ballet-audition.

You can learn more about the workshops, panels and performances here: www.iabdassociation.org/conference-festival-information-and-tickets. Do not miss this opportunity to witness history and look into the future of dance in this country!

 

2nd Attitude on Santa Fe will take place on February 6

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Colorado Ballet will host the second Attitude on Santa Fe at 6 p.m. on February 6, 2016 in the Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO.  The performance will include three ballets choreographed by two Colorado Ballet dancers and one Colorado Ballet Academy teacher, performed by Colorado Ballet Company and Studio Company dancers.  The event will also include a three course meal and wine prior to the performance.

Principal dancer Domenico Luciano’s new work, Attraversiamo will feature two pieces of music, “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber and “Pavane for Dead Princess” by Maurice Ravel.  According to Luciano, while creating the new ballet, he selected specific dancers because he wanted their artistic input.  He had a basic idea in the beginning of his choreographic process and wanted the dancers to naturally contribute to the message he was trying to express in the work.  He said that he paired every couple together for a specific reason because he knows the dancers so well and he knew how they would interact with each other, which was a big part of each piece.  The theme of his ballet is a brief look on the dynamics between people; not all of it is smooth, much like relationships during a person’s life.

Principal dancer Yosvani Ramos choreographed Divertimento Pour Six for English National Ballet's Choreographic Workshop in 2002 and for the first time, Colorado Ballet’s dancers will perform the ballet during Attitude on Santa Fe.  The music includes excerpts from “Faust” by Charles Gounod and the costumes are by Suzi Skelton.  Divertimento Pour Six is one of seven ballets that Ramos choreographed during the nine years he spent as a dancer at English National Ballet.  Ramos said that he is excited to be redoing the ballet for Colorado Ballet’s dancers.  The ballet has no theme, but according to Ramos, it is fun, classical work that showcases the dancers performing in it.

Academy instructor and Colombian artist Carolina Pahde-Mallarino has spent the past 15 years of her professional life exploring the idea of “the influence of cultural identity in the creation of art.”  Her new ballet with(in)me is set to "Ode to Joy" from the fourth movement of Beethoven's “9th Symphony.”  Inspired by the text of F. Schiller’s poem from which the words of the symphony are taken, Pahde-Mallarino expanded her idea of cultural identity to that of identity as a whole.  By working with the dancers on questions such as: “Who are you?  What makes you who you are? and how are you different from everyone else?” she takes the dancers on a journey to discover their own humanity.  She starts the ballet by showing the most outer layer of the performers being, then, little by little, through the use of various dance techniques including classical ballet, contemporary and modern, she introduces new movement ideas.  Through these techniques, she reveals other layers beneath the surface until, finally, at the end of the ballet, all that is left is what she calls “original movement,” or movement extracted from the things that make each of these individuals uniquely human.

Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m.  The cost including the dinner, wine and performance is $75 and seating is limited.  Performance-only tickets are also available for $25.  To register, visit www.coloradoballet.org/events.

Colorado Ballet hosted another Attitude on Santa Fe event with different works by Colorado Ballet’s dancers in September 2015.  The event was sold out.

Click here to watch a rehearsal from the September 2015 Attitude on Santa Fe:

Colorado Ballet presents ALICE (in wonderland)

Monday, January 11, 2016


Fall down the rabbit hole and join Colorado Ballet on an adventure for the Colorado premiere of a ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s books.  Experience a whimsical (wonder)land with beloved, eccentric characters including the frantic White Rabbit, mysterious Cheshire Cat, peculiar Mad Hatter, terrifying Jabberwock and other exotic creatures as young Alice escapes the clutches of the wicked Queen of Hearts.  Featuring choreography by Septime Webre and music by Matthew Pierce, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, this ballet will charm adults and children in a theatrical extravaganza!

PwC Presents
ALICE (in wonderland)
February 19-28, 2016
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Colorado Ballet presents ALICE (in wonderland)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Colorado Ballet will fall down the rabbit hole for the Colorado premiere of ALICE (in wonderland) February 19-28, 2016 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  Based on Lewis Carroll’s "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" with characters from “Through the Looking-Glass,” the ballet includes choreography by Septime Webre and music by Matthew Pierce, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

“This isn’t your typical, classical storybook children’s ballet,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “ALICE (in wonderland) is a charming theatrical extravaganza with colorful costumes, whimsical sets and a wide variety of dance styles.  Come watch the adventures of this beloved literary heroine in a strange land filled with eccentric characters including the frantic White Rabbit, mysterious Cheshire Cat, peculiar Mad Hatter, terrifying Jabberwock and the wicked Queen of Hearts.”

ALICE first premiered with The Washington Ballet in 2012.  While developing the ballet, Webre worked closely with the composer to give each character a unique sound.  The original score also includes many musical sound effects.  Additionally, the production features a variety of costumes by Liz Vandal, who designed costumes for Cirque du Soleil’s “OVO.”  Up close, the designs and shapes on many of the costumes spell out the characters' names, including Alice and the Mad Hatter.  ALICE also features many large sets and puppets, including a Jabberwock with a 25-foot wing span.

Webre starts his interpretation of the story with the real Alice, Alice Liddell.  The ballet begins with Alice at home with her family and family friend, Lewis Carroll, an amateur photographer and storyteller.  Real characters from Alice’s life become the characters in Carroll’s story in Wonderland.  Alice’s mother becomes the Queen of Hearts, her sisters become Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and Lewis Carroll becomes the Mad Hatter.

ALICE will feature Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Sharon Wehner in the main cast as Alice.  Wehner is in the middle of her 20th season with Colorado Ballet.  “It’s a role that’s made for Sharon,” said Boggs.  “She has all the right attributes to portray the role and she looks like Alice.  Her temperament is exceptional for dancing that character.”

In addition to Company and Studio Company dancers, students from Colorado Ballet Academy will perform in the production as baby flamingos, hedgehogs, cards, piglets, daisies and doors.

“This tale is so popular among children and adults and it is a story that Colorado Ballet has never performed before,” said Boggs.  “The sets, costumes and music will amaze everyone in the audience and the challenging choreography will leave patrons breathless.  Some of the dancers’ feet don’t ever seem to touch the ground.  This is a ballet that you will not want to miss.”

Performance Dates and Times:
Friday, February 19, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 2 p.m.
Friday, February 26, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $30 to $155.  To purchase tickets, visit www.coloradoballet.org or call 303-837-8888 ext. 2.

Sharon Wehner by Allen Birnbach

Register today for Winter Break Master Classes

Monday, January 04, 2016

The Colorado Ballet Academy will host technique and pointe master classes during the winter break on January 7, 8, 14 and 15.  The classes are taught by Colorado Ballet Company Members Dana Benton, Tracy Jones, Maria Mosina, Yosvani Ramos and Sharon Wehner.  Classes are open to Intermediate/Advanced students who are already on pointe (Levels 5 and up).  Intermediate and Advanced Open program students are also welcome.  Please register ahead of time online or in person, space is limited.  Students should arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the class.

Come experience technique and pointe classes taught by some of Colorado Ballet’s finest performers and master teachers to keep you in shape over the break and prepare of summer intensive auditions!

Schedule:

  • Thursday, January 7 with Tracy Jones - click here to register
    • Technique from 4:30-6 p.m.
    • Pointe from 6:15-7:15 p.m.
  • Friday, January 8 with Maria Mosina - click here to register
    • Technique from 4:30-6 p.m.
    • Pointe from 6:15-7:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 14 with Dana Benton - click here to register
    • Technique from 6-7:30 p.m.
    • Pointe from 7:45-8:45 p.m.
  • Friday, January 15 with Yosvani Ramos for Technique and Sharon Wehner for Pointe - click here to register
    • Technique from 6-7:30 p.m.
    • Pointe from 7:45-8:45 p.m.

Cost:
Technique only - $20 - to register for the technique only, click on the class and select that option in the dropdown menu
Technique and Pointe $30*
4 class series of Technique and Pointe $100 - to register for the series, click here and select the series from the dropdown menu
  
*Pointe classes are only available to students who have taken the corresponding technique class.

Colorado Ballet principal dancer Maria Mosina in rehearsal

It's not too late to give to Colorado Ballet in 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

You still have time to support Colorado Ballet before this year ends!  Donations to Colorado Ballet support all of the company’s programs including the professional company, education and community engagement programs and Colorado Ballet Academy.

Click here to give.

Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson

Thank you for another great Nutcracker season!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Colorado Ballet's 55th annual production of The Nutcracker has officially come to a close at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  We want to thank everyone who helped make this the most successful Nutcracker in the history of Colorado Ballet!  More people attended this year's production than ever before, so whether it was your first time or your 55th, we hope you enjoyed our magical production.

Dana Benton and Gregory Gonzales by Mike Watson

Summer Intensive Auditions begin January 3

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Colorado Ballet Academy under the direction of Valerie Madonia, offers a Summer Intensive program for the serious intermediate dancer through to pre-professional levels ages 11-21 who are on pointe, June 13-July 22, 2016 at Colorado Ballet's home at the Armstrong Center for Dance.  With internationally renowned master teachers and the Academy's highly regarded school faculty, the program offers classes designed to provide far reaching improvement for each student.  Focus is placed on developing the whole dancer by offering classes according to level in ballet technique, pointe, men’s class, variations, pas de deux, modern, contemporary, character, Pilates, body conditioning as well as lectures on injury prevention, nutrition, Anatomy in Clay ©,  and dance history. * Please note not all class are available for the entire program.

About Colorado Ballet's Summer Intensive:

  • Students dance in one of eight studios housed in our state-of-the-art studios in the heart of Denver's Art District on Santa Fe near Downtown Denver.
  • Two, four, and six week sessions are offered to accommodate summer schedules. Students wishing to perform at the conclusion of the Program must attend the four or six week session.
  • Students will be considered for our year-long Pre-professional division as well as the opportunity to join Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company.
  • Physical therapy is available to students from the company’s in-house provider.
  • Students must be 11 by the start of the Summer Intensive to audition and must be on pointe by the time of the audition.
  • Admission is by audition only, the Academy gives first preference to students who audition in person.
  • Housing is available at the University of Denver's beautiful campus.  Activities are also available for students staying in the dorms. 
  • The Academy has a history of transitioning students into the Colorado Ballet Company and into other companies worldwide.

The highly experienced teaching faculty includes former dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet as well as current Colorado Ballet professionals. Guest faculty members include Amanda McKerrow, John Gardner, Judy Rice, Daniel Baudendistel and Erica Fischbach.  Colorado Ballet's Summer Intensive is dedicated to providing superior training to students in a supportive and encouraging environment.

The first audition will take place on January 3!  Students must be on pointe by the time of the audition and be 11 by the time of the start of the intensive.  Auditions are available both in person and via video.  Here are the audition dates and locations:

  • January 3, 2016 in Denver, CO
  • January 10, 2016 in Chicago, IL
  • January 17 , 2016 in Phoenix, AZ
  • January 31, 2016 in Denver, CO
  • February 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, NV
  • February 7, 2016 in Denver, CO
  • February 14, 2016 in Santa Monica, CA
  • February 15, 2016 in San Francisco, CA
  • April 3, 2016 in Yokohama, Japan
Click here for more information on in-person and video auditions.
 

Summer Young Dancer Workshop auditions begin January 3

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Young Dancer Workshop is an introduction to more serious dance training for students ages 9-12 who are not yet on pointe at Colorado Ballet's home at the Armstrong Center for Dance.  There are two sessions available: June 13-24, 2016 and June 27-July 8, 2016.  Students have the option of attending one or both of the workshops.

Students will receive a daily ballet class along with additional classes in character, modern, choreography and pre-pointe.  Each day will wind down with a lecture series, stretch and conditioning class or dance film. Classes are held in our gorgeous new state-of-the-art facilities on Santa Fe Drive near Downtown Denver.  Classes run Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. with a showing in our Black Box Theater on the final day of each session. 

Admission is by audition only (auditions will take place at Colorado Ballet).  Audition Dates:

  • January 3 at 4 p.m.
  • January 31 at 12 p.m.
  • February 28 at 12 p.m.

Applicants must have previous ballet experience and must audition.  Click here for more information about the Summer Young Dancer Workshop.

Photo by Francisco Estevez Photography

I Love Colorado Ballet because of our ballet company

Monday, December 21, 2015

At Colorado Ballet, dance is accessible to EVERYONE and ballet can be a part of ANYONE’S life. Donations make so many things possible at Colorado Ballet and that includes are our professional company.

In August, Colorado Ballet earned RAVE REVIEWS at the Vail International Dance Festival performing alongside some of the best dancers in the world. Your donations make these kind of opportunities possible. Your gift will help Colorado Ballet’s vision to be recognized as the BEST BALLET COMPANY between the coasts, known especially for EXCELLENT & EXTENSIVE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT and a WORLD-CLASS ACADEMY.

 

Click here to give.

Photo: Colorado Ballet dancers Maria Mosina & Kevin Gael Thomas

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