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Interview with Maria Mosina about La Sylphide - Part 2

Friday, September 18, 2015

This is part 2 of interview with Colorado Ballet principal dancer Maria Mosina about La Sylphide. It includes performance footage of Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov.

La Sylphide
October 2-11, 2015
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Interview with Maria Mosina about La Sylphide - Part I

Thursday, September 17, 2015

This is part 1 of an interview with Colorado Ballet principal dancer Maria Mosina about La Sylphide.  It includes performance footage of Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov.

La Sylphide
October 2-11, 2015
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
http://coloradoballet.org

Getting to know the new dancers: Sarah Tryon

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

 Get to know Colorado Ballet's new corps de ballet dancer Sarah Tryon:

  1. Where are you from?
    Sudbury, Ontario. (Canada)
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained at Canada’s National Ballet School from age 12, and upon graduating, trained briefly in Zurich Switzerland at Tanz Akademie Zurich. Afterwards, I moved to New York City to train with Edward Ellison. I was hired from school as a corps de ballet member for the Sarasota Ballet, in which I spent two seasons before joining Colorado Ballet.
     
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I packed up my car and drove from Sarasota to Denver!
     
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I was 12 years old when I started dancing, and I honestly do not remember my first class. I do remember begging my parents to let me audition for Canada’s National Ballet School. I had been taking ballet class for maybe three weeks at that point…they thought I was crazy!
     
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending?
    The first ballet I attended was Giselle, performed by the National Ballet of Canada.
     
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    Maria Kochetvoka.
     
  7. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    I don’t have any specific ballets that I like to dance, but anything that I feel is a challenge and helps me grow as dancer, usually becomes a favorite for me.  The most recent ballet I’ve felt that challenge with would have to be Paul Taylor’s Company B.
     
    Favorite to watch:  John Cranko’s Onegin, Hans Van Manen’s Les Trois Gnossiennes, Jerome Robbin’s Glass Pieces, Christopher Wheeldon’s Chroma, and Ulysses Dove’s Red Angels and Vespers.
     
  8. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I love to read, I am a total bookworm. I also like handiwork, I am always painting something or changing things around in my apartment.  An old friend of mine taught me how to make leotards, so sometimes I will get inspiration and create myself a new leotard for work. A good cup of coffee and conversations with friends is also a favorite.
     
  9. What are some of your indulgences?
    A good beer. Ramen noodles. Tarantino Movies. Travel, and Home décor blogs. Attempting to learn new languages (I am working on German and Japanese right now)
     
  10. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    Actually, I don't! I prepare myself according to how I feel that day.
Sarah Tryon by Allen Birnbach

Getting to know the new dancers: Megan Dillon

Monday, September 14, 2015

Get to know Colorado Ballet's new corps de ballet dancer Megan Dillon:

  1. Where are you from?
    I am from Tinton Falls, NJ
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    After graduation from The Rock School I danced with Charlotte Ballet 2 and then Ballet Met 2 before joining Colorado Ballet.
     
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I spent some long overdue time with my family home in NJ this summer.
     
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I started dancing when I was 3 years old. I remember running around in a circle and holding hands with my classmates and not enjoying it at all.
     
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    The first ballet I remember attending is The Nutcracker. I remember loving the music and the Sugar Plum and Cavalier.
     
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    My ballet role models would have to be Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck from New York City Ballet. You can tell the minute they step on stage they take no moment for granted.
     
  7. Favorite ballets to dance?  Which are favorite to watch?
    My favorite ballets to dance are Balanchine ballets. They are so technically challenging and physically exhausting but once you perform them you feel very fulfilled. I love to watch William Forsythe’s ballets. I would love to get the chance to perform one some day.
     
  8. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    In my free time I love to take yoga, cook/bake, and explore the lovely city of Denver.
      
  9. What are some of your indulgences?
    Chocolate, wine, a massage, and painting my nails
     
  10. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    I always take a moment to remember why I love to dance. Then I take a couple deep breaths to clear my head and calm my nerves.

Megan Dillon by Allen Birnbach

Getting to know the new dancers: Kristine Padgett

Friday, September 11, 2015

Get to know Colorado Ballet's new corps de ballet dancer Kristine Padgett:

  1. Where are you from?
    I am from Littleton, Colorado.
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I started at the age of three at Belliston Ballet where I passed 8 levels of Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exams with distinction (highest grade), as well as 3 levels of the cecchetti method with pass plus (highest mark). I began studying the Vaganova method at age 11 at the Colorado Ballet Academy in 2006, and continued my training in the Russian style with a year long study in Moscow, Russia at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for the 2012-2013 school year. I then returned to Colorado Ballet as a studio company member, and have been with them for the past 2 seasons.
     
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I rock climbed, surfed, finished a semester of college, and of course did some ballet classes.
     
  4. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    My first professional ballet I ever saw was The Nutcracker by Colorado Ballet. The sad thing was, it was postponed because the dancing bear that was once in the first act, fell off the stage and into the orchestra pit.
     
  5. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    I would have to say my favorite ballet is Don Quixote because there is so much character to bring to the stage and the whole ballet is so lively! I really love watching all the new contemporary ballets that are premiering around the world.
     
  6. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    Most of my free time is spent studying for school, but when I get my work done, I love going rock climbing with my boyfriend, or just relaxing and cooking a good meal.
     
  7. What are some of your indulgences?
    I cannot resist Sour Patch Kids or French fries

  8. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    Since there are showers in the dressing rooms at the Ellie, I like to get my hair and make-up done and then hope in a nice hot shower to get my blood moving before the show. I don’t get my head wet, just the shoulders down, but it makes me feel clean, warm and ready for the show.
Kristine Padgett by Allen Birnbach

 

Getting to know the new dancers: Yosvani Ramos

Wednesday, September 09, 2015
 Get to know Colorado Ballet's new principal dancer Yosvani Ramos:
  1. Where are you from?
    Camagüey, Cuba
     
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained at the Cuban National Ballet School then after graduating I danced for two years in Paris at Le Jeune Ballet de France and Paris Opera Ballet, then nine years in London with English National Ballet, five in Australia with the Australian Ballet and last season I danced with Cincinnati Ballet.

  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I taught in Chicago for two months then in England at a summer school for two weeks.
     
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I was ten years old and all I remember from my first class is thinking "why do I have to hold on to this barre for two hours? I want to do tricks!" So I thought it was pretty boring. I didn't know I needed to learn the basics before I could do tricks.
     
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    Medea with the company in Cuba. I thought the story was scary!! Who are your ballet role models?

  6. Dancers that inspire you.
    Baryshnikov and Carlos Acosta.
     
  7. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    To dance Romeo & Juliet, Manon, Don Quixote and Giselle.
    To watch Onegin.
     
  8. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I like relaxing at home. I'm obsessed with watching series on Netflix!
    I also like cooking and entertaining at home and traveling.

  9. What are some of your indulgences?
    Traveling around the world.
     
  10. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    I say a little prayer always before going onstage and also lots of affirmations. It helps me deal with the nerves. 
Yosvani Ramos by Allen Birnbach

 

Highlights from La Sylphide

Friday, September 04, 2015

This video includes highlights from the La Sylphide pas de deux featuring Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov from An Evening under the Stars at the Arvada Center.

Click here to learn more about La Sylphide.

Principal dancers Maria Mosina and Sharon Wehner begin their 20th seasons with Colorado Ballet

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Company will highlight Mosina in La Sylphide and Wehner in Alice (in Wonderland)

Colorado Ballet principal dancers Maria Mosina and Sharon Wehner recently started their 20th seasons with Colorado Ballet.  Both dancers joined the Company in 1995.

According to Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs, having one dancer spend 20 years with a single company is rare and having two is even more unique due to a variety of variables, from artistic differences to injuries.  He said that for Mosina and Wehner, dancing with Colorado Ballet for 20 years has not been a matter of longevity; instead, their artistry enabled them to have such long careers.  While they have differences—Mosina was born and trained in Russia and Wehner was born and trained in California—Boggs says it is that artistry that makes them similar as dancers.  “Take a performance of Swan Lake, they both do the Swan Queen,” said Boggs.  “Maria does it and she pulls you in and she makes you feel the role.  Sharon does exactly the same thing.  She makes you believe that she’s a swan.  So, even with the differences in their training, the similarities are that they can take an audience and pull them in and be thoroughly convincing at what they’re doing.”

This season, Boggs will highlight both dancers in the lead roles of two of Colorado Ballet’s productions.  The Company will celebrate Mosina during La Sylphide, opening October 2 and Wehner during Alice (in Wonderland), opening February 19.  “If anybody was ever meant to dance La Sylphide, it’s Maria.  She has a beautiful jump, she has great expression, she’s going to be flirty and she’s also going to be very dramatic.  It’s a role that’s made for her.  For Alice, it’s a role that’s made for Sharon; she’s the perfect stature and she looks like Alice.  Her temperament is exceptional for portraying that character.  I’m very happy with the programming this year because it complements both of them very well.”

Boggs says that as an artistic director, Mosina and Wehner make him look good.  “I know that when I come into a rehearsal, they’re such professionals, that they’re never marking, they’re always doing everything full-out,” said Boggs.  “They’re giving everything that they have, and when they get on stage, they’re exquisite, they’re beautiful…stellar.  I’m able to sit back and I can relax and know that the performance that they’re about to give is going to be nothing short of wonderful.”

About Maria Mosina:

Maria MosinaMaria Mosina was born and raised in Moscow, Russia.  From as far back as she can remember, she said that she loved to dance, move around and act.  Her mother enrolled her in the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, where she studied academics and ballet for nine years.  According to Mosina, by the time she was 10 years old, she knew she would become a professional ballerina.

After completing her training, she joined the Bolshoi Ballet Grigorovich Company and danced soloist and principal roles soon after joining the Company.  She toured around the world, appearing on all major European, American, African and Asian stages.  “I realized that the art of ballet, it’s truly a universal art that can bring cultures and countries together,” said Mosina.  She spent five years with the Company, then moved to the U.S. to work with emerging choreographers, new ballets and perform different styles of dance. 

Since joining Colorado Ballet in 1995, she has performed major roles in the Company’s classical productions and contemporary works.  “I’m so fortunate to have a job that fulfills and inspires me,” said Mosina.  “I get pleasure from dancing.  I was born to give people happiness on the stage.”

According to Mosina, she uses her life experiences to bring something new to her art.  “I believe that my dance was changed when my daughter was born,” said Mosina.  “It became more emotional, and I put more emotions on stage.  Being a ballerina and a mom is a challenge and a joy.”  She said that knowing that her daughter watches her from the audience brings her even more happiness while performing on the stage.

She said she is lucky to have avoided major injuries throughout her career and she still loves dancing.  “I think my passion and love still pushes me forward all the time,” said Mosina.  “I still love what I’m doing.  I believe that ballet is not just about the number of pirouettes you can do or how high you can kick your leg; ballet is an art and there is no age limit to express yourself.”

Mosina said that she would like to dedicate her 20th season to everyone who has helped her get to where she is today including her teachers, mentors, coaches, choreographers, friends, family and partners on the stage.  “And especially to my mom, she passed away one year ago,” said Mosina.  “She was my first fan and my friend.”

Her advice to aspiring dancers is to study and learn everything that it takes to be a good dancer and take it very seriously.  “It’s not fun, all day,” said Mosina.  “It’s hard physically, for the body, and it’s hard emotionally.  You have to study, all about the art.  And the audience does see or know what you are getting through, those weeks in the studios.  But, it’s paid when you’re standing at the end of the performance and you can feel the audience believing in you.”

In addition to career at Colorado Ballet, she is also an active ballet instructor throughout the U.S. and has participated as a master teacher and judge for the Youth American Grand Prix.  She dances as a guest artist at other festivals, galas and companies and has completed her studies with a degree in ballet pedagogy.  “I believe that when I’ve finished my dancing career, I plan to stay in the ballet world, when I retire…someday,” said Mosina.

About Sharon Wehner:

Sharon WehnerSharon Wehner is originally from San Jose, California and started dancing at the age of three.  At 19, she audition for several companies.  “I got three offers and I ended up at Colorado Ballet, mostly because I knew somebody here and he had good things to say about the company,” said Wehner. 

The Company promoted Wehner to principal in 1999.  “I really didn’t set out to be a principal dancer, I didn’t set out to have a long career with a company,” said Wehner.  “I just wanted to do good work.  I just wanted to be a good dancer, and, I wanted to keep growing, and I think that’s why I stayed; because I was always excited about the rep coming up and I loved my colleagues.”

According to Wehner, starting her 20th season with Colorado Ballet feels a little surreal.  She said that it is difficult to separate her “the person” from her “the dancer” because everything intertwines.  “My position as a dancer at Colorado Ballet has run concurrently with my lifetime; I kind of grew up as an artist with Colorado Ballet,” she said.  “One might think that working for the same company would get a little stale, feel a little too comfortable.  But in fact, establishing a ‘home-base’ with Colorado Ballet has allowed me to expand my own artistry, to build upon all of the experiences I’ve had as both a dancer and human being, and to learn from all of the extraordinary artists who have passed through the Company over the years.”

Wehner said that she has seen many changes over the years at Colorado Ballet and now the Company is on an upward growth.  “It’s had many ups and downs that I’ve witnessed, and even some scary times when the economy was not so great,” said Wehner.  “It’s been wonderful to see the Company go through all of that and then come out stronger.”

In addition to the changes at Colorado Ballet, she has witnessed the perception of arts in Denver change over the years.  When she first joined the Company in 1995, she said that one of her neighbors could not fathom how anyone could make a career as a professional ballet dancer in Denver.  Coming from an area that had a lot of arts and culture, she was shocked by neighbor’s assumption about artists and dancers making a living in Denver.  Since that time though, she said that Denver has changed.  “I think now if someone asks me what I do and I say I’m a ballet dancer and I dance with the Colorado Ballet, it actually means something to them,” said Wehner.  “And I think that’s wonderful to see how the community has changed in relationship to Colorado Ballet.”

After dancing many lead roles during her career, Wehner said that there have been very few ballets or roles that she did not like.  For her, almost every ballet was its own gem and she enjoyed sinking her teeth into each one of them.  She said that when she steps back and looks at her career, a few roles stood out to her more than others.  “Dancing Juliet was one of them,” said Wehner.  “Romeo & Juliet was the first ballet that really moved me.  I think I was nine when I saw the ballet and I remember sitting in the audience and realizing what power a ballet can have on an audience.  I was young, but I felt it and I could feel everybody around me feeling that.’”  She admits that she had a hard time holding back tears when she heard the orchestra play the overture on the opening night of her debut as Juliet.

For Wehner, the future means taking ballet by ballet, year by year, and day by day.  She said that it is important to be in the moment.  “You never know, as a physical artist, you hope your body will be there for you, you can’t take it for granted,” said Wehner.  “Every day, you come into the studio and you start the same way.  You plie.  You start with plies, and that’s kind of the being in the moment part…it’s not like some careers that you can do when you’re 70.  Although, I have seen dancers dancing in their 70’s.”

According to Wehner, 20 is just a number.  “It’s like how people talk about age; it’s kind of a balance looking back and looking forward at all the dancing I still want to do, and then just being present and feeling like this is also just another season and an opportunity to grow as a dancer,” said Wehner.

For more information about Maria Mosina or Sharon Wehner, visit www.coloradoballet.org.

Attitude on Santa Fe dinner and performance will showcase three new works choreographed by Colorado Ballet dancers

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Colorado Ballet will host the first Attitude on Santa Fe at 6:30 p.m. on September 19 in the Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO.  The event will include a three course meal and wine, followed by the performance of three new ballets choreographed and performed by Colorado Ballet dancers.

Attitude on Santa Fe is a wonderful opportunity to not only see Colorado Ballet’s dancers perform in our intimate Black Box Theater, but it is also a way to see new works choreographed by the dancers themselves,” said Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet Artistic Director.  “When we moved into our new home on Santa Fe Drive last year, we wanted to showcase new works in our fantastic theater space.  This is the perfect event to see innovative choreography created by three aspiring choreographers.”

Sean Omandam’s new work, Scatterplot will feature ten of Colorado Ballet’s dancers performing to the music of Radicalfashion.  The name of the ballet comes from the statistical term of a summary of two variables of data in which each unique contributes to the point on the scatterplot, but the points are not joined.

Kevin Gaël Thomas’ new ballet, Nostalgia will feature two different pieces of music: "Elegie" by composer Gabriel Faure and "La Memoire et La Mer" from the French singer and poet Leo Ferre.  The ballet features seven dancers.  “The piece portrays the nostalgia of the meaningful moments shared with the people we have met throughout our existence; from the first encounters growing to the passionate moments that eventually fade away…,” said Thomas.

Kevin Hale’s new work, Sinister Love will feature seven of Colorado Ballet’s dancers performing to three songs by Max Richter, “On the Nature of Daylight,” “Sketchbook,” and “November.”  The ballet features a dancer portraying the character of Death, who falls in love with a woman and it gravely impacts the people around her.

Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m.  The cost is $75 and seating is limited.  To register, visit www.coloradoballet.org/events

Colorado Ballet plans to host another Attitude on Santa Fe event with different works by Colorado Ballet’s dancers in early 2016.

Colorado Ballet opens its 55th season with romantic classic La Sylphide

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Production will feature principal dancer Maria Mosina in her 20th season with Colorado Ballet

Colorado Ballet opens its 55th season with the romantic ballet La Sylphide, October 2-11, 2015 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  La Sylphide features choreography by August Bournonville and music by Herman Severin Løvenskiold, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  

In the ballet, a young betrothed Scotsman pursues a beautiful winged sylph, or spirit.  He is tricked by an evil witch and in his quest for the sylph’s unattainable love, he abandons his fiancée and ultimately loses everything.

La Sylphide demonstrates temptation, loss and loving something you cannot have,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “This production will feature Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Mosina in the main cast as the Slyph.  Mosina is starting her 20th season with Colorado Ballet and she danced the role of the Sylph when the Company last performed La Sylphide in 1996.”

Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Sharon Wehner will also start her 20th season with the Company this fall.  Wehner will star in the main cast of Alice (in Wonderland) in February.  Both dancers will perform other roles this season.

“I wanted to present La Sylphide not only because it has been nearly 20 years since we have performed it, but also because it is one of the most beautiful and romantic ballets of all time,” said Boggs.  “This is a spellbinding tale of betrayal, dark magic and love set in the enchanting woods of Scotland.  Audiences will love this ballet full of woodland spirits, diabolical witches and kilts.”

Performance Dates and Times:
Friday, October 2, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Friday, October 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 11, 2015 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.

Maria Mosina by Allen Birnbach
Tracy Jones, Francisco Estevez and Dana Benton by Allen Birnbach

 

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