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Getting to know the new dancers: Emily Speed

Thursday, September 11, 2014

We sent out a questionnaire to our new dancers to get to know them a little better.  

Here is the response from one of our new Corps de Ballet dancers, Emily Speed:


1.  Where are you from?

The Dallas/Fort Worth, TX area


2.  Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?

I have danced with several different companies including Alabama Ballet, Ballet Tucson and Boulder Ballet. Before graduating, I trained with Marina Almayeva.


3.  What did you do with your summer break?

My husband and I were married and he moved here to Denver. I also went with Kevin Wilson to Jackson, MS and competed in the USA international ballet competition there. We performed a classical pas de deux and a contemporary duet.


4.  What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?

My first dance class I was only 3 years old but didn't start my classical training until much later. I just remember I always loved dancing and performing.


 

5.  What was your first ballet you remember attending?

It was a gala, but I remember they performed "Le Spectre de la Rose."


6.  Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.

I love watching Natalia Osipova because she is such an amazing technician and isn't necessarily what you first think of when you think of a ballet dancer.


7.  Proudest moment in your ballet career?

It is hard to pinpoint one, but I am really proud to be where I am right now and it was a culmination of many events that has made me the dancer I am today.


8.  Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?

Amanda McKerrow has always told me to just "stay present" on stage. It seems simple but for me it is always a good reminder to not think about what's already happened or what will and to truly focus on the role no matter how big or small.


9.  Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?

Don Quixote has so much life and is always fun to perform  and I also loved performing Serenade. I love watching all the classics but especially GiselleSwan Lake and La Bayadere.


10.  Dream role?

Medora in Le Corsaire or Kitri in Don Quixote


11.  What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?

I really enjoy spending time with my family and husband. I love yoga, cooking, and traveling.


12.  What are some of your indulgences?

Chocolate :)


13.  Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?

I get really chatty when I'm nervous or excited for a show but I like to have my hair done first and wait to finish my makeup until just before curtain. Depending on the part, I check certain sections from the piece on stage. If I do it well once I leave it there but I have to do it well once. I also like to say a quick prayer thanking God for the opportunity to do what I love.


14.  What production(s) are you most excited about this year?

George Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco"!!!!!


15.  What would you say to people who come to see the Colorado Ballet?

Denver is such a wonderful place with so many great things to do but there is something really special about participating in the arts. Thank you for watching and sharing in a wonderful part of this community.

About the choreographer of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Friday, September 05, 2014

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is a familiar name in the ballet world and Colorado Ballet will showcase his choreography in its upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream September 26-October 5 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  Wheeldon originally set A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Colorado Ballet in 1997.

 

This fanciful production features also features a score by Felix Mendelssohn, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra and the Colorado Children’s Chorale.

 

Read more about the choreographer:

Christopher Wheeldon joined New York City Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to Soloist in 1998.  He served as NYCB’s first-ever Artist in Residence in 2000/01 and was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer in July 2001. Since then he has choreographed at least one ballet a year for NYCB. Outside the ballet world, he choreographed Dance of the Hours for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda (2006), as well as ballet sequences for the feature film Center Stage (2000) and Sweet Smell of Success on Broadway (2002). In 2007, Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. In 2009, Wheeldon worked with Richard Eyre on a production of the opera Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera House and in 2010 his new version of The Sleeping Beauty had its premiere with The Royal Danish Ballet. His new full-length ballet Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was created for The Royal Ballet and given its premiere at the Royal Opera House on February 28, 2011. Thirteen Diversions (created for American Ballet Theatre 2011) and Les Carrillons world premiere formed an all Wheeldon evening at the NYCB in January 2012. In 2014, he is creating a full length version of A Winters Tale for the Royal Ballet and directing and choreographing a musical version of An American In Paris, which will premiere in Paris at the Chatelet Theatre.  His awards include the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, the American Choreography Award, a Dance Magazine Award, the London Critic’s Circle Award for best new ballet for Polyphonia, two time Olivier award winner most recently for Aeternum choreographed in January 2013 for the Royal Ballet. Mr. Wheeldon’s recent production of Cinderella won the 2013 Benois De La Danse.

  

Click here for more information about Colorado Ballet's upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Semple Brown Design brings Colorado Ballet's vision for the state's dance culture to life

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Colorado Ballet's new facility, designed by Semple Brown Design, brings artistic director Gil Boggs' vision to reality while elevating dance as an art form in Colorado and beyond

 

Colorado Ballet and Semple Brown Design, the most recognized performing arts design firm in Colorado, today announced the completion of Colorado Ballet's long awaited move into their new home at 1075 Santa Fe Street (north end of Denver's Art District on Santa Fe.) This move from the Ballet's former home of 20 years to their expansive new facility, brings Artistic Director Gil Boggs' inspiring vision for the largest resident dance company in the state to life. The new space will establish a center for dance where the Ballet will raise the profile of their unique art form in the state overall. 

  

"When I think about my original vision for our new space, and what we are now surrounded by, I'm thrilled to say that this is exactly what I envisioned for Colorado Ballet," said Boggs. "We all feel a strong responsibility to further the art form, and this new space will help us truly accomplish that. Throughout my career, I've noticed that whenever a professional Company owned their own building, they flourished—not only locally, but nationally as well. We want Colorado Ballet to be in the national spotlight and our new building will finally allow us to fulfill that dream. At the core, though, the needs of the dancers, artistic staff and Academy were the driving force behind the design and amenities of this space. Thanks to our Board of Trustees, donors, patrons, Semple Brown Design and CMC Group we have a beautiful, functional new home that will allow us to enter an exciting new phase in our history." 

 

In the fall of 2012, when Boggs turned to architect Rusty Brown, Semple Brown Design's cofounder, and Chris Wineman, the firm's performing arts specialist, to convert a former warehouse into a modern studio for Colorado's premier ballet company, he asked for more than the six studios he had available at their leased space on Lincoln and 13th and a minimum of two studios with floor space that would span the depth and breadth of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House stage so Company dancers could transfer their ballets from rehearsal to stage without adaptation or adjustment. Today, their new space is comprised of eight studios—two the size of the Ellie stage—as well as improved amenities for the Company, including separate locker rooms and showers, a physical therapy and massage room to encourage wellness and prevent injuries, a shared staff and dancer lounge to foster greater interaction between them, as well as safer student drop-off and increased parking in the neighborhood for Academy families. A black box performance space was also on Boggs’ wish list; one that could be used as a studio, yet be converted to a community performance space for more intimate experiences. The new Black Box Theater will enable Colorado Ballet to add in-house productions to their repertoire, foster up-and-coming choreographers—both within the Company and outside, and allow choreographers to practice their craft and present their works to supportive audiences. 

  

Additionally, the increase in the number of Academy studios, their prominent location and visibility also demonstrate how education continues to be a priority for Boggs. "It is the future," he notes. Up to seven dedicated studios will increase and diversify the Academy’s programming. Academy students will have opportunities to perform in the Black Box Theater for First Fridays and other occasions. A new Pre-professional Program will also be launched this fall where high school students will travel to Denver to train with an academic component included. Company rehearsals and Academy classes have commenced for the fall season. 

   

Ultimately, Colorado Ballet's new location represents a literal physical move, as well as a philosophical shift to a new place—a place that's more deeply embedded in its community, and more accessible to all. Semple Brown designed the building with an abundance of glass and open views to allow the Ballet to reach outward into the neighborhood rather than keep its art and activities within. Brown and Wineman also embraced their client's awareness of changing demographics, and how many cultural institutions are intrinsically tied to the community today. To this end, the new building is located outside of the downtown core in a highly diverse arts and cultural district reflecting the role Colorado Ballet will play as the organization moves into the future and becomes increasingly accessible to younger and more diverse audiences. The building's approachable scale also allows the organization to better support their mission to educate the next generation of students through their Academy programs and outreach. And finally, the building helps infuse greater morale within the Company through the establishment of an elegant new home and sense of the Ballet's intrinsic value while emphasizing Colorado Ballet's important contribution to the state and beyond. In Wineman's words, "A 'First Class' space means something—it supports a more substantial vision of what the future can be."

Colorado Ballet completes move into new building in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colorado Ballet announced today that it has completed the move into its new building at 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204.  Construction on the 30,000 square foot building at the north end of Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe was completed earlier this month.

  

In January 2013, Colorado Ballet purchased the building on Santa Fe Drive, which had been partially occupied by a sewing machine distributor and parts warehouse. In preparation for a move from the organization's home of 20 years at 13th and Lincoln—a space owned by the Colorado State Land Board—a capital campaign was initiated and major renovations ensued.  

  

Colorado Ballet's new $6.5 million facility ($1.265 million for building and land, $5.235 million for demolition, renovation and finishes) will host rehearsal and training studios as well administrative offices, while performances will continue to take place primarily in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

 

“The new building will encourage world-class dance to flourish in Colorado and enhance the training of the next generation of dancers,” said Colorado Ballet's Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “Our new facility will also grow our outreach efforts, bringing dance to thousands of school-kids and people with disabilities. We will also host small performances and events in our new theater, exposing more people to the magic of dance in this thriving arts neighborhood.”

  

The new facility, designed by Denver-based Semple Brown Design, features seven state-of-the-art dance studios for Colorado Ballet’s professional Company and the Colorado Ballet Academy. In addition, a multi-use black box theater will function as both a dance studio and performance space equipped with theatrical lighting, sound and telescoping seats for presenting smaller performances and hosting outside groups and their events. Improved amenities for the Company include locker rooms, showers and a physical therapy room as well as safer student drop-off and increased parking in the neighborhood for Academy families. Denver-based CMC Group, Inc. was the contractor.

  

“The search for a new space for the Colorado Ballet has been our priority for nearly a decade, thus the long awaited opportunity to turn a quiet structure on Santa Fe Drive into a theatrical showcase for the dancers and organization has truly been an honor,” said Rusty Brown, AIA, cofounder and president of Semple Brown Design. “In partnership with Artistic Director Gil Boggs and their board of directors, we’re thrilled to unveil this stunning new space designed to inspire the dancers, elevate learning, and provide one of our state’s artistic treasures a permanent home—all while establishing a new anchor for our city’s booming Santa Fe Arts District.”  

  

“This is the first time in our nearly 54-year history that we will own our building and that is very exciting for everyone involved with Colorado Ballet,” said Boggs. “We have so much to celebrate in our organization; not just the new building, but also last season’s record-breaking attendance and performance revenue and our upcoming season of performances.”

Colorado Ballet re-signs Artistic Director Gil Boggs to five year contract

Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Gil Boggs

Colorado Ballet’s Board of Trustees renewed Artistic Director Gil Boggs’s contract for an additional five years.  Boggs accepted the position of Artistic Director with Colorado Ballet in the spring of 2006.

“The Board last renewed his contract in 2009 and we have been so pleased with the artistic and financial success of Colorado Ballet under his leadership that we are honored to offer him an additional five years,” said Colorado Ballet Board Co-chairs Henny Lasley and Holly Baroway. “We look forward to another five years of continued excellence under his leadership.”

During Boggs’ tenure, Colorado Ballet has presented 14 world premieres and 12 Colorado Ballet premieres by choreographers including Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, Anthony Tudor, Val Caniparoli, Dwight Rhoden and Lynne Taylor-Corbett.  He has also restaged full-length productions of Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Don Quixote and Coppelia along with adding new full-length productions of Romeo & Juliet, Le Corsaire, Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan.  In addition, Colorado Ballet performed at the Gotham Dance Festival at The Joyce Theatre in New York City in June 2012 at the invitation of choreographer Jodie Gates. She chose two companies to show the span of her work, and Colorado Ballet performed her ballet Embellish.

“I am honored that the Board of Trustees has offered me a five year extension,” said Boggs.  “I am so proud of this Company and the quality of performances.  You don’t have to go to New York or San Francisco to see a great ballet, you can see it in Denver with Colorado Ballet.”

In addition to his artistic achievements, Boggs has also worked with the Board of Trustees to secure a new home for Colorado Ballet, which is slated to open next month after construction is complete.  The new 30,000 square foot dance training and rehearsal studio in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe will include eight state-of-the-art professional dance studios, improved amenities for the professional Company and Academy, and The Armstrong Theater, a black box theater for small performances and events.

“Professional ballet companies who have built and own their facilities see tremendous growth and we expect the new building to do the same for Colorado Ballet,” said Boggs.  “Our new home in the Arts District on Santa Fe is a wonderful statement that we are a viable organization with deep roots in the city of Denver.”

Financially, the organization continues to improve under Boggs’ leadership.  Last season, Colorado Ballet had the most successful performance season in the history of the organization, breaking both attendance and revenue records.

“More and more people are coming to see Colorado Ballet and it is because of Gil’s artistic leadership that the Company is able to present such a great variety of performances,” said Lasley and Baroway.  “During the last few years, Colorado Ballet has offered classical ballet masterpieces like Swan Lake and Giselle, family-friendly shows like Peter Pan and Cinderella, and innovative contemporary works like The Rite of Spring and Traveling Alone.  Colorado Ballet offers something for everyone to enjoy because of the diversity of Gil’s artistic choices.  We are looking forward to Colorado Ballet’s 2014-2015 season and beyond.”

Boggs began his dance career with the Atlanta Ballet.  He joined American Ballet Theatre in New York in 1982 and was promoted to soloist dancer in 1984 and principal dancer in 1991.  Boggs was a member of the company for 17 years. He also performed with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Baryshnikov and Company, Nureyev and Friends, and made several guest appearances around the world.

Beware of ticket scammers!

Friday, July 11, 2014

With single tickets to Colorado Ballet's 2014-2015 season going on sale on Tuesday, July 15, we want to remind our patrons to beware of ticket scammers.  Colorado Ballet sells tickets on our own website, www.coloradoballet.org and through our partners at Altitude Tickets (formerly known as TicketHorse), www.altitudetickets.com.  We encourage patrons to only buy tickets through these two websites.  Occasionally, we will also sell tickets to select performances through Travelzoo and LivingSocial.

Colorado Ballet does not partner with or endorse other ticketing services and we cannot guarantee the quality of ticketing services through other ticketing vendors.  We have heard complaints from patrons who have purchased through other sites, especially when it comes to extra fees.  Please be aware that Colorado Ballet does not charge additional fees when you select the print at home option on our website.  So, a $25 ticket is only $25 through print at home.  (The only additional ticketing fees we charge are for mailed tickets, will call or exchanges.)

Here are the 2014-2015 ticket prices:

  • Pointe Circle - $155
  • Spotlight Circle - $120
  • A Seating - $90
  • B Seating - $75
  • C Seating - $50
  • D Seating - $25

If a ticketing vendor wants to charge you much higher prices for these tickets or add on exorbitant handling fees, be suspicious!  We want our patrons to have a great experience before and during performances, so don't be fooled by ticket scammers.

On Tuesday, click here to purchase single tickets.  We hope you enjoy Colorado Ballet this season!

Seat Maps 

New Building Tour 2014

Thursday, May 08, 2014

This is a walk through tour of Colorado Ballet's new home, currently under construction in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe.

For more information on Colorado Ballet's new home, visit www.coloradoballet.org/newhome.

Subscribe and Save!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Breaking attendance and revenue records from the 2013-2014 season, Colorado Ballet had its most successful performance season in its 53-year history. The company’s audience grows substantially each year and we are seeing more and more sold-out shows. This is why we are thrilled to announce that our Colorado Ballet subscriptions for the 2014-2015 season are now available!

Our season subscribers are our most valuable and loyal audience members, who enjoy a host of benefits and privileges. We thank our subscriber family by offering priority seating, discounted tickets, and invitations to exclusive events.  Subscribers receive 25% off for all performances, complementary ticket exchanges, and get to choose their preferred dates and times early.  As a subscriber, you will also have the ability to retain your preferred seats for the following season or even upgrade your seating before new subscribers are assigned seats. So purchase your Colorado Ballet tickets as a subscription series now and make the ballet a regular event!

The 2014-2015 subscription package includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ballet MasterWorks and Peter and the Wolf.  Additional tickets for these three performances and/or tickets to see The Nutcracker and Dracula can also be purchased separately, with priority seating and 25% off before tickets go on sale to the general public.

As a season opener, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take the stage September 26-October 5, 2014 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. This enchanting ballet inspired by the classic Shakespearian story will be filled with mischief, romance and comedy.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream will include an original score by Felix Mendelssohn, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra and the Colorado Children’s Chorale.

To follow, Colorado Ballet will present a special Halloween weekend performance of Dracula, October 31-November 2, 2014. “Spine-tingling would be an understatement for how this thrillingly beautiful performance based on Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror will leave you feeling,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  This production will feature seductive vampires, frightening mental patients, the king of the undead, and an eerie and beautiful score performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

The season will continue by ringing in the holiday with one of Colorado Ballet’s favorite traditions, The Nutcracker November 29-December 27, 2014.  Celebration, gift giving, comic battles, and onstage blizzards, are just a few highlights of what this dazzling production will bring. So mark your calendars and get your discounted tickets early, for we expect nothing less than a packed house for each performance.

In the spring, Ballet MasterWorks will take the stage February 20-March 1, 2015. This ballet will feature three different pieces and live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. The three sections will include Concerto Barocco featuring a beautiful score by composer Johann Sebastian Bach; Fancy Free, a ballet set during World War II with music by Leonard Bernstein; and a new work which will be announced at a later date. “Ballet MasterWorks is a true masterpiece of three innovative ballets that will showcase our dancers’ artistry and elegance,” said Boggs.

Colorado Ballet will close out its 2014-2015 season with the famous Russian children’s tale Peter and the Wolf, March 27-29, 2015 at the June Swaner Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. This witty and musical production will be perfect for families, as the festive characters portray bravery and imagination.

To subscribe to the 2014-2015 season, please click here.  Single tickets go on sale July 15, 2014.

About Colorado Ballet video

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Learn about what makes Colorado Ballet so great in this brief video created for the 2014 Balletto di Gala event. This video includes photos, videos and interviews of artists of Colorado Ballet, students from Colorado Ballet Academy and outreach programs, Colorado Ballet Trustees, and more.

Dancers of Colorado Ballet to host Fancy Footwork

Monday, April 07, 2014

Fancy Footwork poster - photo by Francisco Estevez Photography

The dancers of Colorado Ballet will host Fancy Footwork from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10 at the Colorado Ballet Studios.  The event has a suggested $10 donation at the door.

Join the dancers of Colorado Ballet for a one-night only show featuring pieces chosen by the dancers themselves. Selections will range from excerpts of the great classics to new contemporary works by choreographers within the Colorado Ballet family. Along with an awesome show, guests will have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind items and experiences, in a silent auction, tailored by the Colorado Ballet dancers. Join us for what will surely be a great night of dancing and fun.

Click here for the event page on Facebook

Photo: Tracy Jones, Kevin Hale and Sean Omandam
By Francisco Estevez Photography

Here is a promo video created by the dancers:

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