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Beyond The Barre: Tracy Jones

Wednesday, December 07, 2016


Thank you for tuning into another Beyond The Barre. This week, we feature Tracy Jones who has been with Colorado Ballet for 4 seasons. Tracy reigns from Ireland and has danced all over the world. We bonded over our time living in Spain and missing the quaint lifestyle of living in a mountain town.

 

KH: Where are you from?


TJ: I was born in Ireland and when I was 11, I moved to London to train, stayed there for 8 years and moved to Spain and now I’m in Colorado. While in Spain, I lived in Segovia, just outside of Madrid. I also lived in Barcelona; the company I worked for toured a lot too so I got to see a lot of (Spain) and the world which was nice.


KH: What’s been your favorite place?


TJ: I really love Segovia. It was a really simple way of living and it’s where I met Francisco, a soloist at Colorado Ballet and husband of 2.5 years. [Emphasis added]


KH: How did you know you wanted to dance ballet?


TJ: My mom used to dance when she was younger and so when I was 5, she sent to take ballet lessons. When I was about 10, my ballet teacher in Ireland took my mom aside and said this, “kid has a lot of potential” so they took me over to London to audition for the Royal Ballet School and that’s kind of when I knew I wanted to give it a go and do it for a long time.


KH: What’s your favorite thing about Denver?


TJ: My friends. I have a really good group of friends and they’re all pretty much from the company. Colorado Ballet has a really nice family feel to it, my closest friends are people I work with and I feel like not a lot of people can say that so that’s awesome.


KH: What do you eat for breakfast?


TJ: Normally I’ll have a croissant with a banana and soy latte. On the weekends I like to go for brunch or if I’m really adventurous we’ll cook some eggs and bacon at home but generally we go to brunch.



KH: What’s your favorite brunch place?


TJ: Jelly Café downtown is really great and then there’s also Four Friends Kitchen.


KH: Do you have any hidden talents?


TJ: My handwriting is really neat, does that count?


KH: Yeah! People are making a living with their handwriting.


TJ: Well, I would say that!


KH: What inspires you to push past your limits?


TJ: That’s a good question, for me as I’m getting older I realize I’m doing it for me and for the audience. Sometimes you get into places where you put too much pressure on yourself and you feel you have to do everything perfectly. You have to remember that it’s an art form and ballets never going to be perfect. People that come to watch want to be transported somewhere so for me remembering that and remembering its more about the art and why I love to dance that helps me when I get down in a rut.


KH: What is the last song you listened to?


TJ: I listened to some Christmas music this morning on the way to work.


KH: What is the next goal you have set yourself?


TJ: At the moment I’m thinking about getting my Realtor license, I think that could be cool. I like to branch out and have things outside of ballet too.


KH: What is the biggest misconception about being a professional ballet dancer?


TJ: That we don’t eat. That’s the most common question I get asked, “Do you have to be on a really strict diet?”


KH: If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?


TJ: I’d have to have an outfit of some description because that’s appropriate. I have some jewelry passed down to me from a great aunt when she passed away that’s pretty special so that would be on the list. Do my puppies count? I have 2 puppies and I guess my passport because I’d always be able to travel.


KH: What is your favorite movie?


Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann’s awesome, his stuff is great and I love Nicole Kidman and I like musicals too.


KH: Three words to describe yourself?


TJ: Organized, determined and I’d say hard-working.


KH: What does your perfect day look like?


TJ: Sleeping in a bit, going for brunch with Francisco and some friends. I’d take the dogs for a nice walk in our neighborhood and maybe go to the movies. We don’t have a lot of time to just chill out because we get so busy especially during performance times so it’d be pretty low-key.


KH: If you hadn’t chosen this career, what might you be doing?


TJ: I’ve always been drawn to law. I’m not sure if that’s something I’d transition to at this stage of my life but I think if I could relive life and not do ballet, I would try my hand at being a lawyer.


KH: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?


TJ: That I speak Spanish. I don’t look like I should speak Spanish.


KH: What would you tell your 10-year-old self?


TJ: Always follow your instincts and try not to take things too seriously. I still need to remind my 28-year-old self that. Just take everything with a pinch of salt, take the good things and don’t hang on to bad things. It’s easier said than done but that’s the advice I’d give.


KH: What words do you live by? (life motto)


TJ: "Always remember, you are Braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." -A.A Milne (from Winnie the Pooh).

 

KH: How long have you been doing The Nutcracker?


TJ: I started doing the Nutcracker when I was 11 years old. I grew up doing it in the Royal Ballet production and then with English National ballet and I did the Nutcracker suite in Spain and this is my 4th season doing it with Colorado Ballet.


KH: What roles are you playing?


TJ: The doll, Clara’s mom, crystals, Spanish, Arabian and Marzipan divertissements.


KH: Do you have a favorite role?


TJ: I would say the Arabian is my favorite but I also like doing Doll because there are some funny moments like fake slapping Drosselmeyer. It’s always cute to hear little kids laughing and seeing that reaction. That’s why we do it, for them. 


KH: What are you most excited about with this year’s Nutcracker?


What gets me through Nutcracker every year is remembering that for most people in the audience it’s their first time coming to Nutcracker or the ballet or it’s a family tradition that they do every year, that always makes me excited when were about to go into 28 shows. I always think there’s a little girl out here and this could be what makes her dream of becoming a ballerina.


Relive The Magic of The Nutcracker with 25% Off

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Save 25% on all Thursday Nutcracker performances with promo code: TBT 

Tickets at Coloradoballet.org


*Promo valid on all performances. Seats are subject to availability. Not valid in combination with other offers or towards past purchases. Limit 6 tickets per purchase

Mannequin Challenge | Colorado Ballet

Monday, November 28, 2016

Colorado Ballet presents the 56th annual production of The Nutcracker November 26 - December 24, 2016. This dreamy production features lavish costumes, exuberant dancing, whimsical battles, hypnotizing snow flurries, sumptuous sets, majestic live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra and a little bit of magic. Visit coloradoballet.org.

Beyond The Barre: Sean Omandam

Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Today’s Beyond The Barre conversation is with Sean Omandam, a corps dancer at Colorado Ballet, with a killer split jump, an energetic personality and infectious laugh. He graciously took the time in between his full schedule of rehearsals for this year’s Nutcracker to chat with me.

 

KH: Tell me a little about yourself?


SO: I’m from Fresno, CA and I went to school in Florida for ballet training.


KH: How long have you been with the Colorado Ballet?

SO: I moved to Colorado in 2004. They found me when I was in school and offered me a job, so I’ve been here ever since. 

KH: How did you get into ballet?

SO: When I was a kid, my parents stuck me into everything from dance to acting to painting to piano and then slowly one by one those things kind of trailed off and dance and ballet are the ones that stuck with me.

KH: What do you eat for breakfast?

SO: I don’t like breakfast. I usually skip breakfast but if I do eat it I would probably have an egg with sausage and toast. Usually I just have my coffee and tea and go. I love brunch though. On the weekends I’m up for brunch. I love going to Jelly over on 13th and on Sundays I love going for Dim Sum.

KH: If I gave you $100,000 what would you do with it?

SO: I’d pay off my condo mortgage first, put some away in savings; practical things. But other than that, if I didn’t have to worry about those things I would travel the world. Last summer I went to Japan but I would love to go around the rest of Southeast Asia, Thailand and Cambodia.

KH: If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 items, what would you bring?

SO: I would bring my iPod to have music with me all the time.  A notepad and then I’d find something on the island to make something to write with and I would bring a really good pair of tennis shoes or hiking boots. I hate the feeling of my feet on really awkward surfaces.

KH: What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

SO: Energetic, shy and awkward.

KH: What’s your favorite thing about Denver?

SO: I love the food scene and trying out new restaurants here.

KH: Do you have a hidden talent?

SO: I guess I’m a pretty good cook and I like to make videos on the side.

KH: How did you get into doing videos?

SO: I think I just picked up a camera and went along with it and started shooting videos of friends while we were out on trips to have keepsakes to look back on.

KH: What is your favorite dish you like to make?

SO: I usually like to make a lot of Asian foods but I love making this oxtail stew that my dad taught me how to make when I was a kid. It’s a favorite of mine that he makes when I go home so now that I know how to make it myself when I want to feel a little nostalgic and want something that reminds me of home especially in winter and fall months, I’ll make that. 

KH: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

SO: Going back to how shy I am. When people see me on stage I’m usually outgoing and really energetic but when I’m on my own or with friends I kind of sit back and let other people do the work of entertaining.

KH: What does your perfect day look like?

SO: Sleeping in, a nice long hot shower and brunch with friends. Then I’d take a nap because I always get that food coma after a really good brunch after that dinner and drinks into the night.

KH: Sleep and eat that’s all you need.

SO: Yes, that seems to be a common theme, right?

KH: What’s the last song you listened to?

SO: The Greatest by Sia. That one pumps me up and gets me going before work and everything.

KH: What is your favorite movie?

SO: “Mother”, it’s a South Korean drama. It’s kind of odd and quirky but still a little comedic. It’s about a mom who goes to whatever lengths to save her son who’s in an odd predicament.

KH: Do you have a favorite book?

SO: I don’t. I haven’t read a book in a long time oddly enough but the last book I read was “S” by Doug Dorst and J.J Abrams.

KH: What inspires you to push past your limits?

SO: Wanting to improve upon myself every day. I think we all have that in common, we always want to do better, and we want to keep pushing ourselves. We run into these stumbling blocks or we think that we’ve plateaued and as dancers we keep pushing ourselves knowing there’s another crest that we can rise up to beyond that. Even though I think I can’t, I know that I can keep pushing myself.

KH: If you hadn’t chosen this career, what would you be doing?

SO: I would want to be an architect or cook. Something that’s still creative. I think I’ll always have that aspect of me that wants to do something creative and artistic in some form, whether it’s with my body or hands.

KH: Words you live by (life motto)

SO: I always tell myself that I can do it; I can keep going before I get on stage. I can do anything that I find challenging. I’m always reaffirming myself that I’ve got this.

KH: What advice would you tell your 10 year old self?

SO: To take the advice given to you with a grain of salt. As a dancer you can always hear these negative things and it’s up to you to filter out what’s actually useful and what’s negative and will put you down.

KH: This being your 12 season with the company, what roles are you performing and what are you most excited about with this year’s Nutcracker?

SO: I play Fritz, Solider Doll, and mouse, also I’m in Chinese, Marzipan and Russian divertissements. My favorite would be Russian because it’s high energy and a lot of fun and a big crowd-pleaser. I’m excited knowing how much joy everyone gets from it during the holiday season and that it’s a part of family’s traditions. It’s heartwarming to hear that The Nutcracker is something that sticks with everyone and that we are a part of that at Colorado Ballet. 

 

Save on Nutcracker tickets today!

Monday, November 21, 2016
Still haven't gotten your Nutcracker tickets? Don't wait any longer!



Save 15% off your Nutcracker tickets by using promo code: SNOW



*Promo valid on all performances. Seats are subject to availability. Not valid in combination with other offers or towards past purchases. Limit 6 tickets per purchase*



The Nutcracker - by the numbers

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nutcracker load-in 3-day timelapse

Monday, November 14, 2016

This is a 3-day timelapse of Colorado Ballet loading in the sets, backdrops and props for The Nutcracker at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in 2015.  Visit coloradoballet.org.

Colorado Ballet presents 56th annual production of The Nutcracker

Monday, October 24, 2016

Colorado Ballet will present 26 performances of The Nutcracker, November 26 through December 24, 2016 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, with live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

“Colorado Ballet’s 56th annual production of the captivating holiday classic, The Nutcracker is a larger-than-life extravaganza,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs.  “This timeless ballet features lavish costumes, exuberant dancing, whimsical battles, hypnotizing snow flurries, delicious sets and majestic live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.”

According to Boggs, the popularity of The Nutcracker continues to grow each season.  In 2015, 25 of the 26 performances of Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker were sold out and the season before, 22 of the 24 performances were sold out.

The Nutcracker continues to grow every year, especially when you consider that only three performances out of the last 50 have not been completely sold out and the ones that were not sold out were very full,” said Boggs.  “I encourage patrons to buy their tickets early for the largest production of this holiday favorite in Colorado.  I guarantee that audiences will not see anything like Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker in the region; our tremendously talented dancers performing with our extraordinary orchestra musicians during the holiday season is truly magical.”

Ticket prices range from $30 to $155. To purchase tickets, visit www.ColoradoBallet.org or call 303-837-8888 ext. 2.  The Nutcracker is made possible by presenting sponsor KeyBank.

Performance schedule for The Nutcracker:
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 9, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, December 16, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, December 23, 2016 at 1 p.m.
Friday, December 23, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 24, 2016 at 1 p.m.

 

Morgan Buchanan by Allen Birnbach

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

Performance photos from The Nutcracker

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Here are a few performance photos from two different performances of Colorado Ballet's 55th annual production of The Nutcracker.

Artists of Colorado Ballet with Soldier Doll by Mike Watson

Dana Benton as Clara with mice by Mike Watson

Artists of Colorado Ballet and Colorado Ballet Academy in battle scene by Mike Watson

Asuka Sasaki and Francisco Estevez as Clara and the Nutcracker Prince by Mike Watson

Dana Benton and Yosvani Ramos as Clara and the Nutcracker Prince by Mike Watson

Yosvani Ramos and Artists of Colorado Ballet at the beginning of Act II by Mike Watson

Chandra Kuykendall in Arabian dance by Mike Watson
Ariel Breitman in Chinese dance by Mike Watson
Artists of Colorado Ballet in Mother Ginger scene by Mike Watson
Asuka Sasaki as Dew Drop and Artists of Colorado Ballet as Flowers by Mike Watson
Asuka Sasaki as Dew Drop by Mike Watson

Maria Mosina and Alexei Tyukov as Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier by Mike Watson
Sean Omandam as Russian dancer during Nutcracker finale by Mike Watson


Artists of Colorado Ballet during Nutcracker finale by Mike Watson

Dana Benton and Gregory Gonzales by Mike Watson

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