Colorado Ballet Celebrates Its 50th Season

Colorado Ballet Celebrates Its 50th Season

Colorado Ballet - March 16, 2010

DENVER—March 16, 2010— Colorado Ballet is both honored and thrilled to announce its 2010-2011 season, opening in September. The upcoming season marks 50 years of dance in Denver for Colorado Ballet, the state’s oldest and largest dance company. Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet has transformed over the last 50 years, from a small ballet school to the nationally recognized professional company it is today.

With 30 professional dancers, 15 apprentice dancers, a dance academy with over 400 students in two locations and an education and outreach department serving over 600,000 Colorado residents in the last 11 years alone, Colorado Ballet is one of the leading performing arts organizations in the state.

“It is a privilege to be a part of this Company and I am honored to be an integral part of Lillian and Freidann’s dream that started so many years ago,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs, who took the helm of the Company in 2006. “They brought ballet to Denver and I look forward to continuing and growing that legacy.”

The 50th anniversary season will commence with a triple-bill production in Gates Concert Hall at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Denver. Running from Sept. 10-12, Colorado Ballet will showcase the diverse artistry and technique of the Company in this intimate setting. The three-work program will begin with the return of an audience favorite Edwaad Liang’s Feast of the Gods.  Having made its world premiere by Colorado Ballet in 2009, Liang’s Feast of the Gods celebrates the passion and history of a band of traveling gypsies. Set to Italian composer Ottorino Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Feast of the Gods features intricate choreography and a fast-paced pas de deux. The Company will follow Feast of the Gods with the reprise of Lar Lubovitch’s …smile with my heart. Created for American Ballet Theatre in 2002 as part of the Richard Rodgers Centennial, …smile with my heart employs four excerpts from Marvin Laird’s Fantasie on Themes by Richard Rodgers and earns its title from lyrics within the Rodgers and Hart classic My Funny Valentine. The program will close with a world premiere by choreographer Matthew Neenan, currently the choreographer in residence at the Pennsylvania Ballet. Along with an extensive background in choreography, Neenan is also the co-founder of BalletX, which made its world premiere in 2005 and is now the resident dance company at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. Neenan’s new work is a much anticipated ballet by this proven choreographer. Colorado Ballet looks forward to adding one of his works to the Company’s repiteur.

 “I look forward to presenting this production, as it is most often a favorite for both dancers and audiences alike,” Boggs said. “This production will challenge dancers in ways that help them grow as artists, and will offer audiences a fresh and diverse look at both classical and contemporary ballet.”

In October Colorado Ballet will present Bram Stoker’s chilling vampiric tale, Dracula. Dracula sinks its teeth into the Denver performing arts scene at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for Performing Arts for two weekends only, Oct. 15-24. Back by popular demand, this frightening production features sensual choreography by Michael Pink and a moving score by Philip Feeney, created in 1996. Pink’s choreography and Boggs’ creative direction bring Stoker’s nineteenth century Gothic novel to the dance stage as the story transcends from Victorian England to eerie Transylvania. Audiences are encouraged to pack their garlic for this one!

Beginning in November, Colorado Ballet invites audiences of all ages to usher in the holiday season with The Nutcracker. Running from Nov. 27- Dec. 26, this traditional holiday favorite will feature Tchaikovsky’s beloved score performed by a live orchestra, unforgettable characters and dazzling costumes and scenery.  This timeless work is sure to get audiences in the holiday sprit.

The 50th anniversary season will conclude with William Shakespeare’s tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet, running Feb. 25-March 6, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Colorado Ballet brings Shakespeare’s astoundingly crafted tale of two star-crossed lovers to life in this full-length masterpiece. Colorado Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet will feature the remarkable score by Sergei Prokofiev, who also was the original choreographer of the timeless work.

Romeo and Juliet is the classic tale of the strife between the Montagues and the Capulets and it demonstrates love’s ability to overcome hate,” Boggs said. “This work is filled with profound character and is incredibly rich in humanity.”

Season tickets, both renewed and new, for the 2010-2011 season are now available. Season ticket tables will be staffed in the lobby of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House during the Company’s performance season, ending March 28. To purchase subscription tickets for the 2010-2011 season, please call 303-837-8888 ext. 2 or stop by our offices at 1278 Lincoln St. in Denver, CO. Tickets to individual performances go on sale July 15.

About Colorado Ballet:

Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet’s dancers come from all parts of the world.  Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a nonprofit organization presenting superior quality classical ballet and innovative dance through performances, training and education programs that enhance the cultural life of the community. Colorado Ballet is both the oldest and largest dance company in the state. The Company celebrates 50 years of dance in Denver during the 2010-2011 season. For more information, call 303-837-8888 or visit