Ballet Blog

Asuka Sasaki by Allen Birnbach

Ballet Blog

Recent Posts

Help Us Win The #WealthIsAbout Grant Contest

Monday, September 25, 2017

Colorado Ballet is participating in the Wealth Is About grant contest to win $7,000 to continue our mission of presenting exceptional quality classical ballet and innovative dance through performances, training and education programs that are integral to the cultural life of our community.

Vote here daily until October 9th. https://fwt.wishpond.com/denver/wealthisabout/entries/167573139

*1 vote per person per day. Must be 18+ to vote

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Domenico Luciano Talks About His Role As Dracula

Friday, September 22, 2017


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Arianna Ciccarelli Talks About Her New Work for Attitude on Santa Fe

Sunday, September 03, 2017

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Yosvani Ramos Talks Attitude on Santa Fe

Saturday, September 02, 2017


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Principal Dancer Sharon Wehner to retire after 22 seasons with Colorado Ballet

Friday, September 01, 2017

Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Sharon Wehner will retire at the end of the 2017/2018 season after 22 seasons with the Company. ..


Colorado Ballet principal dancer Chandra Kuykendall begins 20th season with Colorado Ballet

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Chandra Kuykendall recently started her 20th season with the Company.

“Chandra is one of the few dancers we have who is from Colorado,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “How remarkable it has been for her to have such a successful and sustaining career right here in her hometown. It was a pleasure to promote her to Principal Dancer in 2007 and to see her growth as an artist during the last 11 years has been extraordinary.”

According to Boggs, having a dancer spend 20 seasons with a single company is relatively rare in the ballet world and it is even more rare for a dancer to spend the majority of her career in her hometown. “Chandra not only grew up here, she trained at Colorado Ballet Academy,” said Boggs. “Having one of our Principal Dancers as a graduate of our Academy is a testament to the quality of our instructors and faculty.”

This season, Boggs will highlight Kuykendall as the primary Lucy in Colorado Ballet’s season opener Dracula, opening October 6 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

About Chandra Kuykendall:

Chandra Kuykendall moved with her parents to Parker, Colorado at the age of two and she started taking ballet at the age of six from a woman who taught out of her basement near her house. When she was eight, she took classes at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance for one year, then began taking classes at the Academy of Colorado Ballet in 1988.

“My training at the Academy was pretty ideal, we had a very small class and my teachers were very strict but also very, very loving,” said Kuykendall. “I was able to perform in The Nutcracker from my very first year in the Academy and I did that throughout all of my training. In the upper levels, we got to perform more with the Company and this was a really invaluable experience because it taught us what life would be like as a professional dancer.”

In addition to her training at the Academy, Kuykendall also participated in summer programs with San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Kirov Academy, and the Bolshoi Academy in Vail, CO. She graduated from the Academy of Colorado Ballet in 1997 and joined the Company that season. She spent the 1998-1999 season with Leipzig Ballet in Leipzig, Germany and returned to Colorado Ballet in the fall of 1999.

“One of my proudest moments of my entire career was being promoted to Principal,” said Kuykendall. “This was in 2007 and it was after a performance, Gil (Boggs) came on stage to announce it to the Company and I was completely shocked. I had no idea I was going to be promoted and it was really one of the best moments of my career.”

According to Kuykendall, being a Principal dancer is a big responsibility. Principals not only need great technique, but they must have the ability to connect with the audience and carry a ballet. She said that she also feels that it is equally important to set an example for the entire Company.

When asked about what audiences may not know about Kuykendall, she said that she is a mom to a seven year old son. “Sometimes it is hard balancing motherhood and being a Principal dancer because they both take a lot of your time and love,” said Kuykendall. “But, my family is very understanding of my career and I can separate the two and give ballet my attention when I’m here at the studio and I can give my son attention when I’m home with him. I feel like he helps me be a better dancer and dancing helps me be a better mom.”

During her 20-season career in Denver, she has seen the ballet world in Denver change significantly. She said that when she first came to the school, the Company was very small and there were only a few well-known companies in the city. Kuykendall said that now, Colorado Ballet has grown and there are many more companies and opportunities to see classical and contemporary ballet in Denver. Audiences have more exposure to dance and she said that makes them more excited to see ballet. “I feel like Colorado Ballet is such a strong company, we have strong dancers, we have a strong staff to support us,” said Kuykendall. “I have never had any desire to leave, I’m so fulfilled artistically here. The ballets we get to dance and the roles I’ve gotten to dance are really wonderful.”

She has danced many principal roles during her career at Colorado Ballet. Some of her favorite include Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Giselle and Petite Mort, which the Company did during Ballet MasterWorks in February 2017. She said that was a bucket list ballet for her, but said there are still ballets that she would like to dance.

For Kuykendall, it is impossible to sum up the last 20 years at Colorado Ballet. The Company has been her home and her coworkers have been like family. “I have met so many amazing, amazing people, teachers, coaches, choreographers,” said Kuykendall. “My partners have all been so wonderful supporting me on and off stage. I have met friends that I will have for a lifetime. I have so many beautiful memories inside these studios and it’s just really hard to explain how these years have affected me and how much love I have for this place.”

Looking toward the future, she said she would like to continue doing what she is doing as long as her body holds up and she remains inspired and motivated. Because of her love for the art, she knows that when she decides to retire, she will do something in the ballet world.

“For as long as I can remember, ballet has defined me,” said Kuykendall. “It’s been what I do, what I love, it’s who I am. I am a ballerina and as artists we are creating art, but we are also are the art, so every day we’re growing and learning and changing and evolving and this is really a beautiful thing to experience and I feel like the audience can see this. They can see on stage this human aspect to it, and it really connects them to us and makes them feel like they’re really a part of the experience while they are watching the performance.”

Chandra Kuykendall and Domenico Luciano in Swan Lake by Francisco Estevez Photography

Chandra Kuykendall and Domenico Luciano in Swan Lake by Francisco Estevez Photography

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Domenico Luciano Talks About New Work for Attitude on Santa Fe

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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Colorado Ballet's 2017/2018 Season

Monday, August 28, 2017

At the heart of every dancer is an athlete. See Colorado Ballet's athletes during the 2017/2018 season in Dracula, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Ballet Director's Choice.

http://coloradoballet.org

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Colorado Ballet will open 2017/2018 season with Dracula

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Colorado Ballet will open the 2017/2018 season with the crowd-favorite Dracula, October 6-15, 2017 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with choreography by Michael Pink and music by Philip Feeney performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

Dracula continues to be one of our most popular productions because it features a beloved, spine-tingling story with seductive vampires, frightening mental patients and the king of the undead himself, Count Dracula,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “The story is easy to follow, the sets are grand, the costumes are lavish and the music is enthralling. These elements coupled with Pink’s sensual choreography makes audiences feel like they are part of the action. I encourage you to stock up on garlic and sink your teeth into this ballet full of terrifying excitement!”

Based on Bram Stoker’s Gothic romantic horror, Dracula tells the story of Jonathan Harker, who travels to Transylvania to do business with the infamous Count Dracula. During his visit, Harker is driven mad by the Count and his vampires and returns home. Dracula becomes enamored with Harker’s fiancée Mina and he travels to England to pursue her. As soon as he arrives in England, Dracula seduces Mina’s friend Lucy and he changes her into one of the undead. Dr. Van Helsing and Lucy’s suitors fail to capture Dracula, which enables him to capture Mina. The men follow Dracula into a crypt to stop him. Only daylight and a stake through his heart can stop him from taking Mina as his own.

Performance dates and times:
Friday, October 6, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 13, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 2 p.m.

Dracula contains mature content and is not recommended for children ages 12 or younger. The total run time is 2 hours and 24 minutes, which includes two 20 minute intermissions.

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

Dracula is presented by MidFirst Bank.


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Third season of Attitude on Santa Fe will showcase works choreographed by four Colorado Ballet dancers

Friday, August 18, 2017

Colorado Ballet’s Attitude on Santa Fe production will feature four ballets choreographed and performed by Colorado Ballet dancers on September 8 and 9 in the Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO.

The September 8 Attitude will feature the performance and the September 9 Attitude will include a catered dinner with a three course meal and wine prior to the performance. Principal Dancers Domenico Luciano and Yosvani Ramos and Corps de Ballet Dancers Arianna Ciccarelli and Kevin Hale will choreograph works for the September Attitude on Santa Fe.

“We are now in our third season of Attitude on Santa Fe productions in our Black Box Theater,” said Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “Every single Attitude performance has sold out and our audiences have enjoyed new or restaged works created and performed by our extremely talented dancers. We are thrilled to give our dancers the opportunity to present their own works because it encourages creativity and showcases emerging choreographers. Plus, it gives our dancers additional opportunities to perform in an intimate setting with patrons who want to see new and innovative works.”

About the ballets:

Domenico Luciano's new untitled ballet features a soundtrack by Michael Jones, who is rearranging a classical piece, Andante by Dmitri Shostakovich, with added sound effects and a five minute soundscape tailored to Luciano's choreography. The 10 minute work features five dancers and will explore the equality of gender. Luciano said that this ballet will be very different from the previous two pieces he has choreographed for Attitude on Santa Fe. According to Luciano, "Male and female dancers will be dressed the same, dance the same phrase, have the same movement vocabulary, and most likely partner same gender in a duet. This will be very contemporary movement, low to the ground, abstract, not really focusing on lines and aesthetic but enhancing the physicality of the dancers."

Yosvani Ramos created his ballet Steps in the Night in 2000 for the English National Ballet's Choreographic Workshop. The ballet will feature five female dancers and two male dancers to the first two movements of Beethoven's 7th Symphony. "I have always wanted to do the whole 7th Symphony, which is in four movements, so the year after in 2001, I choreographed the second moment," said Ramos. "It's neoclassical with strong classical language and a lot of off-the-leg partnering and lifts. It has a sexy feeling to it."

Arianna Ciccarelli's new ballet is a contemporary piece called What Could Have Been; An Unfinished Symphony. Ciccarelli said that she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and explore a different side of dance by choreographing a contemporary work first time. The ballet features two pieces of music: one is a four minute piano piece composed by Wesley Harper, a friend of Ciccarelli's; the second and last piece of music is Knee Play 4 composed by Philip Glass. "Even though there is no formal story line, I think that we all find/use a part of our lives to relate to the movement," said Ciccarelli. "I am very excited to share my experience of choreographing with my co-workers and of course with the audience!"

Kevin Hale’s new untitled work features eight dancers and is set to the music of Radiohead from their album “A Moon Shaped Pool.” According to Hale, “the ballet centers around a robot that is turned on for the first time and is learning everything quickly.” The robot quickly realizes more about life than it should. “When dropped with all the other robots, they start to have feelings and subsequently their glitches start to appear,” said Hale.

The doors will open at 7 p.m. on September 8 and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. On September 9, cocktails begin at 5 p.m., dinner begins at 6 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m. The cost for the September 8 performance is $30 and the cost for the September 9 dinner and performance is $85. Seating is limited. To register, visit www.coloradoballet.org/events.

Colorado Ballet plans to host another Attitude on Santa Fe with different works in February 2018.

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