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Darning with Arianna Ciccarelli

Friday, May 26, 2017

Corps de ballet dancer, Arianna Ciccarelli shows us how she darns her pointe shoes.

2017 Artist Award: Maria Mosina

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation presented their 2017 Artist Award to recently retired Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Mosina at their awards luncheon last week.  Here is a video highlighting Maria and all of her amazing accomplishments, which made her so deserving of the Artist Award.  Congratulations Maria!

Colorado Ballet to perform twice at 2017 Vail Dance Festival

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Colorado Ballet will perform at the 2017 Vail Dance Festival in Dancing in the Park: Colorado Ballet at 5:30 p.m. on July 31 at the Avon Performance Pavilion, Nottingham Park in Avon, CO and American Dance Classics at 7:30 p.m. on August 1 at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, CO.

“This is the first time since 2015 that Colorado Ballet has performed at the Vail Dance Festival,” said Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet Artistic Director.  “We are honored that Damian Woetzel has chosen us to perform at a festival that includes some of the world’s greatest dancers performing a variety of dance genres.”

Dancing in the Park: Colorado Ballet on July 31 will feature a family-friendly repertory of ballet excerpts by Colorado Ballet’s dancers.  Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and attendees are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs, as well as their own food and commercially-sealed non-alcoholic beverages.  Food and drinks will also be available to purchase at this free performance.

“This is an amazing opportunity for Colorado Ballet’s dancers to demonstrate their versatility and artistry through a variety of short ballet works,” said Boggs.  “This free, family-friendly performance is a must-see for everyone in the Avon, Beaver Creek and Vail areas this summer.”

The following evening on August 1, Colorado Ballet’s corps de ballet dancers and Festival guest artists will perform George Balanchine’s Serenade to Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings in C” during the second half of American Dance Classics.  The production will open with Robert Fairchild, Marcelo Gomes, Daniel Ulbricht and Tiler Peck starring in Jerome Robbins’ acclaimed 1944 debut ballet, Fancy Free.  Set to a rollicking Leonard Bernstein score, the ballet brings to life the adventures of three sailors on shore leave in WWII era New York City.  Live music throughout the evening will be performed by Cameron Grant and Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra conducted by Kurt Crowley, Vail Dance Festival Music Director and music director of Broadway's Hamilton.

"Seeing Balanchine's Serenade performed outside in the mountains is a magical experience, and we’re looking forward to having Colorado Ballet back at the Festival performing this classic as part of our part of celebration of American masterpieces," said Festival Artistic Director Damian Woetzel.

The Vail Dance Festival runs from July 29 through August 12.  Tickets are on sale now, visit www.vaildance.org for more information.

“I believe our dancers have tremendous talent and this is a chance for dance fans from all over the world to see that talent firsthand,” said Boggs.  “Performing twice at the Vail Dance Festival is a great way to kick off our 57th season.  The Festival’s repertory includes something for all dance fans to enjoy and shows that Colorado has a huge dance audience.”

About Colorado Ballet: Established in 1961 by Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker, Colorado Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating 56 years of presenting world-class classical ballet and superior dance in Denver.  Under the direction of Artistic Director Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet presents more than 50 performances annually. Colorado Ballet enhances the cultural life of Colorado through performances of the professional company, training at the Academy, and Education & Community Engagement programs.  Visit www.coloradoballet.org.  

About the Vail Dance Festival: The outdoor splendor of the Colorado Rocky Mountains is the backdrop each summer as the unique mountain town of Vail plays host to a collection of the world’s finest dancers. Under the artistic direction of Damian Woetzel, the Vail Dance Festival has become renowned for its artistic excellence, unique programming, new works, and one-of-a-kind partnerships. Nearly 20-thousand people from around the world descend each summer on Vail, a vibrant cultural destination, for the Festival’s two-week residence. The Festival’s spirited atmosphere transforms the village into a culturally-rich environment that is inviting to dance aficionados and newcomers alike. In addition to regular performances, the Festival features robust community programming and education events, drawing on its roster of visiting artists, in addition to year-round personnel who focus on arts education in the Vail Valley. In the fall of 2016, the Vail Dance Festival presented for the first time a season outside of its Colorado-base, with a series of acclaimed performances at New York City Center entitled Vail Dance Festival: ReMix NYC. The Vail Dance Festival is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation, which since 1981 has fulfilled its mission to enhance and sustain the quality of life in the Vail Valley by providing leadership in arts, education and athletics. For more information, visit www.vaildance.org.

Artists of Colorado Ballet in "Serenade" photo by Mike Watson
©The Balanchine Trust


Colorado Ballet 2017-2018 Season Teaser

Monday, May 22, 2017

Step behind the scenes of this teaser from our 2017-2018 season photo and video shoots, featuring Chandra Kuykendall, Domenico Luciano, Francisco Estevez, Sharon Wehner, Yosvani Ramos, Kevin Gael Thomas, Asuka Sasaki and Sarah Tryon.

Stay tuned for more!

Ballet Off Season with Tyler Rhoads

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tyler RhoadsBy Kendra Harris,

After a record-breaking season packed with four incredible productions, you can imagine a dancer needs time to recoup and relax. I sat down with Tyler Rhoads to talk about how he spends his summers off.

What were some highlights for you this season?

I would say one of my highlights from this season with Colorado Ballet would be Nutcracker. During the last week of shows, I got really sick and I felt so guilty for being sick and not being able to come in for a couple of days. Whenever I came back, everyone was so supportive and encouraging and really helped me not feel as guilty and motivated me to get back out there as quickly as possible to help support my friends and coworkers so that we could all put on the best show possible. 

What did you learn about yourself this year?

I learned that I’m very risk averse and sometimes I need to not be so afraid and just need to go out and take a rise regardless of how it turns out. Sometimes if you’re too afraid to take the risk you end up holding yourself back in the long run. 

What are you plans this summer?

I’m going to be doing a few guestings in Texas, Arizona and locally at Zikr Dance Ensemble so that will keep me pretty busy dancing and hopefully that will keep me. We’re going to be traveling some, Sean and I are going on a train ride to San Francisco because we heard it’s supposed to be really pretty going through the mountains and then we’re also going to Hawaii to Maui for a week so that should be fun.

Colorado Ballet Presents: REDbeat

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

REDbeat is part of New Cultural Works, a multi-year project, to enhance the cultural story of the community through indigenous dance. 

It connects Colorado Ballet’s dancers with emerging choreographers and the community to reflect the heritage and people of Colorado.

New Cultural Works explores how cultural identity influences the creative process, execution of dance, and the culminating performance.”  New Cultural Works/REDbeat is generously supported by Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.

10 Questions with Domenico Luciano

Monday, May 15, 2017

From the last movie he cried watching to why he dances, step into the world of Principal Dancer Domenico Luciano.

KDVR/KWGN story: Principal dancer at Colorado Ballet overcomes injury one step at a time

Friday, May 12, 2017

Yosvani Ramos is considered one of the best ballet dancers in the nation and serves as the principal dancer at the Colorado Ballet.

 

It's a position he's also held in England and in Australia.

 

Ramos was at the height of his career when something terrible happened.

 

FOX31 reporter Kevin Torres explains how the dancer is taking steps to get back to where he used to be.

Maria Mosina wins Bonfils-Stanton Award

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Recently-retired Colorado Ballet Principal Dancer Maria Mosina is one of three Colorado arts leaders that will be honored at the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation's Annual Awards Luncheon.

Bonfils-Stanton Foundation believes extraordinary arts and leadership are essential to building a vibrant Colorado. The Annual Awards Program recognizes significant contributions by remarkable Coloradans as Artists, through their Community Service in the Arts, and who impact Science and Medicine using the Arts. This year’s honorees will receive a $35,000 award for their exceptional work, inspiration to others and dedication to driving Colorado’s arts and culture to new heights.

Colorado ballerina Maria Mosina is this year’s Artist Award honoree. Born in Moscow, Maria has been a professional dancer for 26 years, performing every major role in all the great ballets and appearing on stages around the world including Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. Her most enduring impact, however, has been on Colorado and the Colorado Ballet. 

As the principal ballerina for Colorado Ballet, Maria has delighted audiences and inspired young dancers for 21 seasons. Since her arrival in Denver in 1995, Maria’s artistry, professionalism and her ability to transpose a role on stage have set her apart from other ballerinas, and has helped to make Colorado Ballet truly exceptional. Maria brings a performance level to the stage in Denver that one would only find in major ballet companies in cities around the world.

Retiring at the end of the 2016/17 season, Maria will move into a teaching and coaching role, one that she first embraced during Colorado Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program in 1996. As Maria says, “I will dance forever, but now is the time to give my knowledge and experience to younger generations of dancers. I wish to mentor others as many mentored me over the years. It’s time for younger dancers to step in and dance for the Colorado audience.” Maria is an active ballet instructor throughout the United States, and has participated as a master teacher and judge for the Youth American Grand Prix. 

Maria has been highlighted in numerous magazine articles, and was a featured dancer on the cover of Dance Magazine. She graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia and holds a bachelor's degree in methodology and pedagogy from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography.  

The Community Service in the Arts Award goes to Stephen Seifert, who has been a visionary and passionate leader in the Denver arts community for nearly 30 years. Bonfils-Stanton Foundation will present The Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program at University of Colorado’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities with the Science, Medicine and the Arts Award. The Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program is an intellectual space, cultural site and accessible resource for the campus, for colleagues and for the community.

Bonfils-Stanton Foundation will honor the three individuals during their 32nd annual Awards Luncheon on May 19.

Beyond The Barre: Francisco Estevez

Friday, May 05, 2017

By Kendra Harris

Francisco Estevez is a man of many talents. On top of being a soloist with Colorado Ballet, he impressively balances being married while running a successful photography business and being the proud parent of two dogs. In between the season ending and him heading into the summer, I sat down with Francisco to get to know him more Beyond the Barre.

*This interview has been edited from its original format for structure and clarity.

KH: Let’s talk about some of your favorites. What is your favorite restaurant?

FE: It’s a tossup between Fruition and Rioja. I just discovered Rioja on Larimer Square a couple of weeks ago and it’s very good.

KH: What’s your favorite movie?

FE: I don’t think I have one, I go through phases. Right now I like LaLa Land but before that I liked Star Wars, especially “The Return of The Jedi.”

KH: What’s your favorite book?

FE: “Being Wrong.” It’s written by my best friend's aunt, she used to work for the New Yorker and she wrote a book about the tendencies of people to not admit their wrong and how that’s very limiting for a society.

KH: What would your last meal on earth be?

FE: Pepperoni Pizza!

KH: What are your non-dance hobbies?

FE: Going out to restaurants, especially in Denver because of the variety and high quality and photography. I don’t really have much time for actual hobbies but I like drawing a lot and painting.

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

FE: People think we do something else as well, that we must have an outside job to support ourselves, that’s not true and necessary. We’re fortunate enough to be in a company that supports of us well. I think people always see it as something you do and then you move on because it’s not your real job. It is our job and we do get paid for it. On a lighter note, I think the second most misconstrued thing is that men go on pointe, we don’t at all unless you’re in Trockadero, which is an all-male company that does pointe.

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

FE: I’d buy all the camera equipment that I wanted. I’d buy something nice for my wife, I’d donate to a charity we both believed in, definitely something to do with animals or homeless people or refugees. Then we’d have to see what we’d do if there was any left over.

KH: Three words to describe yourself?

FE: Passionate, curious and sometimes stubborn

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

FE: I would probably be doing something either in economics or architecture, maybe law. But once I stop doing this career I think I’ll go into photography full-time.

KH: What would you tell your younger self?

FE: To not be so independent. Family is very important and I think, especially in this career if you dedicate yourself from a young age, you tend to leave home early and that requires a lot of independence and growing up early. Sometimes I wish that I had not stayed home longer to be with my family but had that relationship a little bit longer so that I felt tethered to them. It’s not that I don’t love them or anything like that, I do and I enjoy spending time with them but it’s easy for me to be on my own and I sometimes go a long time without talking to them and I feel bad about that. Yet, it also feels normal to me so I’d tell myself to make that a priority and get in the habit of constantly being in communication with my family especially in this career because you’re most likely not going to be in the same city.

KH: What are five of your favorite things?

FE:

  1. Cameras
  2. Movies
  3. Trying different foods
  4. Puppies are a big one
  5. Traveling.

KH: What is your favorite destination?

FE: I really like Europe a lot. London’s nice for short visits because it’s very gloomy, but it’s nice to have the culture and everything’s very organized. It seems like they have their priorities in order. Spain will always have a special place in our hearts, that’s where my wife and I met. And also, my home town Ecuador.

KH: What’s your ritual before a performance?

FE: I don’t really have one. I try to steer away from rituals. I don’t like hyping it up for myself because I like to be relaxed. I used to get really worked up about it and it didn’t help, if anything it made things worse on stage. I tried one time to be relaxed about it and my performances started going a lot better. And I have a lot more fun on stage and less headache beforehand.

KH: What do you love about Denver?

FE: I like the weather and that it feels like its growing. You can feel that the energy and city is expanding, it feels like there’s a lot of potential for projects and things that may happen. I think that’s exciting because it doesn’t feel that it’s dead or standing still. I also like the little microcosms of different neighborhoods, every neighborhood is different and it’s nice to have that type of variety in one city. I also like the proximity of the mountains as well.

KH: Words to live by?

FE: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think that’s important. I try to be invested in things not to just be a passenger. Be active in your own life and in the lives of those around you. Try to be genuine and nice.

KH: What are your summer plans?

FE: We’re (him and his wife Tracy Jones) going to travel somewhere, maybe Europe but we haven’t decided yet. We teach ballet in different summer programs, so we’ll be traveling around doing that and then for five weeks every summer we work with a company that does contemporary and religious dance. Other than that, I’ll fill my summer up with photography work.

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