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Giselle Teaser - Colorado Ballet

Monday, September 09, 2013


Directed and edited by Sean Omandam. Filmed by Sean Omandam and Francisco Estévez.

Cast: Tracy Jones (Giselle), Francisco Estévez (Albrecht), Morgan Buchanan (Bathilde), and Lesley Allred (Myrta)

Music: Shelley Duvall - "He Needs Me"

Special thanks to Tom's Diner and Colorado Ballet Wardrobe, for respectively providing the set location and costumes.

Dancer Q&A: Domenico Luciano

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Colorado Ballet is starting a new dancer Q&A part of its blog.  The first Q&A is with our new Soloist, Domenico Luciano.

  1. Where are you from?
    Naples, Italy
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained at the Real Teatro di San Carlo Ballet School in Naples, Italy.
    I danced throughout Europe and Italy before coming to the States in 2004 to join Tulsa Ballet and then Dominic Walsh Dance Theater in 2005.
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I usually guest with other companies, teach and go visit my family in Italy for a little vacation by the gulf of Napoli.
  4. What age did you first start dancing?
    Pretty late, I was 14 years old.
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    The first ballet I attended was GISELLE with Etoile Alessandra Ferri in the leading role, and Johann Cobborg from Royal Ballet as Albrecht.
    I was captivated and transported by the magic of the performance. I didn't want it to end. As student of the ballet school, I was able to go every night for more.
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    I like dancers that are brave and courageous, want to be challenged and explore all the different style of dance out there. I love all the projects that Wendy Whelan is working on right now. It shows how, as an artist, you never stop learning and growing. After a long and successful career as a Principal Dancer with NYCB, she is diving into new territory, like modern and contemporary dance, with a joy and excitement. It is what Mikhail Baryshnikov and Sylvie Guillem have done as well.
    At this moment, my male ballet role model is David Hallberg. I think he has a very special presence on stage, besides an amazing technique and quality of movement.
  7. Proudest moment in your ballet career?
    Dancing the leading role in John Cranko's ONEGIN, feeling very connected to the role and getting emotional on stage.
  8. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are your favorite to watch?
    I never get tired of listening and watching Swan Lake.
  9. Dream role?
    I would love to dance Petit Mort by Jiri Kylian.
  10.  If you could never dance again, what would you want your final role to be?
    It is hard to pick one. I definitively would want to dance a role that could give me the chance to share with the audience something special that would be remembered.
  11. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I'm new to Colorado, so I have a lot to explore in Denver and around!
  12. What are some of your indulgences?
    I'm Italian…bread, pasta and pizza
  13. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    Of course!
    Timing is key for me.
    I like to have everything planned ahead before curtain is up.
    Time of arrival to the theater
    Time for warm up
    Time for class
    Time for make up
    Time to get in costume
    Time to practice on stage
    Maybe I sound a bit OCD….
    Oh well, if it all helps.
  14. What production(s) are you most excited about this year?
    This is my first year with Colorado Ballet, it is all exciting to me!!!
  15. What would you say to people who come to see the Colorado Ballet?
    Come and see Colorado Ballet, it is a Company that has a great combination of athleticism and classicism. Colorado Ballet maintains the beautiful and historical tradition of classical ballet delivered by powerful bodies that have a deep knowledge and respect for the craft.

Domenico Luciano as Albrecht in "Giselle"
Photo by Alessio Boccafusca

Colorado Ballet presents the hauntingly beautiful Giselle

Monday, August 26, 2013

Colorado Ballet opens its season with Giselle, October 4-13 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  This hauntingly beautiful ballet features choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot and music by Adolphe Adam performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

“It is no secret that Giselle is my favorite ballet,” said Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet Artistic Director.  “Giselle is one of the most romantic ballets of all time.  For me, it is the epitome of a classical ballet, demonstrating love, betrayal, death and forgiveness.”

The ballet tells the story of a count in disguise who falls in love with Giselle, a beautiful peasant girl with a fragile heart.  When she discovers the count’s true identity and that he is engaged to another woman, she dies broken-hearted.  She becomes a member of The Wilis—vengeful spirits who suffered unrequited love in life and are destined to roam the earth each night, trapping men and dancing them to death.  When the count enters the domain of The Wilis, only Giselle’s love can save him.

Performance Dates and Times:

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 2 p.m.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $25 to $155. To purchase tickets, visit or call 303-837-8888 ext. 2.

Colorado Ballet's 53rd Season

Friday, August 16, 2013

Colorado Ballet’s 53rd season will feature classical works including Giselle, The Nutcracker and Cinderella at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  The season concludes with Ballet Director’s Choice, which includes three contemporary ballets at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

Colorado Ballet opens the season with the hauntingly beautiful classical ballet Giselle, October 4-13, 2013 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  Giselle will take the audience on a journey of love, betrayal, death and forgiveness, with live music performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

KeyBank presents the holiday classic The Nutcracker, November 30 through December 28, 2013 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  The Nutcracker features unforgettable characters, dazzling costumes, classic choreography and Tchaikovsky's extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. This dazzling spectacle of glittering snowflakes and shimmering sugarplums will transport audiences to the Land of Sweets.

In the spring, PwC will present the classic fairy tale Cinderella, February 14-23, 2014 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. This well-known tale sprinkled with humor that demonstrates dreams can come true, especially with the help of a fairy godmother.  Cinderella features an enchanting score by Prokofiev, performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.

Colorado Ballet will close out the season with Ballet Director’s Choice, March 28-30, 2014 at Newman Center for the Performing Arts. This production will include Traveling Alone, choreographed by Amy Seiwert; Edwaard Liang’s Feast of the Gods; and a world premiere choreographed by Sandra Brown.

For more information, visit

Colorado Ballet hires Valerie Madonia as Academy Director

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Colorado Ballet has hired Valerie Madonia as its Academy Director and she will start on August 19, 2013.  Madonia most recently served as the artistic director of the Palm Arts Dance Program in Telluride, CO.

“It's an honor to be chosen to lead Colorado's premiere ballet Academy at this exciting time in the school’s history as we prepare to move into our new state-of-the-art studios in the Art District on Santa Fe in 2014,” said Madonia.  “I'm confident that as we refine our vision and raise the school's standard of excellence, we will become a desired destination for dance students from around the globe.”

Colorado Ballet Academy provides training to students age three through adult, beginner through professional.  The Academy has honed the dance skills of thousands of students and has started the careers of many professional dancers.  Students train alongside the professional Company dancers and have the opportunity to audition for roles in Colorado Ballet's professional productions, including Colorado Ballet's annual production of The Nutcracker.

About Valerie Madonia

Valerie Madonia started her training with Maris Battaglia at the American Academy of Ballet in Buffalo, NY and then trained at the National Ballet School of Canada from 1975-1979.

She danced professionally for more than 20 years with the National Ballet of Canada from1979-1981 (under the direction of Alexander Grant), at American Ballet Theatre 1981-1986 (under Mikhail Baryshnikov) and at the Joffrey Ballet 1987-1997 (under Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino).  She began her career as a member of the corps de ballet and eventually established herself as a leading ballerina with the Joffrey.  Madonia had the honor of dancing with Alonzo Kings Lines Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, Complexions Dance, Inc., Alaska Dance Theatre, Russian Ballet Theatre, Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet, Configuration Ballet and at Le Gala des Etoiles numerous times in Montreal and Greece.  She performed the role of the Princess in Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 2001 and with the New York Philharmonic in 2005, conducted by Alan Gilbert and accompanied by Pinkus Zuckerman.  In 1995, Madonia began organizing performances with other professional dancers to tour Southwestern Colorado and established her own company, Alpine Dance, Inc. from 1998-2001.

Madonia appeared in six PBS Dance in America Specials and is featured in four dance books including Classical Ballet Technique by G.W. Warren.

She has been teaching for 17 years, served on the faculty at the New School University in NYC from 2000-2003, taught for the Joffrey Ballet School since 1996 and directed the Joffrey School South Workshop in Georgia from 2003-2010.  She teaches biannually in Yokohama, Japan and teaches master classes at The Four Corners Dance Experience and for the Regional Ballet Association Festivals.  She is also an adjudicator and master teacher for the Youth American Grand Prix.

Madonia has been a guest teacher for: The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Alaska Dance Theatre, Louisiana Delta Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Boulder Ballet.  During her tenure as Artistic Director of the Telluride Society for the Performing Arts from 1998-2002, she helped found the Telluride Dance Academy.  She served as the Artistic Director and a teacher at the Telluride Dance Academy from 2006-2010.  Since the fall of 2011, she has been teaching and directing for Palm Arts Dance in Telluride, CO.

Her choreographic credits include a full length Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Polar Express, Appalachian Spring, solo works for the NYC Dance Now Festival, and for dancers in Colorado Ballet, Ballet West and Dayton Ballet.  Critics and audiences alike enthusiastically received her newest work, Shapeshift, commissioned for Boulder Ballet in 2012.


Colorado Ballet to perform under the stars at Arvada Center

Thursday, August 08, 2013
Colorado Ballet will present An Evening under the Stars at 7:30 p.m. on August 29, 2013 at the Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheater.  

An Evening under the Stars will highlight Colorado Ballet’s 2013-2014 season by featuring previews from several ballets including the Act II Pas de Deux and other excerpts from Giselle as well as selections from Feast of the Gods and Traveling Alone from Ballet Director’s Choice.  The production will also include other classical and contemporary works and the premiere of Piazzola, a new tango piece choreographed by Lorita Travaglia.

Tickets range from $15 to $39.  For more information, visit

Light /The Holocaust & Humanity Project

Saturday, March 16, 2013

By Gil Boggs

While sometimes art serves as a distraction for the viewer and helps them to forget their troubles, other times art challenges its audience to think about issues in the wider world.

For this reason, I chose to bring Light /The Holocaust & Humanity Project to Colorado Ballet. Choreographed by Stephen Mills, Artistic Director at Ballet Austin, Light is set in 5 movements and is based on the life of one Holocaust survivor. After 9/11, Mills was inspired to create a ballet with an impact. He interviewed more than a dozen survivors during his 18 months of research before beginning work on Light.

Mills came to Denver in late January to teach his powerful work to the dancers of Colorado Ballet.

Right now the dancers are working to learn and perfect all the dancing in Light. This is a very emotional ballet, for the audience and the performers. The dancers must attempt to put themselves in the shoes of those who were subjugated during the Holocaust. The level of suffering those people endured is hard to understand, let alone to portray through dance.

Many of Colorado Ballet’s performances, like The Nutcracker, bring a temporary halt to the stress of everyday life and transport viewers into another realm for a short time. Other works, like Light, have the power to make the audience share empathy with those different from themselves and to think about what’s going on in the world today.

This ballet promises to have a stirring impact on all those who experience it. People survived and lived on to thrive even after everything they endured. This is the message I hope viewers take away from Light.

Ballet MasterWorks

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

By Gil Boggs

Stravinsky, Balanchine, and Caniparoli with more dancers on stage and musicians in the pit than you can imagine. Unlike anything we have done before, be prepared to be exhausted when you leave. In other words don’t miss it, you want believe what you see!

The Rite of Spring, composed by Igor Stravinsky, has an almost primitive sound that when paired with the sharp movements and sometimes odd angles of the dancers' motions evokes a powerful response. It's not surprising that when this piece debuted in Paris in 1913 it caused audience outrage. At this point in time, no one had ever heard orchestral music and seen choreography with such raw, wild, unrefined sound and movement.

Even though this year is The Rite of Spring's 100th anniversary, this piece doesn't sound like anything else composed before most people had radios. The primal beat and dissonant chords in the music help the viewer really immerse themselves in the ballet's story of paganism and human sacrifice.

The level athleticism and technical difficulty in the dancing is incredible, the music and choreography are an excellent pair and the minimal costuming will certainly evoke primal feelings.

The dancers and musicians are going to blow you away! Performances Feb. 22-March 3.

Visit for tickets.

Ballet’s Grand Jetés: From Swan Lake to Petrushka

Thursday, September 27, 2012

By Gil Boggs

The University of Denver will offer a ballet history course this October and it will feature Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs as a guest lecturer on October 11.  This class also includes a ticket to Colorado Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty and Colorado Symphony Orchestra's Petrushka.  Enrollment is open until October 4.

Ballet’s Grand Jetés: From Swan Lake to Petrushka

Originally, ballet wasn’t much more than gaudy entertainment for wealthy Italian dukes. But over the centuries, the music of great composers such as Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky elevated it to an honored—and well-traveled—art form. Enhanced by videos and an in-class visit from Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs, this course led by popular Enrichment instructor Marc Shulgold retraces ballet’s evolution and journey (grand jetés!) across Europe. After its exportation to France in the 1500s, ballet flourished under Louis XIV. His love of dance encouraged court choreographers to add the perfume of French refinement. Though post-revolution Paris became Europe’s dance capital, by the late 1800s ballet had packed its bags again—this time for Russia, where French-born dance-maker Marius Petipa teamed with Tchaikovsky to create masterworks that still captivate the world. (See for yourself when you attend Colorado Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty.) Then, in the early 1900s, a troupe of brilliant Russian dancers and choreographers—including young Igor Stravinsky—left their homeland and brought ballet back to Paris, scandalizing the city with new works that mixed classic beauty with modern eroticism. Conclude this journey of danse with a semi-staged performance of Stravinsky’s Petrushka by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Performance tickets included. 10% discount to Ballet and Symphony subscribers.

Five sessions
Thur., 7–9 pm, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 2012
The Sleeping Beauty, Sat., 7:30 pm, Oct. 13,
Petrushka, Sat., 7:30 pm, Oct. 27,
Denver Performing Arts Complex

CRN 1108 / $205

Marc Shulgold, music journalist, concert lecturer, teacher. After working at the Los Angeles Times for 12 years, Marc became the first—and the last—music and dance writer at The Rocky Mountain News, covering the cultural scene throughout the region for nearly 22 years.

Call 303-871-2291 or 1-800-347-2042, or email

PPE 0186 - Music/Dance: Ballet's Jetés

Q&A with Colorado Ballet's Maria Mosina

Friday, September 21, 2012
What’s going on in the mind of a princess? We wanted to know, so we did a short interview with Maria Mosina, Principal Dancer at Colorado Ballet. She will dance as Princess Aurora in the upcoming performance The Sleeping Beauty, which opens October 5, 2012 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

1. What is it like dancing as the character Aurora?

Mosina: The character is coming on stage on her 16th year birthday, and then she is growing through the ballet. She is very interesting…in the first act she is such a girl and in the “visions” scene, she is more romantic and more calmed down, and the third is her wedding, and she is more like a queen.

2. What is the most challenging aspect about dancing as Aurora?

Mosina: It is a long ballet and there is three whole variations and two pas de deux, so it is hard for a ballerina to dance that much in the same evening.

3. Is there any difference in this season’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty than the last time you danced as Aurora?

Mosina: Yes, there are different versions of The Sleeping Beauty, there’s a Russian version and a Royal version. This year, it is similar the Royal version. There are different steps but pretty much same amount of variations and pas de deux.

4. What do you like most about this character?
Mosina: First of all, it’s a pure classical ballet and you have to be in good shape. And, the character she is so young, pure and fresh.

5. What’s your favorite dance in The Sleeping Beauty?

Mosina: I think my favorite dance is the rose adagio with the four suitors. The music is so beautiful and the steps are so beautiful.

6. What first got you into dancing/ ballet?

Mosina: Since I was a baby, I always liked to dance and was always moving…it is part of my body, soul.

7. You’ve been dancing with Colorado Ballet for a while now, what has made you stay?

Mosina: It’s my home, Colorado Ballet. I like the repertoire, I like the company dancers and I like our ballet mistresses. It’s the best place to be, work and to grow as a ballet artist.

8. Any advice for aspiring dancers?

Mosina: You have to work hard every day and you have to think about it every day, even at night. You just have to love it. 
Maria Mosina by Allen Birnbach
Colorado Ballet will present The Sleeping Beauty October 5-21, 2012 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.  For more information, visit


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