Colorado Ballet presents Swan Lake - video featuring Principal Chandra Kuykendall.
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
With live music by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra
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Colorado Ballet opens its 56th season with 11 performances of the romantic classic Swan Lake, October 7-23, 2016 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic score performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.
Swan Lake features the original choreography after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, set and updated by former American Ballet Theatre principals Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner and Sandra Brown, Ballet Mistress for Colorado Ballet. Complete with grand sets and elaborate costumes, Colorado Ballet’s Swan Lake stays true to the traditional choreography, with an original waltz in the first act and a new fourth act that premiered in 2008.
“Presented in four acts with two intermissions, Colorado Ballet’s production has the traditional elements that die-hard Swan Lake lovers will enjoy, while adding a few new elements that premiered in 2008 to keep the choreography fresh and vibrant,” said Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet Artistic Director. “For example, most versions of Swan Lake feature a fourth act, but this version features unique choreography in the fourth act that is absolutely brilliant.”
The ballet tells the story of Prince Siegfried, who falls in love with Odette, a beautiful princess cursed by the evil Baron Von Rothbart. Unless the curse is broken by a royal marriage vow, Odette is doomed to forever spend her days as the Swan Queen. The sorcerer and his daughter Odile, work together to destroy their romance in this classical ballet masterpiece.
According to Boggs, Swan Lake will feature some of the greatest acting audiences will see during a ballet performance, with the lead female dancers portraying both Odette, the princess turned into a swan, and Odile, the evil black swan. “This feat is extremely challenging both psychologically and physically,” said Boggs. “In addition to the stunning choreography, Colorado Ballet’s Swan Lake is huge in size and scope. At one point during the ballet, we will have 27 swans on stage at the same time. The grandeur of this ballet will leave you speechless and it cannot be missed.”
Ticket prices range from $30 to $155. To purchase tickets, visit www.coloradoballet.org or call 303-837-8888 ext. 2.
Attitude on Santa Fe will take place September 23 and 24 at the Colorado Ballet Black Box Theater. Visit coloradoballet.org for more information.
Colorado Ballet’s second season of Attitude on Santa Fe will feature three new ballets choreographed and performed by Colorado Ballet dancers on September 23 and 24 in the Black Box Theater at the Armstrong Center for Dance, 1075 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO. The September 23 Attitude will only include the performance and the September 24 Attitude will include a catered dinner that features a three course meal and wine prior to the performance. The choreographers for the September Attitude on Santa Fe include Principal dancer Domenico Luciano, Soloist dancer Kevin Gaël Thomas and Corps de Ballet dancer Tracy Jones.
"We are extremely excited to present the second season of Attitude on Santa Fe,” said Gil Boggs, Colorado Ballet Artistic Director. “The first season of Attitude was extremely successful and the audience response was overwhelmingly positive. Patrons in the two sold out performances last season enjoyed watching new, innovative ballets created by emerging choreographers from within the Company in our Black Box Theater. Due to the popularity of Attitude last season, we will offer two performances in September and two performances with different works in March this season.”
Luciano’s new work, Sirens highlights the power of women by featuring strong, Amazon-like warrior-princess characters. The ballet includes seven women and three men exploring the partnering technique; but it is not just the men who partner in Luciano’s ballet. The songs featured are “Placidetti Zefiretti” and “Alto Giove,” from the opera Polifemo. A countertenor sings the music and according to Luciano, even though it is a male voice, it sounds very feminine, which reinforces the strong female theme and demonstrates that women can be just as strong as men.
Thomas’ new ballet is called Riviera and is an homage to the tragedy that occurred in Nice in July. As a native of France, Thomas wanted to tell the story of young people traveling to the French Riviera. The people first arrive by train, discover and explore the city, visit the beach by boat, and then visit the club. The dancers wander the streets of Nice, then go to watch the fireworks on July 14, Bastille Day. The atmosphere is joyous and festive, when all of a sudden a white truck makes its way to the Promenade de Anglais and drives through the panicked crowd. “We all know the dramatic ending, but what we must remember is the solidarity and unity that came out of this tragedy,” said Thomas. “This ballet is love and compassion to the ones who left us that night.” The music is “Easy” by Son Lux, “Damas” by Fakear, “La Malinche” by Feu Chatterton and “Sarajevo” by Max Richter.
Jones’ new work is called Circadian and was inspired by three pieces of music; one by Max Richter and two by Philip Glass. According to Jones, all three pieces have a very repetitive structure, which she interpreted as mirroring the passing of time. Her ballet includes six dancers; three ladies and three men; and the dancers explore different groupings including duets, trios, solos, and using all six dancers together. “You cannot control how quickly or slowly time goes,” said Jones. “The ongoing rhythm consistently stays the same, however you can control how you as a human being move through time from day to day. I am excited for the opportunity to share my first professional choreographic work with a new audience in September.”
“All of our Company members are given the opportunity to choreograph new works for Attitude and we are thrilled to present the first Attitude ballet choreographed by one of our female dancers,” said Boggs. “Presenting new works in an intimate setting was one of our goals, along with the creation of new works, which will keep the art form alive. These performances give our dancers the opportunity to explore their creativity through the creation of new choreography and additional performance opportunities outside of our main performance season.”
The doors will open at 7 p.m. on September 23 and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. The cost for the performance is $25. For the September 24 event with dinner and the performance, doors open at 6 p.m., dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $85. Seating is limited for both events. To register, visit www.coloradoballet.org/events.
Colorado Ballet plans to host another Attitude on Santa Fe with different works in March 2017.
Ever wonder where the stars of Book of Mormon and The Nutcracker go when they’re not onstage? What secret passages do the actors follow to find their way on stage? Let your curiosity lead the way and experience a behind-the-scenes look at the Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC)!
Join DPAC resident companies Colorado Ballet, Opera Colorado, Colorado Symphony and Denver Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday September 10 for an exclusive backstage crawl of the WHOLE complex. Enjoy brunch bites before you depart and mingle with other young arts lovers to discuss your favorite part of the tour.
Cost: $20 - Enter password tasteballet to access Colorado Ballet's exclusive ticket price (tickets are normally $25). Click here to purchase tickets.
Colorado Ballet Artistic Director Gil Boggs promoted Corps de Ballet dancers Morgan Buchanan and Kevin Gaël Thomas to Soloists. In addition, Boggs promoted two Studio Company dancers to Apprentices, for a total of 30 professional Company dancers for the 2016-2017 season.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all our Colorado Ballet dancers and I’m also excited about the roster changes for this coming season,” said Boggs.
About Morgan Buchanan
Originally from Houston, Texas, Morgan Buchanan trained at the Ballet Center of Houston and at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy. She also attended summer programs with American Ballet Theatre, Orlando Ballet and Houston Ballet. She joined Colorado Ballet’s Studio Company in 2009, was promoted into the Company in 2011 and promoted to Soloist in 2016. Her notable roles with Colorado Ballet include Wendy in Michael Pink’s Peter Pan, Vitality Fairy and Jewels in The Sleeping Beauty, Moyna in Giselle, Autumn Fairy and Fairy Godmother in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, First Passerby in Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, and Effie in La Sylphide.
|Morgan Buchanan by Allen Birnbach
About Kevin Gaël Thomas
Kevin Gaël Thomas is from France and studied at Rosella Hightower’s International Ballet Center and at Canada’s National Ballet School. After graduation, he danced for a year with Houston Ballet II, joined Colorado Ballet in 2007 and was promoted to Soloist in 2016. His notable roles at Colorado Ballet include Fritz, Russian and the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker, Blue Bird and Jewels in The Sleeping Beauty, the Whip Boy in Glen Tetley’s The Rite of Spring, Jester in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Peter in Michael Pink’s Peter Pan, Puck in Christopher Wheeldon's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the title role in Michael Smuin’s Peter and the Wolf, the first sailor in Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, and Gurn in La Sylphide.
|Kevin Gaël Thomas by Allen Birnbach
Boggs also promoted Regan Kucera and Tyler Rhoads to Apprentices in the Company. Kucera and Rhoads had both danced with the Studio Company for the last two seasons. Kucera studied at International Ballet Academy in Cary, NC and at summer programs at American Ballet Theatre New York, Orlando Ballet and Saratoga Springs. Rhoads is from Midland, TX and trained at Midland Festival Ballet, the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL, and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
|Regan Kucera by Francisco Estevez Photography
|Tyler Rhoads by Francisco Estevez Photography|
In addition to the new Company dancers, 22 Studio Company dancers will join the professional Company dancers this season for the productions at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Colorado Ballet's Studio Company is a pre-professional training opportunity for dancers with the potential and desire to become professional dancers.
Colorado Ballet’s Company dancers will perform at An Evening under the Stars on August 20 at the Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheater. The Company will officially open the 2016-2017 season with Swan Lake on October 7 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
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