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Dancer Q&A: Tracy Jones

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

This is a Q&A with Colorado Ballet Corps de Ballet Dancer Tracy Jones.

  1. Where are you from?
    Cork, Ireland
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained at the Royal Ballet School in London. Before joining Colorado Ballet, I danced professionally with English National Ballet and Barcelona Ballet.
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I went to London to visit my family and then to Kentucky to visit my fiancee, Francisco Estevez's family.
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I started at 5. I remember being really happy that I got to wear pink and run around the room like a fairy!
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    Giselle at the Cork Opera House with Ballet Theatre Ireland. My Mom was playing the role of Giselle's mother so I got to go backstage afterwards and I remember being so starstruck meeting real ballerinas.
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    Darcey Bussel and Marianela Nunez from the Royal Ballet and Maria Kowroski and Wendy Whelan of New York City Ballet.
  7. Proudest moment in your ballet career?
    Dancing the lead in Angel Corella's String Sextet and performing Christopher Wheeldon's DGV at New York City Center.
  8. Favorite choreographer(s) you’ve worked with?
    Christopher Wheeldon
    Russell Ducker
  9. If you could get a lesson/class from anyone, it would be _______
    George Balanchine
  10. Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
    Make every movement count down to the last detail.
  11. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    Favorite to dance would be Swan Lake and La Bayadere.
    Favorite to watch Romeo and Juliet and Manon.
  12. Dream role?
    Manon or Juliet
  13. If you could never dance again, what would you want your final role to be?
    Manon
  14. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I run my own business- Tulips by Tracy Ballet Skirts, so I spend most of my free time with that. 
  15. What are some of your indulgences?
    Sushi and Chocolate, oh and Swedish Fish!
  16. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    I always like to make sure I have tested my shoes out on the stage before a performance but that’s it really.
  17. What production(s) are you most excited about this year?
    I am very excited about the whole season-Giselle is such a wonderful ballet to dance on stage and I have never done Cinderella before so it is going to be fun to be a part of. I haven't danced in The Nutcracker for a while as we didn't perform it in Spain which is where I have been for the past 5 Christmases so it will be nice to perform that again.
  18. What would you say to people who come to see the Colorado Ballet?
    Thank you for supporting us and I hope that you enjoy watching all of the very talented dancers here share this wonderful art form with you!
Tracy Jones by Francisco Estevez Photography

Interview with Adam Still about Giselle

Thursday, October 03, 2013


This video features rehearsal clips with Adam Still and Dana Benton.

Dancer Q&A: Morgan Buchanan

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

This is a Q&A with Colorado Ballet Corps de Ballet Dancer Morgan Buchanan.

  1. Where are you from?
    I was born in San Antonio, TX but I grew up in Houston.
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained with Gilbert Rome and Victoria Vittum for several years, as well as Houston Ballet for 2 years.
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I had a very relaxing break! I went to a lot of concerts, visited my parents, went to the beach, and spent a lot of time going out with my friends. I also nannied, which I really enjoy.
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I started dancing at 3, so I don't remember too much of the early years. I do remember loving being onstage from an early age.
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    I don't remember the first ballet I saw, but the first time I remember being truly inspired to be a professional was when I saw Nina Ananiashvili dance Kitri in a performance of Don Q at the Met. It was the first time I saw ABT live. I loved the energy of it all.
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    Wendy Whelan is a huge inspiration to me. I saw her in rehearsal at VIDF a couple of years ago, and I don't think I've ever been so moved! Lauren Anderson has also been an inspiration to me. When I was a kid and she was still a principal at Houston Ballet, I heard her talking about a key lime pie she was going to eat when she got home. It was refreshing to hear something so normal! She was always so nice and personable to those who looked up to her. I try to emulate that around young dancers as well.
  7. Proudest moment in your ballet career?
    The student matinee for Peter Pan. I had never danced a leading role with Colorado Ballet before, and the kids really loved the show! The applause was deafening. I was so happy that I had made a well known children's character come to life for them!
  8. Favorite choreographer(s) you’ve worked with?
    Val Caniparoli. He made a point of correcting everyone, even the understudies! He taught me a lot about contemporary movement even in the short time he was here.
  9. If you could get a lesson/class from anyone, it would be ________
    Probably Baryshnikov. He is a legend. I'd be so nervous!
  10. Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
    I've had a lot of great advice given to me. Most recently one of my mentors reminded me to always be humble and appreciate the opportunities I have been given!
  11. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    Theme and Variations has been my favorite ballet to dance so far. My favorite ballets to watch are Jiri Kylian's Petit Mort and John Cranko's Onegin.
  12. Dream role?
    Odile in Swan Lake
  13. If you could never dance again, what would you want your final role to be?
    I would want the role to be something that I had a deep emotional connection to.
  14. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I love hiking, cooking, and going to the movies at theaters like the Mayan, Esquire and Sie Center
  15. What are some of your indulgences?
    Happy hour, brunch, and iced americanos!
  16. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    Not really. I do obsessively pop my knuckles and yawn a lot out of nervousness before I go on stage.
  17. What production(s) are you most excited about this year?
    I'm very excited for Giselle. I've never seen or danced it before.
  18. What would you say to people who come to see Colorado Ballet?
    Enjoy! And come back to see us!

 

Morgan Buchanan by Francisco Estevez Photography

Dancer Q&A: Maria Mosina

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This is a Q&A with Colorado Ballet Principal Maria Mosina.

  1. Where are you from?
    Moscow, Russia
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, danced at Bolshoi Ballet – Grigorovich Ballet Company
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I had a family vacation in Sarasota Florida, and then I taught in Chicago in Salt Creek Ballet School at the Summer Intensive Program.  I also taught at Colorado Ballet’s Summer Intensive.
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    I knew I would be a professional dancer at 10 years old, I went to a professional Academy.  I remember in the 2nd grade, I performed La Fill Mal Garde on stage.  Only the students perform in that ballet and it was at the State Kremlin Palace.  I remember dancing with real makeup and costumes and when the curtain opened and I saw the audience, it took my breath away.  This was like a fairy tale.
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    I saw many of them on TV on national television, my first impression was of The Nutcracker.  The story is a little different story in Russia than here. It was closer to the original Hoffmann story.  The lead ballerina was Ekaterina Maximova. I saw a lot of performances; my mother took me to ballets like Cipollino with onions and tomatoes.  I also remember Giselle, Swan Lake and La Bayadère on television.
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    Ekaterina Maximova is my favorite ballerina.  I like some ballerinas in some ballets and some in others.  I can get inspiration from other ballerinas, depending what I’m watching.
  7. Proudest moment in your ballet career?
    There is always something new, and in that moment you are proud, so it is continuous.
  8. Favorite choreographer(s) you’ve worked with?
    This is hard to choose just one because each choreographer is unique.  You always find something new for yourself, for your body, for your soul and movements.  Working with a choreographer is like when you open a new book and you experience something new.
  9. If you could get a lesson/class from anyone, it would be ________
    I admire my Russian teachers, but I would love to have taken a class with Mr. Balanchine.  Definitely with someone from the past.
  10. Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
    You will become ballet dancer, ballet artist and the first part of your profession is to give happiness and joy to people.  This inspires me.
  11. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    It is hard to choose. To watch, everything classical.  To dance, you are always growing as a classical ballet dancer and you get to work with new choreographers and contemporary dances.  I like story ballets, but I also like to dance ballets like Balanchine where you are dancing something other than the story, like the music.  You can always find something enjoyable and loveable.  I just love to be on stage.
  12. Dream role?
    Once again, it is hard to choose.  For example, when I dance Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, I really get into the character, but I also love dancing ballets like Balanchine’s Theme & Variations, where you are really thinking about how you move.  Like Martha Graham technique is different, your muscles work differently with different techniques; you understand yourself and your body even more after dancing these kind of roles.
  13. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    I have a daughter and my first priority is to be a mother and I love spending time with her.  I love my family.  In this role of mother, it is very interesting and important to me.  It has helped me to rise to another level in my dance career.  You start to see the world in a different way when you become a parent.  You see the world differently.  It is my dream to someday dance with my daughter on stage.
  14. What are some of your indulgences?
    You have to treat yourself with healthy stuff because we have so many hours rehearsing.  Overall, I try to eat healthy and hydrate for high altitude and to take care of my muscles.  I take supplements to take care of my muscles, joints, and my body.
  15. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    You have to come earlier if you are dancing principal part, get makeup, hair done properly, and it can take two hours sometimes to prepare for a performance.  Then you have to warm up.  When you are doing the makeup, crown, hair, you start to get into the role.  Go to the stage, get into your shoes.  For contemporary stuff, you have to go through the steps, listen to music on your headphones.
  16. What production(s) are you most excited about this year?
    I am happy and glad to dance everything this season.  I don’t know how many times I have danced The Nutcracker, but I always find something different.  It is never perfection; you can always improve yourself for every production every year.  And, it is always exciting to dance something new.
  17. What would you say to people who come to see the Colorado Ballet?
    Audiences are different, some of them know the performances and they naturally get this form of art.  But for people who are not as used to it, I think every type of audience can find a program that will match their thoughts and wishes.  Everyone should come to see us.  Ballet is deeper, it is something exciting, and when you come to the theater you see there is more to it, especially with Giselle.  In Giselle, you see the philosophy of forgiveness and that love can save your life.

Maria Mosina rehearses Act II of Giselle

Interview with Francisco Estevez about Giselle

Monday, September 23, 2013


This video has rehearsal clips featuring artists of Colorado Ballet rehearsing Giselle.

Dancer Q&A: Chandra Kuykendall

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
This is a Q&A with Colorado Ballet Principal Chandra Kuykendall.
  1. Where are you from?
    Parker, CO
  2. Where did you train/dance before coming to Colorado Ballet?
    I trained at Colorado Ballet.
  3. What did you do with your summer break?
    I went to Paris, Amsterdam and London with my husband. We saw performances by Paris Opera Ballet and Royal Ballet School.
  4. What age did you first start dancing? What do you remember from your first class?
    Age 6. I don't remember my first class I just always remember dancing.
  5. What was your first ballet you remember attending? What do you remember about it?
    I think the first real ballet I attended I was in. A mouse in Colorado Ballet's The Nutcracker.
  6. Who are your ballet role models? Dancers that inspire you.
    My favorite ballerina is Altynai Asylmuratova from Kirov. Her technique and her artistry are so inspiring.
  7. Proudest moment in your ballet career?
    Being promoted to Principal.
  8. Favorite choreographer(s) you’ve worked with?
    Amy Seiwart, Jessica Lang, Edwaard Liang
  9. If you could get a lesson/class from anyone, it would be ________
    Asylmuratova
  10. Best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
    Don't give up.
  11. Favorite ballets to dance? Which are favorite to watch?
    To dance: Swan Lake, Giselle, Bruch Violin Concerto
    To watch: Swan Lake, Giselle, In the Middle Somewhat Elevated 
  12. Dream role?
    Odette/Odile - lucky to have danced
  13. If you could never dance again, what would you want your final role to be?
    I don't like this question but would probably be the Purple Girl in Bruch Violin Concerto
  14. What do you like to do when you aren’t dancing (your free time)?
    Spend time with my son and my husband.
  15. What are some of your indulgences?
    Vanilla ice cream.
  16. Do you have any pre-performance routines/rituals?
    Too many to list! I used to be worse, now most are out of habit and not superstition.
  17. What production(s) are you most excited about this year?
    Definitely Giselle. It was the first full length ballet I performed so it has a special place in my heart.
  18. What would you say to people who come to see the Colorado Ballet?
    Please come see us! We have a wonderful season ahead!

Chandra Kuykendall with her husband and son

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?
    Yes!
    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….
    LOL
    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

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 www.coloradoballet.org.

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