New York City Ballet Ballerina Maria Calegari returned today to put CHACONNE on the stage. With Maria came former Ballet West dancer, New York City Ballet star and husband Bart Cook! I saw them both dance hundreds of times with New York City Ballet and never imagined I would some day work in the studio and theatre with them. They were very generous with us at Ballet West and gave us many wonderful pointers. We are lucky to have them here to put the finishing touches on Mr. Balanchine’s masterpiece before you see it on the gala.
They also graciously fulfilled my request to bring pictures!
Maria Calegari in Balanchine’s ‘Mozartiana’
Maria Calegari in Balanchine’s ‘Vienna Waltzes’
Tracy Bennett, Bart Cook, Bruce Caldwell in Trepak from Ballet West’s ‘The Nutcracker’
Bart Cook in Balanchine’s ‘Agon’
Today was the first day on stage. The rehearsal involved a lot of staging and we mostly worked with Tony and Emmy Award winning set and costume designer Tony Walton’s glorious ship. The ship is one of the many stars of THE TEMPEST.
Ballet West 2 will present a world premiere by former Ballet West and Dutch National Ballet dancer Heather Gray. “Dissolution” will have its first performance on November 1 when Ballet West 2 participates in Ballet West’s 08 Gala. Performance tickets can be bought separately from gala event tickets so anyone can see this performance!
Whitney Huell and Robert Goodman
Adrian Veloz and Jenna Herrera
Ballet West 2
Today was Evelyn’s last day with us for rehearsals. Her teaching and coaching for THE TEMPEST were incomparable. She will be greatly missed. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that she’ll come back for the company premiere!
Evelyn with Artistic Director Adam Sklute Evelyn with Christopher Ruud
Sheryl LeFavi, Christiana Bennett and Evelyn
Evelyn with members of Ballet West
I hope you enjoy these shots from rehearsals of Twyla Tharp’s ‘Brief Fling’, Ben Stevenson’s ‘Three Preludes’ and Michael Smuin’s ‘The Tempest’.
Christopher Ruud, Christopher Anderson, Christopher Ruud
Christopher Sellars, Thomas Mattingly and Jason Linsley
Josey Silva, Megan Furse, Romi Beppu and Christopher Ruud
Kate Crews, Romi Beppu
Sara Webb and Beau Pearson
Jason Chinea and Jason Linsley
Jason Linsley and Megan Furse
Jennifer Robbinson, Josey Silva, Jason Chinea and Members of Ballet West
Stephanie Fenz, Aidan DeYoung, Aaron Orlowski, Kate Crews and Members of Ballet West
Sara Webb, Christopher Ruud, Christopher Sellars and Members of Ballet West
Adam Sklute and I had the pleasure of working with Ballet West’s mega gorgeous Ballerina Christiana Bennett this past week on a solo from Gerald Arpino’s KETTENTANZ which she will perform on our Gala November 1st. Let me know what you think!
Evelyn Cisneros, Prima Ballerina of San Francisco Ballet has been with us to work on “The Tempest”. How appropriate is that? She after all created the role of Miranda in Michael Smuin’s enchanting full length ballet. Who better for Adam Sklute to bring in than Michael Smuin’s muse? Also, something wonderful for you Ballet West Blog readers to know, she has been working with Christopher Ruud, the son of her original Ferdinand, Tom Ruud!
Evelyn teaching company class.
Evelyn coaches Annie Breneman and guest artist Sara Webb
Evelyn Cisneros coaches guest artist Sara Webb and Christopher Ruud, son of her original partner in The Tempest.
Evelyn Cisneros and Tom Ruud – The original Miranda and Ferdinand.
On Friday, after three very hard weeks of work guest choreologist Steven Woodgate from Houston Ballet led the company in our first run-through of Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s “Madame Butterfly”. I can’t wait to see this very moving ballet on stage!
Christiana Bennett, Christopher Ruud, Jason Linsley, Nathaniel King, Peggy Dolkas, Jason Chinea
Christopher Ruud, Romi Beppu, Owen Gaj and Aidan DeYoung
Christiana Bennett and Members of Ballet West
Hua Zhuang, Romi Beppu, Christopher Anderson and Members of Ballet West
Christopher Ruud and Romi Beppu
Romi Beppu, Jennifer Robinson, Elizabeth Murphy and Members of Ballet West
Victoria Lock and Members of Ballet West
Intermission Antics – Starring Allison DeBona, Peggy Dolkas, Silver Barkes and Josey Silva
Peggy Dolkas, Christiana Bennett, Romi Beppu and Christopher Ruud
Please consider supporting Ballet West by participating in the Ballet West Opportunity Drawing. O.C. Tanner is again donating marvelous jewelry for the opportunity drawing: a Favero aquamarine and diamond white gold necklace with matching earrings valued at $10,750. Opportunity drawing tickets are a suggested donation of $100 for one ticket or $500 for six tickets. Although you need not be present to win, the lucky winner will be announced at the Ballet West Gala on Saturday, November 1, 2008.
To secure your opportunity drawing ticket you may contact Ashlee Christofferson at 801-323-6917 or online at www.balletwest.org. Only 300 tickets will be issued so do not miss the chance to win this amazing jewelry and to support Ballet West.
As early as 7am five days a week for the past two weeks, all ten Ballet West 2 artists (two teams) met up with either Maggie Wright-Tesch, Jeff Rogers or Cati Snarr (the team leaders), boarded one of two vans and drove to a public school to perform for Utah Public School children, over twenty eight thousand children! The teams arrived at the school, unloaded the heavy roles of marley (floor), the sound equipment, the ballet barre and costumes. After setting everything up on a stage or gymnasium floor they warmed up and then began the forty five minute show- “Ballet West For Children and The Sleeping Beauty”. As soon as the show was done they packed up, drove to another school to repeat the process. Many days they went on to a third school! “Ballet West For Children and The Sleeping Beauty” not only entertains with a mini version of “The Sleeping Beauty”, but it also teaches the audience about how ballet dancers work and how a ballet company runs. Ballet Pantomime is explained with demonstrations, pointe shoes – how they are constructed and how much they cost, history of classical ballet and on stage teaching of children from the audience are all part of the performance.
Cati Snarr, Lindsay Duerfeldt discuss pointe shoes.
Stephen, Robert, Whitney, Kaleigh and Sarah take barre.
Robert shows the boys how to do a double tour en l’ air and then they try it alone.
Robert, Whitney, Kaleigh, Stephen and Sarah in performance.
*All photos by Peter Christie.