On Sunday, March 28th at City Center in midtown Manhattan, hundreds of dancers from all over the country and beyond took class in hopes of snagging a rare spot, a company position with Ballet West.
Dancers fill the 5th floor City Center studio and warm up for class
The Salt Lake audition will take place this Saturday. Check the homepage of this website for further details.
Today began this season’s final round of run outs for our education and outreach program BALLET WEST FOR CHILDREN: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY. Peter Christie, Cati Snarr and Jeff Rogers headed one group each of dancers from Ballet West 2 and the Ballet West Academy Trainee program. Each group has been booked to perform at two or three schools each morning, The dancers arrive, unpack the dance floor, costumes and sound equipment. Then they warm up, perform the show and pack everything up to drive to another school to do another show. It is a grueling schedule but it builds great strength in the dancers and delights and educates young school students.
Today Peter Christie arrived back at Ballet West headquarters from his group’s shows to find a wonderful email of appreciation from a public school Principal.
“To Whomever is in charge of your public school outreach program:
May I just say that Peter Christie and his young group of dancers who visited Gramercy Elementary School in Ogden today were absolutely delightful! They were punctual and professional, and presented a program that kept 550 6-to-12-year-olds spellbound for nearly an hour. The program was tailored very well to the needs and interests of our students’ ages, and although this is not the type of program that they are likely to see anywhere else, they couldn’t have enjoyed it more. We are a pretty tough inner-city school, and I crossed my fingers that we would be able to keep all of the students interested and on their best behavior, but I shouldn’t have worried. The explanations, demonstrations, and the dance itself kept every student (and adult) captivated for the entire time.
Everything about the program was positive, and Mr. Christie and the dancers were so polite and friendly to everyone. There were lots of pirouettes and jetes in the playground today, and I know of more than a few students who now have a whole new idea of what they can aspire to. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time and effort to come up to Ogden to see us.
Becky Hale, Principal Gramercy Elementary School”
For further information about BALLET WEST FOR CHILDREN: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY and our other education and outreach programs please click on “Education & Outreach” at the top red menu of our Ballet West homepage or contact Peter Christie at Ballet West.
On Thursday evening March 18th, Ballet West participated in a fund raiser at The Salt Lake Arts Center. Ballet West 2 performed along with members of the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera in a benefit for the Utah Symphony/Opera. In the auditorium, members of the Utah Symphony performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major, members of the Opera performed selections from their current production of “The Italian Girl From Algiers” and then guests adjourned to the lower art gallery where members of Ballet West 2 performed my “Volta Variations”.
Ballet West 2 members Jamie Lynn Schultz and Trevor Naumann in "Volta Variations"
Joffrey Ballet Star Calvin Kitten is in town for a week. Artistic Director Adam Sklute and Academy Director Peter Christie have taken advantage of his presence in SLC and engaged Calvin to teach as many as ten classes. Calvin taught at the Academy, for the Trainee Program, for Ballet West 2 and today he’ll teach Ballet West company class.
Here are 2 pictures of Calvin Kitten’s ballet class for BW2 yesterday.
Calvin Kitten teaches Ballet West 2 class. Katherine Hein in the foreground.
Calvin Kitten, Henry Philofsky in Ballet West 2 class.
Victoria Simon was one of the first dancers selected by George Balanchine to re-stage his ballets. In 1965, recognizing her talent for learning roles quickly, Mr. Balanchine asked her to stage The Nutcracker in Cologne, Germany.
Now, as Ballet Mistress for the George Balanchine Trust, she has staged over 25 of the master’s ballets for more than 80 companies on every continent in the world. Her love for the ballets and respect for the choreography are evident in her stagings. With her eye for detail and her emphasis on musicality, she is one of the most sought after and respected re-creators of George Balanchine’s masterpieces.
Ms. Simon began her study of ballet in New York City at the School of American Ballet and was a Candy Cane in Balanchine’s original production ofThe Nutcracker. She became an apprentice with the New York City Ballet at the age of 17, and a few months later, two days after her 18th birthday, she was invited to join the company. She went on to become a soloist before taking on the challenging role as Balanchine’s representative around the world . She is also in great demand as a teacher of the Balanchine style and technique.
Former New York City Ballet soloist and long time stager of Balanchine ballets Victoria Simon will begin teaching Ballet West Balanchine’s 1957 Stravinsky ballet AGON today.
Original Cast Members: Diana Adams and Arthur Mitchell
Diana Adams and Arthur Mitchell in the pas de deux from AGON
Two pictures from the first Stars and Stripes rehearsal.
Brittany Petersen, Elizabeth Weldon, Elizabeth McGrath, Gabriella Hayes Moore, Josey Silva nd Kate Crews
Artists of Ballet West
We start Agon with Vicky Simon on Monday!
Elyse Borne is in the studio these days staging Balanchine’s 1958 ballet STARS AND STRIPES.
Elyse Borne began her dance training in her native Los Angeles and finished at the School of American Ballet in New York. As a recipient of a Ford Foundation scholarship, she joined the New York City Ballet where she danced for more than 13 years, being promoted to Soloist. She performed numerous principal roles in ballets by Balanchine and Robbins and shared a debut in the Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov. During this time, she also made several television appearances and traveled on concert tours with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Martins, Suzanne Farrell, Edward Villella, Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefous. She served as Ballet Mistress for the Miami City Ballet for eight years and San Francisco Ballet for six years. Currently she devotes herself full-time to staging ballets nationally and internationally on behalf of the George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins Trusts, and additional works by Hans van Manen and Helgi Tomasson. She has staged ballets at the Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Central Ballet of China, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Ballet Nacional de Danza (Mexico), Alberta Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and many others.
“Here’s a sneak peek at the 2010 entries for Shoe-In that debuted in the lobby of the Capitol Theater during the run of Swan Lake. This year we received shoes that were done in a wide range of mediums like polymer clay, wood, and glass– as well as photography and a video installation. It’s an exciting collection of work and really pushed the boundaries (while raising the “barre”). We are also happy to feature Shoe-In entries from VAI, the Visual Art Institute. These are paintings done by students from grade school up using the ballet shoes themselves as brushes. All Shoe-In entries are on sale (two have already sold!) and will be on view again during the run of Balanchine’s America. All proceeds go to Ballet West. Shoe-In is sponsored by the Ballet West Ambassadors.
Visual Art Institute
Visual Art Institute
For Christopher Renstrom