Nutcracker Children’s Cast auditions were held yesterday at the Rose Wagner Theatre. Cati Snarr along with Peter Christie, Heather Thackeray and several Ballet West Academy trainees made sure the event ran smoothly. Over four hundred children were in attendance and Ballet West’s artistic staff including Artistic Director Adam Sklute did the scoring from 9am until 6pm.
|Choreographer Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to dance, noted by critics for a unique movement language as well as a highly developed fusion of ideas, dance and design. Born in Brooklyn New York, Fonte started dancing at the age of 14. He studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York as well as at the San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet Schools while completing a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase. Upon graduation he danced with Peridance in NYC and later joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, dancing in the works of Balanchine, Tudor, Kudelka and Spaniard Nacho Duato. Fonte subsequently joined Duato’s Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid and forged a strong identity in the Spanish company for seven years – for both his dancing and his choreography. “En los Segundos Ocultos,” (“In Hidden Seconds”), one of three ballets Fonte made for the Spanish company, was hailed as a breakthrough work of great impact with the poetic vision of a mature artist and indeed this ballet established his presence on the European dance scene.
In 2000 Fonte retired from performing to devote himself full-time to his choreographic career. Since that time he has created or staged his ballets for The Dutch National Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stuttgart Ballet, The Australian Ballet, The Göteborg Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Washington Ballet, Ballett Mainz, Ballett Nürnberg, Ballet West, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, TANZ Ensemble Cathy Sharp, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet British Columbia and Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal.
Fonte received a Choo San Goh award for his 2002 collaboration with Pacific Northwest Ballet, “Almost Tango”, of which R.M.Campbell of the Seattle Post- Intelligencer wrote, “Fonte is a thinker, an architect who creates the new rather than reinvent the old. He is a master of manipulating space and creating relationships”
“Almost Tango” was also voted as one of Dance Europe’s “Best Premiere”s when it was re-staged for The Australian Ballet in 2004. His subsequent creation for the company, “The Possibility Space” premiered in Melbourne in September of 2008.
From 2002 to 2006 Nicolo enjoyed an ongoing creative partnership with The Göteborg Ballet in Sweden, creating and staging numerous works that helped establish the company’s distinct profile. While in Göteborg he created his first full-length ballet, based on the life of Tchaikovsky, which was widely acclaimed in the international press for Fonte’s marriage of narrative skill and a contemporary choreographic language. “Re: Tchaikovsky”appeared on the “Best of 2005″ lists of both Ballett-Tanz and Dance Europe. Fonte has also played an important role in the ongoing development of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as one of that company’s most popular guest choreographers. To date he has created six highly successful works for ASFB that have toured throughout the US and overseas – Jack Anderson, writing in The New York Times called Fonte “a choreographer worth knowing”when the company presented “Left Unsaid” at The Joyce Theater in 2005. ASFB continues to invest in their relationship with Nicolo Fonte with a planned seventh collaboration set for February of 2010.
Fonte continues to pursue a career that keeps him involved with some of the most dynamic companies on both sides of the Atlantic: in July of 2009 he premiered his first work for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, “Quiet Bang” and in September a second creation for Het Nationale Ballet in Holland, “Record of Joy”, both to glowing critical response. In the coming months, companies in the US performing work by Fonte include The Washington Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theater, which revives his hugely successful“Bolero” from 2008. Fonte’s work will be staged for the first time in Finland on The Finnish National Ballet in April of 2010 and the choreographer also returns to The Royal Ballet of Flanders for a fourth time this season; that creation will premiere in March.
Anne Mueller is here staging Nicolo Fonte’s BOLERO for INNOVATIONS 2011.
Anne Mueller received her training from the Washington School of Ballet and from Dame Sonia Arova at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She received additional training with The Kirov Academy, Houston Ballet Academy, the Joffrey Workshop and the School of American Ballet. Ms. Mueller joined OBT in 1996 after three seasons with the Alabama Ballet. During her time with the company, she has most recently danced featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Nicolo Fonte, James Kudelka, Trey McIntyre, Yuri Possokhov, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Stowell, Twyla Tharp and Christopher Wheeldon. During the summers of 2005-2007, Ms. Mueller toured nationally with the Trey McIntyre Project, also serving as the ensemble’s Managing Director from 2004 – 2006. Ms. Mueller’s choreography was selected for Ballet Builders 2009 and has been performed by Arova Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Victoria and the Alabama Ballet. Ms. Mueller holds the position of Artistic Coordinator at OBT and teaches in the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre.