Katlyn Addison and Alexander MacFarlan in BUT NEVER DOUBT I LOVE by Helen Pickett
Hello, everyone. My name is Katlyn Addison, and this is my second season with Ballet West. I previously danced with Houston Ballet for the past four years. I wanted to be a part of our blog because I thought most fellow bloggers might be interested in what goes through most ballerinas’ heads before the season starts.
If you’ve ever heard of the saying “eat, sleep, ballet” – well, its’ true! As dancers, many times we get caught up in our world. It’s actually similar to anyone who’s passionate about something they love; it can consume you.
For the past two months we’ve been on our summer break. For most of us, that means time to relax the body and soul, and keep the mind off of ballet and work. Personally, I like to take three weeks off of ballet and do hot yoga classes to keep up the flexibility and look of the long muscles. I know other dancers like to do more cardio. Beau Pearson, one of the dancers at Ballet West, said he likes to take at least three weeks off of dance so he can relax and just enjoy himself. I so agree in having time off during the summer to visit family, friends and enjoy yourself.
For most of us, coming back into work means getting our game face back on, realizing that my hips are going to hurt like crazy and that I’ve got to be ready to face the competition. My mind is racing: “I’ve got to take more classes, my toes are killing me, and I’ve only walked around in my house with my pointe shoes on”. We’ve got a week before the season starts and I know I’m not the only dancer worried about some things. Getting back in shape and maintaining that perfect body weight means my toes are going to hurt that first week back!
Eat, sleep, ballet – leaving the summer behind us and working our “derriere” off to get back in line!
Christopher Sellars and Arolyn Williams in BUT NEVER DOUBT I LOVE by Helen Pickett
Last week, Ballet West II was back in the studios rehearsing Pamela Robinson-Harris and Peggy Dolkas’ new Family Series and Christopher Ruud’s new work for the upcoming Gala. I got a chance to watch the company during the week; they are looking stronger than ever. New Ballet West II members include Mary Ann Scheafer from Memphis, Tennessee; Jordan Veit from Seattle, Washington; Kazlyn Nielsen from Provo, Utah; Logan Martin from Washington state; and Chase O’Connell from Virginia.
Ballet West II with their director Christopher Ruud
The current buzz these days has obviously been about Breaking Pointe, and we all want to know what’s happening with Rex and Allison after that last episode (I know, I’m freaking out too). However, there comes a time when I need to focus the buzz on other cool events we do, especially when I get to take pictures during them. On May 11th, Farasha Boutique put on a runway fashion show highlighting over twenty five local, domestic and international designers. For the fourth year, the dancers of Ballet West were the models struttin’ the runway. Below are pictures I took from the show.
Farasha is an avant-garde fashion boutique, featuring emerging fashion designers from around the globe. Farasha’s one-of-a-kind collections are an expression of the designers and their cultures. This boutique is an exhibit of fashion that offers clientele the rare opportunity to discover new clothing lines and shop eclectic collections from an array of modern designers. From exclusive clothing and handbags, to exquisite jewelry, it’s a whirlwind of fashion and style where no two collections are the same. Farasha’s clients will be able to experience a worldly perspective of design and fashion from amazingly talented designers – all under one roof.
You’ve seen them on stage, now see them behind the curtain! This month Ballet West will make its television debut in The CW’s highly-anticipated Breaking Pointe docudrama. We’re all so thrilled! Filmed during the 2011-2012 season, this show promises to captivate audiences with a behind-the-scenes view of life as a professional dancer.
The show is scheduled to premier Thursday May 31 at 7:00 PM (Mountain Standard Time) on The CW. (Channels 15 or 30 for the Salt Lake area. Episodes will also be rebroadcast each following Monday at the same time.) Casting producers for the show considered some 15 companies before settling on our very own Ballet West. The show focuses on the physicality and art of ballet, while highlighting the social interactions and drama that often accompany a tightly knit group of dancers.
(Image by Erik Ostling, via The Salt Lake Tribune website here.)
Visit The CW website here for show times, photos, videos, and dancer bios.
We may be featured on a TV show, but Ballet West is still a nonprofit arts organization. Help support the artists you love by donating here. Dancers will be notified of all donations made in their honor.
Meet the artistic director, Adam Sklute, and some of the highlighted dancers from the show in the interviews below.
Other videos can also be found on the CW’s Breaking Pointe website here, and YouTube channel here.
The first week of Innovations was received really well by the audience. I’m not surprised … all the ballets are “complete works” that are very well put together. If anyone hasn’t seen the show, we perform this Wednesday through Saturday. After this week the company goes on summer break (tear). By the way, if you miss us that badly, watch us on TV. Breaking Pointe will air on Thursdays throughout the summer on The CW, starting May 31st.
A studio filled with a bunch of ballet dancers around a camera doesn’t always result in pretty, balletic images. Every now and then I snap a photo displaying how much fun we have aside from dancing. So, I figured I would send these goofy pictures to the company and ask for a caption to match … hence, “Picture Caption Time!” Commenters, feel free to add to the fun.
Easton Smith & Michael Bearden
“So Mikey, about being third cast for school shows …” – Easton Smith
Easton (with a lisp): “Do you need a walrus, Mikey? Please let me play the walrus …”
Mikey: “Wait … do I need a walrus??? Let me think …” – Emily & Paige Adams
“Where did you put those pencils when they left your nose, Easton?” – Pam Robinson
“Typical.” – Allison DeBona
“Don’t show him attention. Don’t show him attention.” – Ronald Tilton
With the Emeralds program behind us, the company has only one week of rehearsals left before we go into the theater. This year’s Innovations will open with the extended version of Michael Bearden’s Decent. Two years ago, Michael choreographed the ten minute section of Decent, for Innovations, that will now conclude the forty five minute version of the ballet we will be dancing this year. Mikey has added a back story to his ballet that is based on true events from 1917, Russia.
Michael Bearden and Aidan DeYoung
The next piece in the program is a new work choreographed by Aidan DeYoung. This is Aidan’s second year choreographing for Innovations. I feel like Aidan has grown tremendously as a dancer these last two years. He’s found his own style which is evident in his choreography. Aidan’s ballet brings a lot of diversity to the program as his movement is very contemporary.
Easton Smith’s new ballet will follow Aidan’s on the bill. I think we’re all excited to see what Easton has to offer as this is his first year choreographing for Innovations. Emily Adams is the last in-house choreographer in the program. Emily created a voice for herself the first year she choreographed for Innovations and has only made her voice louder this year with her new work. This year Emily is using a recent graduate of the University of Utah’s music program to play the piano for her ballet.
The last ballet of the program will be Grand Synthesis choreographed by Susan Shields. Grand Synthesis is a a contrasting ballet, full of energy and serenity. We performed Grand Synthesis first for Innovations 2008, then this last summer in Wolf Trap, VA. For more information on Susan Shields, click here.
The Emeralds (George Balanchine) program lived up to its expectations. By the end of the program, Friday night, I was reminded why I am so lucky to do what I do. I took Christiana’s hand at the very end of Petite Mort (Jiri Kylian) and simply walked upstage as the curtain lowered. Immediately I felt a rush of energy shoot from the house as the patrons rose to their feet and cheered. Fellow dancer, Aidan DeYoung, gave me a hug after the show and said that we can check off doing Petite Mort (Jiri Kylian) from our list of things to do in life. I agreed … this ballet is what dancers around the world dream of performing.
Tonight was the final dress rehearsal and tomorrow is opening night of the Emeralds (George Balanchine) program! Also, The Little Mermaid (Pamela Robinson-Harris and Peggy Dolkas) opens this Saturday. Showtimes are 11:00 am and 2:00 pm this Saturday, April 14th and 7:00 pm Monday night, April 16th.
Below are pictures I took from the dress rehearsal last night.
Allison Debona in EMERALDS by George Balanchine (c) The George Balanchine Trust
Emily Adams and Adrian Fry in EMERALDS by George Balanchine (c) The George Balanchine Trust
Emily Adams and Alex MacFarlan in PETITE MORT by Jiri Kylian
Katlyn Addison and Christopher Sellars in PETITE MORT by Jiri Kylian
Michael Bearden and Katherine Lawrence in PETITE MORT by Jiri Kylian
Allison DeBona and Adrian Fry in PETITE MORT by Jiri Kylian
Elizabeth McGrath and Rex Tilton in PETITE MORT by Jiri Kylian
This week Sandra Jennings has been back in the studios finishing staging and cleaning Emeralds (Balanchine). Roslyn Anderson has also been here getting Petite Mort (Jiri Kylian) ready for the stage. Elena Kunikova will join us next week to make sure Paquita looks amazing on stage before opening night. Talk about a powerhouse group of women helping us look our best!
I’m extremely excited to get this program on the stage. Our schedule has been so demanding, I’ve hardly had any time to take pictures (sad face). Today I was able to snap some shots of Petite Mort (Jiri Kylian).