This ballet won’t bore | SummitDaily.com
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This ballet won’t bore

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
Special to the DailyThe Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, a company based in Aspen which also performs in Santa Fe, N.M., performs a varied repertoire this weekend at the Riverwalk Center.
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BRECKENRIDGE – If the word “ballet” elicits sleepy visions of sugarplum fairies, it’s time to wake up. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet plans to rouse audiences with a carnival of movement this week.As part of its repertoire, the ballet company performs Twyla Tharp’s “Sinatra Suite,” which she choreographed for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Elaine Kudo in 1984. To date, she only has allowed three other dance companies in the world to perform it, which speaks highly of the quality she sees in the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.She sent Kudo to Aspen to teach it to the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in June.

“I love teaching it,” Kudo said, “and this company is going to be great. I know what (Twyla) wants, what the standard is.”The piece couples a classical ballet foundation with modern ballroom movements, which fits in with the dance company’s philosophy: All dancers must be classically trained in ballet to perform.”The directors are very particular about the dancers they accept,” said Brigitte Center, marketing director for the ballet. “They have to be classically trained but very versatile, and that’s reflective in the repertoire we offer.”A lot of modern companies can do modern dance, but they don’t use classically trained ballet dancers. Our dancers have trained for 20 years, and they have the body structure. A step is a step, but if you have a ballerina doing it, she brings an elegance to it that’s aesthetic. It just looks more refined.”

Bebe Schweppe formed the company in 1995, and since then it has established itself as one of America’s leading contemporary dance companies, making its New York City debut at the Joyce Theater. This year, it performs overseas for the first time this year; it will be the only American company dancing at one of the international festivals in France.Though the 11 dancers live and train in Aspen, they perform slightly more in Santa Fe, N.M. Normally, they present two winter concerts, one spring concert and one summer concert in both locations – plus one fall concert in Santa Fe. They train eight hours a day, six days a week.This weekend, they perform at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge with three pieces that range in tone and choreography.

“We like each piece to be a 20-minute repertoire that takes you to one place and another piece that takes you to a different tone and feel,” Center said. “It opens with a fun, light, playful piece called Company B by Paul Taylor. Twyla’s piece is performed to Bach music. It’s moodier, but it’s also beautiful.” The company performs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For tickets or more information about workshops it presents this week, call (970) 547-3100.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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