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Changes for Colorado Ballet


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#1 carbro

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 09:09 AM

From the company:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 17, 2007


COLORADO BALLET CONTINUES WITH STRATEGIC PLAN;
ANNOUNCES DANCER CHANGES AND ATTENDANCE FIGURES





DENVER- In accordance with three long-range goals outlined in its new strategic plan, Colorado Ballet has successfully completed the 2006-2007 season by continuing to attract new dancers, making efforts to ensure the present and future financial stability of the company and taking steps to grow its audiences.

Fresh on the heels of his first season with the company, which reached a tentative agreement with AGMA last month, Artistic Director Gil Boggs has completed filling dancer contracts for the 2007-2008 season. The new roster includes a streamlined ranking system (principal, soloist and corps de ballet), six new dancers and several promotions within the company:
  • Chandra Kuykendall, formerly soloist, has been promoted to principal.
  • Shunsuke Amma, Dana Benton and Sayaka Karasugi, formerly corps de ballet, have been promoted to soloist level.
  • Vyachesslav Buchkovsky of Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet, Harunaga Yamakawa of Nowa (Japan) Ballet Company, Christopher Ellis and Caitlin Valentine, both of Orlando Ballet and Kevin Gael Thomas and Antoine Pros, both of Houston Ballet II, will all join Colorado Ballet’s corps de ballet.
Additionally, principal dancer Koichi Kubo and his wife, company pianist Ritsuko Shinozuka Kubo are leaving Colorado Ballet to move to San Francisco, where he will dance with Smuin Ballet and where she has accepted a position as pianist with San Francisco Ballet School. Other departures include Cara Cooper, who will dance with the English National Ballet as well as Nathan VanderStoep and Hanae Seki. Principal dancer Maria Mosina will be on maternity leave when the 2007-2008 season begins and corps de ballet dancers Mio Kondo and Misha Bobchinsky were not re-engaged.

“Throughout the audition process, I was excited by the quality of dancers who contacted me,” said Boggs, who noted that the number of auditioners tripled in volume since the same time last year. “Along with the quality of our current dancers, I have been able to upgrade significantly with these new additions,” he said.

The conclusion of the 2006-2007 season revealed that 70,114 people attended Colorado Ballet productions.

“We’re somewhat disappointed with the numbers, especially given that we received some of the best reviews in the company’s history,” Snider said. She stated that several factors which likely contributed to the drop in attendance included the blizzard cancellations of two Nutcracker performances in December, competition from last fall’s “Lion King” production which was running at the Denver Performing Arts Complex at the same time as “Giselle,” and also what Snider says the company perceived as “a bit of a wait-and-see approach” to Boggs’ first season with Colorado Ballet.

Overall, Snider says that “Great progress has been made this year. In order for us to become the ‘best ballet company between the coasts,’ things had to happen in a certain order. The first step was to hire Gil. The second was to have a great season artistically. And now the focus is to grow the board. With great support from a number of community leaders, in the last 12 months, we have added 20 trustees and currently have 54.”

“As the season progressed, excitement did start to grow,” noted Snider, “People were seeking out information about next season during the intermissions at DANCE CREATIONS. That enthusiasm is palpable now and we’d like to continue that throughout next season.”


2007-2008 season tickets are now on sale and single tickets will be available July 16. Please call 303.837.8888 or visit the all-new www.coloradoballet.com for more information.

#2 dazedandconfused

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:33 PM

Wow! I remember Kevin Gael Thomas and Antoine from Houston last summer. Both very fine French dancers! :clapping:

#3 YouOverThere

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:04 PM

That sounds less than encouraging. IMHO, the CB had 4 dancers who could carry a show, and 2 of them won't be around next season, or at least for the first half. And I thought that Nathan VanderStoep did a pretty good job in supporting roles. Hopefully some of the new dancers will be really solid.

#4 Marga

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:14 AM

Hopefully some of the new dancers will be really solid.

When I heard that Caitlin Valentine and Christopher Ellis were leaving Orlando Ballet for Colorado Ballet, I assumed that she, at least, was being hired as a soloist. Caitlin, 21 years old, has danced principal roles in Orlando for years. Orlando is not a tiered company, but it is clear to the dancers and audience who the "principals" are, and Caitlin is one. She has an extremely lovely lyricism to her dancing, is a good actress and a solid technician. Caitlin is an absolutely wonderful dancer, so compelling to watch, with beautiful line, extension and flexibility, beautiful balances, and the ability to do standard showstopping tricks like 32fouettés (hers include doubles and triples). Christoper Ellis is a strong dancer, too, with great technique, ballon, turns, and stage presence. He is the danseur noble type, with perfect ballet line and dashing good looks. He is a desirable and secure partner, and he and Caitlin have performed together outside of Orlando Ballet many times. They are both assets to any ballet company anywhere. Colorado balletgoers are in for a treat.

Caitlin Valentine bio

Christopher Ellis bio

And here's a picture of the two of them at the 2006 USAIBC:

Caitlin and Christopher

#5 YouOverThere

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 08:21 AM

Overall, Snider says that “Great progress has been made this year. In order for us to become the ‘best ballet company between the coasts,’ things had to happen in a certain order. The first step was to hire Gil.”


Whether intended or not, this struck me as a slam on Martin Fredmann.

#6 fandango

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 05:32 PM

Overall, Snider says that “Great progress has been made this year. In order for us to become the ‘best ballet company between the coasts,’ things had to happen in a certain order. The first step was to hire Gil.”


Whether intended or not, this struck me as a slam on Martin Fredmann.


I think there are other possible interpretations.

Everyone knows how much Martin Fredmann gave to the Company. It would not be the company it is today had he not been there.

The goal now is, at the very least, to keep the Company performing; the "reach for the stars goal" is to be the "best ballet company between the coasts". As the current, and new, Artistic Director, Gil is the one on whom that hope is based. I am sure Gil knows that, as Martin's successor, he stands on the shoulders of those before him.

Why would anyone not want Gil, and the Company, to be successful? I wish them all the best of luck.


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