The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet graces the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre stage Nov. 10. (Sharen Bradford photo)

Jewel dance company steps onto Okanagan stage

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet brings talents to town

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will grace the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is the second performance in the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society’s 2019/20 SPOTLIGHT Dance Series.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s bold vision – top global choreographers, distinctive ground-breaking repertoire, and virtuoso dancers – has fostered a jewel of a dance company in the American West. A European sensibility glossed with American ebullience forges Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s aesthetic, as the company has come to epitomize the contemporary-classical genre. This evening’s repertoire includes Where We Left Off, Dream Play, and 1st Flash.

Where We Left Off by commissioned choreographer, Nicolo Fonte, uses solo piano music by Philip Glass to create a beautiful classical piece that is a reflection of his time working with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet over the last decade.

“There is no narrative, no plot, nothing to interpret,” Fonte told The Aspen Times. “I really tried to it make it just about the dancing – and what it means to dance alone, together, to dance as part of a group.”

Dream Play, created by choreographer, Fernando Melo, throws tradition and convention aside as dancers move across the floor of the stage while a projector casts their image from above. Surreal and captivating, Dream Play is a theatrical experience that appears dreamlike and weightless, as the dancers challenge the audience’s preconceived notion of “classical contemporary” dance.

Finally, 1st Flash, by choreographer Jorma Elo, illuminates the Vernon stage for the second time as an audience favourite. In this piece, Elo rejects the usual form of storytelling ballet and focuses on dance as a sensory experience. The work is athletic, blending non-traditional ballet movements with elegant lifts, while challenging the audience to see contemporary ballet in a new form.

ASFB’s mission places highest priority on developing new dance works and nurturing relationships with emerging choreographers. The company fostered the early careers of now in-demand global dance makers like Nicolo Fonte (nine commissioned Fonte works in the ASFB repertoire), Jorma Elo (three commissioned Elo works), Fernando Melo, Helen Pickett, Cayetano Soto, Alejandro Cerrudo, and others. “We value building relationships with choreographers who become integral to the company. The natural beauty of our surroundings has a profound impact on creativity. Our choreographers find it inspiring to create here,” says Tom Mossbrucker, ASFB’s Artistic Director.

Tickets for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are $45 for adults, $42 for seniors and $40 for students and can be purchased now through the Ticket Seller Box Office by calling 549-SHOW (7469) or online at www.ticketseller.ca.

READ MORE: Karen Kain to retire from National Ballet of Canada

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Bowman jazzes up set list for Vernon


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