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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Ballet to challenge expectations

    Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is set to bring diversity and vigor to Centennial Hall Friday night, along with the hopes of changing common misconceptions about the world of ballet.

    Since its inception in 1990, the company, which now shares a home in Aspen, Colo., and Santa Fe, N.M., has been devoted to offering a diverse dance experience. Unlike many companies, whose repertoires often stem from a central choreographer, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet was established with the goal of incorporating pieces from different artists around the globe.  

    “”We are not a one-choreographer-based dance company,”” said Jean-Philippe Malaty, executive director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. “”We showcase the work of many different choreographers, so that provides for a very diverse evening of dance.””

    While it is considered a contemporary ballet company, the goals of diversity and eclecticism hold true as Aspen Santa Fe Ballet blends classical, sophisticated training with more modern movement.

    “”We work with the choreographers of our generation,”” Malaty said. “”And they of course are influenced by different styles of dance, like hip-hop, ballet and modern. So it’s really a mounting of all those dance forms.””

    Over the years, the ballet company has performed the works of numerous renowned choreographers including David Parsons, Lar Lubovitch, George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian and the UA’s Sam Watson, who now serves on the faculty of the School of Dance. 

    Friday’s concert will be no exception to the company’s devotion to delivering an energetic and vibrant show, bringing both American and European influences to the stage. The performance will include selections from such artists as Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe and Nicolo Fonte, as well as a work by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo. 

    The choreography’s accompanying musical scores also emphasize the varied style of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s repertoire. With musical genres ranging from classical composer Antonio Vivaldi to the early jazz rhythms of Fats Waller, the versatility of the company’s dancers will be on display.

    “”(The show) is going to break the misconception people have of what ballet is or should be,”” Malaty said. “”Ballet is a living art form and it’s developing and always changing, and we want to showcase that.””

    The Centennial Hall stage is a special venue for one of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s 10 dancers. Seia Rassenti, who is in her first season with the company, began her training at the Tucson Regional Ballet School and will be making her home debut Friday night.

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