Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Returns to The Joyce Theater 2/22-27

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Returns to The Joyce Theater 2/22-27

Returning next month for a week-long season, the highly acclaimed Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will present a program of three works, including two NYC premieres, at The Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Avenue at 19th street) from February 22 - 27. To purchase tickets, please call JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 or visit www.Joyce.org.

Under the direction of Jean-Philippe Malaty and Tom Mossbrucker, formerly of the Joffrey Ballet, the fifteen-year old Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) has achieved a distinguished level of maturity and maintains a sophisticated repertory that belies its young age. During this 2011 Joyce engagement, the company's fifth, ASFB performs an exhilarating program of three contemporary dances exemplifying its commitment to commissioning groundbreaking work by both world renowned and emerging choreographers.

The program includes the east coast debut of Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto and his stunning new ballet Uneven, set to a cello score by David Lang performed live by cellist Kimberly Patterson. ASFB is the only American company to commission and present Soto's work. Also on the program: the New York premiere of Red Sweet, the company's signature piece set to music by Vivaldi and Biber, created by the celebrated Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo and commissioned by ASFB; and Stamping Ground, a rarely seen work by master choreographer Jiri Kylian with music by Carlos Chavez. This one-week season is an opportunity to discover the company whose sophisticated style and refreshing repertoire make it a leader in the next generation of American contemporary ballet.

Performances at The Joyce Theater are Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday-Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm. Dance Chat, a free post-performance talkback with the artists, will take place on Wednesday, February 23, and is open to all attending that evening's performance. Tickets range from $10-$49 ($10-$37 for Joyce members) and are available by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 or at www.Joyce.org. Please note: Ticket prices are subject to change.

The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street

ABOUT ASPEN SANTA FE BALLET

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's founder, Bebe Schweppe, was visionary when, in 1996, she invited Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty to create a company that residents in the Aspen valley could call their own. Initially based solely in Aspen, Colorado, a second home for the company was created in 2000 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In sync with the world-class artistic activities in each of these beautiful communities, ASFB has helped strengthen the cultural fabric of both cities.

With its sophisticated repertoire and broad appeal, combined with a successful blend of entertaining and engrossing contemporary dance, ASFB is one of the great success stories in American dance today. Audiences locally, nationally, and internationally have embraced this vibrant company on stellar stages such as The Joyce Theater in New York City, the famed Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago, and in foreign venues including Canada, France, Italy, Greece and Guatemala.

Over the years, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has grown to become a multi-faceted entity, as both an internationally recognized dance company and one of the largest dance presenters in the country. As the company travels to cities far and wide, ASFB also presents leading dance companies at home in Aspen and Santa Fe throughout the year. The umbrella of ASFB extends equally to education. With a thriving dance school and an award winning Mexican folk dance outreach program, ASFB serves over 500 children in Colorado and New Mexico. In 2010, ASFB directors Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty were honored by The Joyce Theater Foundation in New York City for creating this innovative model for an American dance institution.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet appeals, with its adventurous repertoire and the inspiring landscapes of its home communities, as a gathering place for the finest dancers and choreographers in the world. Never forgetting its deep roots in the creative and historic wealth of these majestic and awe-inspiring communities, the organization remains deeply committed to expanding and enriching the world of dance. With its fusion of classical good sense and western ingenuity, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet blends the best of both worlds to create a dance company that is truly unique.

Bebe Schweppe, Founder, grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and started dancing at the Georgia Dance Theatre, under Frankie Levy at the age of seven. She was invited by Robert Joffrey to study at his school in New York on a full scholarship at age eleven. Bebe moved to Aspen in 1975 and fifteen years later founded the Aspen Ballet School. Her presence was a catalyst in the region. In 1996, she invited Jean-Philippe Malaty and Tom Mossbrucker to develop a small professional company in Aspen. Through their combined energies, the Aspen Ballet Company was born a year later. Shortly after, new performing opportunities beckoned in Santa Fe, upon which the company was renamed Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Bebe speaks with pride when she considers the changes that have occurred over the years to her "baby". "The Company has evolved to having earned a name of its own - ASFB. What a treat! It is recognized by other artists and respected by all. This is of course due in large part to Jean-Philippe and Tom." She cites that "their strength has been in their unique ability to perceive and design a repertoire that entertains all parts, whether it's the audience or the dancer." Tom and Jean-Philippe have "greatly succeeded" in realizing her dreams for the company, she says. "I am thankful that I had the dream and was lucky and persistent enough to convince JP and Tom to relocate from New York City. Never did I imagine that one day the company would be performing nationally and internationally and never did I imagine that one day they would be performing works by internationally famous choreographers. Although I had the dream, I never imagined so much. I feel very lucky."

Jean-Philippe Malaty, Executive Director. Malaty has been instrumental in building Aspen Santa Fe Ballet from the ground up. He was born in the Basque region of France, and is now a United States citizen. After receiving his degree in dance, he accepted scholarships to train at Europe's prestigious Mudra (Maurice Béjart's school in Brussels) and John Cranko's ballet school in Stuttgart. At the invitation of David Howard, Jean-Philippe traveled to America to train at the David Howard Dance Center in New York City. He then performed soloist roles as guest artist with various companies throughout the U.S., including Joffrey II, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Ballet Hispanico of New York, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is in great demand as a guest teacher and has taught at schools and universities throughout the country. Jean-Philippe is dedicated to asserting the prominence of the arts in the West, spearheading initiatives to bring dance into the community, and fostering programs that introduce children to the arts. He continues to provide invaluable creative assistance in all facets of the company's operations. Jean-Philippe is equally proud to have forged a company based on an American ideal of energy, invention, popularity, eclecticism, and precision in what's been called the "all star, no star" system. "Dance is a celebration of the human spirit, and not a celebration of steps. Here at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, we foster the spirit and the love of dance." In 2010, Jean-Philippe received Joyce Theater Foundation award in recognition of his contribution to the field of dance.

Tom Mossbrucker, Artistic Director. Mossbrucker began his dance training at age 4, studying tap in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. He studied ballet in New York City at the School of American Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School. He began his career dancing with Joffrey II before joining the main company, The Joffrey Ballet, where he performed as principal dancer to great acclaim in over 70 ballets. He has danced ballets by some of the world's greatest choreographers including Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, Ji?í Kylián, John Cranko, Fredrick Ashton, Agnes De Mille, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor and George Balanchine, and was lauded for his work in Moor's Pavane, in which he played Iago, and Billboards, a full-length rock ballet set to music by Prince. He also danced with the Atlanta Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Tom serves on the boards of Dance USA, and The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation. In 2010 Tom received The Joyce Theater Foundation award in recognition of his contribution to the field of dance. Following in the tradition of Robert Joffrey, Tom is dedicated to presenting an eclectic repertoire, and committed to acquiring new works that persistently challenge, enliven, and educate both audiences and the company dancers. Building relationships with choreographers has become a hallmark of the company. "We strive for continuity and enjoy bringing choreographers back to create second and third works...to us that is success."

Cayetano Soto, Choreographer. Cayetano Soto was born in Spain in 1975. He started his dance education in his hometown Barcelona at the Instituto del Teatro and continued his studies at the Royal Conservatorium in Den Haag. After receiving his degree, Soto danced with IT Dansa in Barcelona before joining the Ballet Theater Munich a year later. There he created several successful ballets for the company. Soto went on to create Cotidiano for the Festival Internazionale di Danza in Venice, Italy and 24FPS for the Royal Ballet of Flanders which won the Hapag Lloyd prize in April 2006. His first full evening ballet was a new A Midsummer Night's Dream which was premiered in July 2006 in Lübeck and in November 2006 in Schwerin. In spring 2007 he created Dependent behaviour for the Ballet of the Staatstheater Braunschweig and in July he was invited to make a piece at the Northwest Pacific Dance Project in Portland, Oregon: Not yet was so successful, that it immediately entered the repertory of the company. In fall 2007 his piece M/C, about the relationship of Marilyn Monroe and Truman Capote was premiered with the Royal Ballet of Flanders. In spring 2008 he created Two at a time, a piece about doubles, for Stuttgart ballet and in summer last but not least for the Northwest Pacific Dance Project. In July his new work Canela fina was premiered with the Ballet da Cidade in Sao Paulo. This piece was co-produced with Liceu in Barcelona, where it had its Europe-premiere in September 2008. In October he choreographed a piece with four dancers in the church of St. Egidien in Nürnberg, dancing Mozart's mass in c-minor with live orchestra. In 2009 he created Zero in on for Augsburg Ballet, staged his first choreography Fugaz for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, staged M/C in Dortmund and created a new full evening version of Carmen for Dortmund Ballet. Due to the success in Dortmund, Brno in the Czech Republic decided to stage his Carmen in 2010. Soto's first new creation in 2010 was Kiss Me Goodnight for Introdans in Arnhem, followed by a solo for first soloist of Bavarian State Ballet Munich, Lisa-Maree Cullum, which was created to present the new collection of the label Talbot Runhof at fashion week in Paris. Cayetano Soto is based in Munich.

Jirí Kylián, Choreographer. Hailed as one of the world's foremost living choreographers, Jirí Kylián was born in Prague, and studied at the city's Conservatory and London's Royal Ballet School before joining the Stuttgart Ballet (Germany) under John Cranko in 1968. In 1973 he was invited by the Nederlands Dans Theater in Den Haag as a guest choreographer. By 1975, he was appointed the company's Artistic Director. Jirí achieved his international breakthrough with Sinfonietta in 1978, set to music composed by his compatriot Leoš Janá?ek. His international reputation kept growing with such works as Symphony of Psalms (1978), Forgotten Land (1981), Svadebka (1982), Stamping Ground (1983) and L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (1984). Apart from developing choreographic works, Kylián has also built up a unique organizational structure for and within the Nederlands Dans Theater , adding two new dimensions to the Dutch ballet company. The world-famous Nederlands Dans Theater I has been expanded by Nederlands Dans Theater II ('The Young and Dynamic Company' of dancers between the age of 17 and 22) and Nederlands Dans Theater III (dancers/performers beyond the age of 40) - each company with a distinctively individual repertoire. In April 1995, Ji?í Kylián celebrated 20 years directing the Nederlands Dans Theater by mounting the large-scale dance production Arcimboldo, which involved all the dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater I, II and III. On that occasion, he received one of the Netherlands' highest honors, becoming Officier in de Orde van Oranje Nassau. As of August 1999 Ji?í Kylián retired from the position of the Artistic Director of Nederlands Dans Theater. However, with respect to the future development of the company, he maintains the essential roles as a resident choreographer.

Jorma Elo, Choreographer. In just a few short years, Finnish-born Jorma Elo has become one of the most sought-after choreographers in the United States and Europe. Elo, who was named Resident Choreographer of Boston Ballet in 2005, was singled out as a "talent to follow" by Anna Kisselgoff in her 2004 Year in Review for The New York Times. It was an astute observation. Since then Elo has created new works for New York City Ballet (Slice to Sharp), Boston Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (Pointeoff),American Ballet Theatre (Glow-Stop), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Royal Danish Ballet, State Theatre Nuremberg, and Norwegian National Ballet. Elo trained with the Finnish National Ballet School and the Kirov Ballet School in Leningrad. Prior to joining Netherlands Dance Theater in 1990, he danced with Finnish National Ballet from 1978 through 1984 and with Cullberg Ballet from 1984 through 1990. Throughout his career as a dancer Elo worked closely with numerous master choreographers, including Ji?í Kylián, Hans van Manen, Mats Ek, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe and Paul Lightfoot. Elo has also choreographed for Basel Ballet, Ballet Debrezen (Hungary), Alberta Ballet (Blank Snow and L'Apres Midi d'un Faune/Spectre de la Rose), Norwegian National Ballet (Cut to Drive), Finnish National Ballet (Happy is Happy, Twisted Shadow, Two Fast, Offcore), Stockhom 59° North (in my DREAM team), and Netherlands Dance Theatre 1 (1st Flash and Plan to A). For Boston Ballet, Elo has created three world premieres: Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004) and Carmen (2006). He is also a skilled designer of costumes, lighting and video effects for his ballets. Elo was awarded the choreographic prize at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition. Dance Magazine recognized Elo as one of 25 to Watch, and Pointe Magazine named him a VIP of Dance in 2006.




More On: The Joyce Theater, David Lang, Wolf Trap, Robert Joffrey, Maurice Béjart, John Cranko.

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