Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Continues Residency At The Soraya

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Continues Residency At The Soraya

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) celebrates the third year of its four-year residency at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the performing arts (The Soraya) with a program of works that celebrates the company's commitment to creating new contemporary dance on Saturday, April 7 at 8:00pm. ASFB will perform the new work Half/Cut/Split by world-renowned Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo, as well as Where We Left Off (2011) commissioned by ASFB and choreographed by Nicolo Fonte, and Return to a Strange Land (1975) from Ji?í Kylián, Artistic Director of Nederlands Dans Theater with music by Leoš Janá?ek.

The entire evening will be performed to live piano by Joyce Yang, a Van Cliburn International Piano Competition silver medalist and Avery Fisher Career Grant Recipient. The Washington Post says, "[Yang's] attention to detail and clarity is as impressive as her agility, balance and velocity."

"This landmark third year of our residency with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is especially significant as the entire evening is accompanied by world-renowned pianist, Joyce Yang." said Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of The Soraya. "We're also excited to host a new work by Jorma Elo, one of dance's most sought-after choreographers. In addition, we are also presenting works from Ji?í Kylián, who continues to be a trailblazer and inspiration in the dance world as well as Nicolo Fonte, a favorite of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. This is an outstanding trio of 21st century dance makers."

This multi-year residency by a major performing arts company furthers the mission of The Soraya to become the cultural hub of the San Fernando Valley. Long-term relationships between artists and audiences are crucial to the success of emerging arts institutions and the communities they serve. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, one of the nation's most important contemporary ballet companies, is the first company to embark on a residency at The Soraya. ASFB enjoys worldwide acclaim with invitations to perform at noted venues around the world, from Teatro La Fenice, the historic opera house in Venice, Italy, to The Joyce Theater and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in the U.S.

About the Program
Choreography: Jorma Elo
Music: Robert Schumann
Lighting Design: Seah Johnson
Costume Design: Nete Joseph
Dancers: Sadie Brown, Jenelle Figgins, Seia Rassenti Watson, Evan Supple, Anthony Tiedeman, Joseph Watson
Premiere: April 5, 2018, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Orange County, CA
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's production of Half/Cut/Split is made possible through the generosity of the Orange County Philharmonic Society, Aspen Music Festival & School, The City of Aspen, and
Bunni & Paul Copaken.

Where We Left Off
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Commissioned Work
Choreography: Nicolo Fonte
Music: Mad Rush, Metamorphosis No. 2 by Philip Glass
Costume Design: Mark Zappone
Lighting Design: Seah Johnson
Staging: Emily Franc
Dancers: Katherine Bolaños, Sadie Brown, Emily Franc, Anna Gerberich, Seia Rassenti Watson, Austin Reynolds, Evan Supple, Anthony Tiedeman, Pete Leo Walker, Joseph Watson
Premiere: February 11, 2011, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Aspen CO
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's production of Where We Left Off is made possible through the generosity of Toby Devan Lewis.

Return to a Strange Land
Choreography: Ji?í Kylián
Music: Leoš Janá?ek
Costume and Décor Design: Ji?í Kylián
Lighting Design: Kees Tjebbes
Staging: Jeanne Solan
Dancers: Katherine Bolaños, Anna Gerberich, Evan Supple, Anthony Tiedeman, Pete Leo Walker, Joseph Watson
World Premiere: May 17, 1975, Stuttgart Ballet
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's production of Return to a Strange Land is made possible through the generosity of Sherry and Eddie Wachs.

About Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
ASFB was founded over 20 years ago by Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty and Artistic Director, Tom Mossbrucker, both former dancers at The Joffrey Ballet. Described by the New York Times as "A breath of fresh air," Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company stands out as a model of what a small ballet company should be with its "musicality, athleticism, and technique-conscious delivery."

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's repertoire, ranges from accessible to sophisticated, resonating with energy and eclecticism. A house-style emerges across this diverse dance menu, layering American athleticism on a base of European refinement. The company's identity is tethered to its repertoire, which speaks a complex language, challenges audiences, and advances the art form.

The company's pioneering spirit arises from a dual set of home cities: Aspen, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, and Santa Fe, gracing the Southwestern plateau. Shaping the cultural landscape of these communities - and influencing the dance field at large - is a contemporary ballet company now two decades old.

About Jorma Elo, Choreographer: Half/Cut/Split
Jorma Elo is one of the most sought-after choreographers in the world. He has created works for companies including American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theater and Finnish National Ballet, among others. Elo trained with the Finnish National Ballet School and the Kirov Ballet School in Leningrad. He dance with Finnish National Ballet and CUllberg Ballet until joining Netherlands Dance Theater in 1990, where he enjoyed a 15-year career.

Elo was appointed Resident Choreographer of Boston Ballet in 2005, where he has created many world premieres, including Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plat to B (2004), Carmen/Illusions (2006 & 2009), Brake the Eyes (2007), In on Blue (2008), Le Scare du Printemps (2009), Sharper Side of Dark (2012) and Awake Only (2012). Boston Ballet premiered a full-length performance titled, "Elo Experience" in 2011. Elo was awarded the Bois de la Danse prize for best choreography in 2010, for his production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, commissioned by Vienna State Opera Ballet, and Slice to Sharp for the Stanislavsky Music Theatre.

In 2012, the Finnish Government awarded Elo the Dance Artist Prize. Elo has also been awarded the Choreography prize in the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition, and he was the recipient of the Prince Charitable Trust Prize and the Choo-San Goh Choreographic Award in 2006. He was nominated for a 2008 Isadora Duncan Dance Award. Elo has been featured in Esquire, Dance and Pointe Magazines. Elo was awarded the 2015 Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland's highest honors.

About Nicolo Fonte, Choreographer: Where We Left Off
Choreographer Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to dance. His work has been noted by critics for a unique movement language as well as a highly developed fusion of ideas, dance and design. Born in Brooklyn New York, Fonte started dancing at the age of 14. He studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York as well as at the San Francisco Ballet and New York City Ballet Schools while completing a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase. Upon graduation he danced with Peridance in NYC and later joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. Fonte subsequently joined Duato's Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid and choreographed three ballet for the company including, En los Segundos Ocultos, (In Hidden Seconds).

Since 2000, he has created or staged his ballets for The Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stuttgart Ballet, The Australian Ballet, The Göteborg Ballet, The Finnish National Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Perm Tchaikovsky Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Ballett Mainz, Ballett Nürnberg, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, TANZ Ensemble Cathy Sharp, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and Queensland Ballet. Fonte received a Choo San Goh award for his 2002 collaboration with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Almost Tango. Almost Tango was also voted as one of Dance Europe's "Best Premieres" when it was re-staged for The Australian Ballet in 2004.

From 2002 to 2006 Nicolo enjoyed an ongoing creative partnership with The Göteborg Ballet in Sweden. While in Göteborg he created his first full-length ballet, based on the life of Tchaikovsky, Re: Tchaikovsky, which appeared on the "Best of 2005" lists of both Ballett-Tanz and Dance Europe. Fonte has also played an important role in the ongoing development of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) as one of that company's most popular guest choreographers. To date he has created eight highly successful works for ASFB that have toured throughout the US and overseas. Nicolo Fonte is currently the Resident Choreographer for Ballet West, in Salt Lake City, which began with the 2012-2013 season. He also became Resident Choreographer at Oregon Ballet Theatre beginning with the 2016 - 2017 season.

About Ji?í Kylián, Choreographer: Return to a Strange Land
The world-renowned choreographer Ji?í Kylián (Czechoslovakia, 1947) has been artistic director and house choreographer with Nederlands Dans Theater for more than thirty years. After the creation of three ballets for NDT (Viewers, Stoolgame and La Cathédrale Engloutie), Kylián became the company's artistic director in 1975 together with Hans Knill. During the 1978 Charleston Festival in the United States Kylián put NDT on the international map with Sinfonietta (Leoš Janácek). That year he and Carel Birnie founded NDT 2, meant to offer young dancers the opportunity to develop their skills and talents. In 1991 he initiated NDT 3; a company that created opportunities for 'older' dancers. NDT stood out as the first company worldwide that showed the three dimensions of a dancer´s life. After an extraordinary record of service Kylián handed over the artistic leadership in 1999, but remained associated to the company as a house choreographer until 2009.

Since his last piece Mémoires d'Oubliettes for NDT in 2009 Kylián's creative focus has shifted to more small scale projects. Besides 75 choreographies for NDT he created various other pieces for companies worldwide such as the Stuttgart Ballet, the Paris Opéra, the Munich Bayerisches Staatsballett and the Tokyo Ballet. Kylián received many prestigious, international awards and honors, such as Officer of the Royal Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau, honorary doctorate of the Juilliard School in New York and the Honorary Medal from the President of the Czech Republic. Nowadays, Kylián's masterpieces are being performed by numerous companies and schools worldwide.

About The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)

The Soraya opened its 2017-2018 season on September 16 with a performance of AMADEUS Live (Milos Foreman's 1984 Academy Award-winning Best Picture with live orchestra) with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and members of the LA Opera Chorus. The evening honored the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Foundation in recognition of the family's recent $17 million gift that will rename VPAC as the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center, known as The Soraya. The gift is one of the largest in the history of the California State University and the system's largest single gift to support the arts; gift to support the programming and operations of the award-winning Valley Performing Arts Center - which has become one of the cultural jewels of the region in the six years since it opened.

The 2017-18 Soraya season signals a new era for the premier event venue. Under the leadership of Executive Director Thor Steingraber, the renamed Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center expands its programming and outstanding multidisciplinary performances. The mission of The Soraya is to present a wide variety of performances that not only includes new and original work from the Los Angeles region but also work from around the world that appeal to all of LA's rich and diverse communities.

Located on the campus of California State University, Northridge, The Soraya's season offers a vibrant performance program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family and international events that will serve to establish The Soraya as the intellectual and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley, and further establish itself as one of the top arts companies in Southern California. The award-winning, 1,700-seat theatre was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers and was recently cited by the Los Angeles Times as "a growing hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events."

Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330

Saturday, April 7 at 8:00pm

Prices: Start at $33
In Person: VPAC Ticket Office, located in the VPAC Courtyard
By Phone: (818) 677-3000

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