Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Returns to Harris Theater for One-Night Performance Tonight
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the innovative contemporary Dance Company from the American West led by Artistic Director Tom Mossbrucker and Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty, returns to the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Street, for one performance only tonight, October 5 at 7:30 pm.
Presented as part of "The Harris Theater at 10" anniversary season, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) has not performed a full program in Chicago since its one-night-only engagement at the Harris in May 2011. Other Windy City appearances in recent years include stints at the Chicago Dancing Festival in 2011 and 2009. For its 2013 visit, the company - known for its fresh repertory - presents an evening comprised entirely of work commissioned by ASFB. The bill features three dances by leading international choreographers Jorma Elo,Cayetano Soto and longtime Chicago dancer/choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.
Finnish choreographer Elo presents Over Glow set to music by Mendelssohn and Beethoven. This work for six dancers features a series of duets and ensembles in front of a bright, color-shifting backdrop. Over Glow was commissioned by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in 2011 and is the third original commission and fourth work overall by Elo in the company's repertory.
The company also performs Spanish choreographer Soto's Beautiful Mistake, a work for nine dancers set to music by Ólafur Arnalds and Charles Wilson that just saw its world premiere in Aspen this past July. This is Soto's fourth work with the company, including his piece Uneven which Chicago audiences had a chance to see in the 2011 Chicago Dancing Festival.
Rounding out the program is another ASFB original commission, Last by Cerrudo, resident choreographer and dancer with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Despite Cerrudo's regular choreographic presence here, this will be Chicagoans' first look at this work, a 2012 premiere, and the first time a company other than Hubbard Street has presented his work locally.
About the Choreographers
Alejandro Cerrudo, born in Madrid, Spain, received his training at the Real Conservatorio Professional de Danza de Madrid. After becoming a professional dancer in 1998, Cerrudo's dance career has been shaped and enriched by various dance companies including Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and, since 2005, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2008, Cerrudo was named Hubbard Street Choreographic Fellow and became the company's first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Cerrudo has created several works for Hubbard Street and for the company's unique collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Nederlands Dans Theater. Cerrudo's works are performed by dance companies around the U.S. and the world, including in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Australia.
Finnish-born Jorma 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 Cullberg Ballet from 1984 to 1990. Elo has received commissions from Netherlands Dance Theatre 1, Basel Ballet, Houston Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Stockholm 59° North, Alberta Ballet, Staatstheater Nurnberg and Ballet X. Elo was named Resident Choreographer of Boston Ballet in 2005. He has since created numerous works in the U.S. and internationally, including Slice to Sharp for New York City Ballet, Glow-Stop and C. to C. (Close to Chuck) for American Ballet Theatre,Double Evil for San Francisco Ballet, Carmen for Boston Ballet, A Midsummer Night's Dream for Vienna State Opera Ballet, Pur ti Mirofor National Ballet of Canada, 10 to Hyper M for Royal Danish Ballet and Offcore for Finnish National Ballet. His From All Sidesdebuted in 2007 for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, to a commissioned score from Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Mead Composer-in- Residence, Mark Anthony Turnage. He is also a skilled designer of costumes, lighting and video effects for his ballets.
Cayetano Soto, born in Spain, started his dance education in his hometown of Barcelona at the Institut del Teatre and continued his studies at the Koninklijk Consevatorium in The Hague. After receiving his degree in Classical Dance, Soto signed his first professional contract with IT Dansa in Barcelona before joining the Ballet Theater Munich a year later in 1998. For Ballet Theater Munich, he created several successful ballets and one of his first signature pieces, FUGAZ. In September 2005, he became a freelance choreographer. Since then, the most important collaborations were with international companies including Stuttgarter Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Balé da Cidade de Sao Paulo, BJM Montreal, Introdans, Introdans voor de Jeugd, Gauthier Dance Company, Companhia Nacional de Bailado, Perm Opera and Ballet Theater, Návodní Divadlo Brno, Tanz Luzern Theater and Northwest Dance Project in Portland. In 2009, he began a continuous collaboration with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Introdans Ensemble voor de jeugd, where he produced new ballets for the companies. Fascinated by the fashion label Talbot Runhof, he started to collaborate with the designers in several projects. Today Soto is based in Munich.
About Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's bold vision - top global choreographers, distinctive groundbreaking works, and virtuoso dancers - has fostered a jewel of a Dance Company in the American West and beyond.
ASFB's unique pioneering spirit arises from a paired set of home cities: Aspen, nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, and Santa Fe, gracing the majestic Southwestern plateau. For the past 16 years, the company has served as a prestigious incubator and a showcase for choreographic invention to popular and critical acclaim.
The performing troupe forms the core of a multifaceted arts organization with activities in both Aspen and Santa Fe. A respected arts presenter, ASFB curates high-quality dance programming for home audiences. Dance education is a priority, with well-established ballet schools training children and adults in both markets. An outreach program steeped in Mexico's rich folkloric culture fortifies community connections.
Tom Mossbrucker has been Artistic Director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet since its founding in 1996. Over those 16 years Mossbrucker has built a prestigious arts/dance organization sharing two homes in Aspen and Santa Fe. Not being a choreographer himself has freed Mossbrucker as an Artistic Director to cultivate highly refined and challenging works of contemporary ballet. His shining achievement is a roster of 24 ballets created on commission for ASFB by leading global choreographers. Mossbrucker began dance training at age four, 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. His 20 years as a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, performing in over 70 ballets, coincided with a period of high artistic achievement for the company. Mossbrucker danced in creations by the world's great choreographers: Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Laura Dean, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylián, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp. Signature roles included Iago in Jose Limon's The Moor's Pavane; Champion Roper in Agnes DeMille's Rodeo; Billy in Eugene Loring's Billy the Kid; and Romeo in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet. All of this rich and diverse dance background Mossbrucker brings to his coaching of young dancers today. In 2010, Mossbrucker, along with Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty, was honored with The Joyce Theater Foundation Award for their contribution to the field of dance. A former board member of Dance USA, Mossbrucker currently serves on the board of The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation.
ASFP Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty was born in the Basque region of France. After receiving his baccalaureate in dance, he accepted scholarships to study at Mudra, Maurice Béjart's school in Brussels, and at John Cranko's ballet academy in Stuttgart. Invited by acclaimed instructor David Howard to study in New York, Malaty traveled to America under Howard's tutelage. Malaty's performance career began with Joffrey II. He also danced as a guest artist with Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Ballet Hispanico and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. While still in his twenties, Malaty segued from the stage to an administrator role. A key member of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's start-up team, Malaty has been central to developing the company's unique hybrid business model. He directs operations in two locations, overseeing a $3.2 million budget that he allocates to two schools, an esteemed presenting series and an award-winning folkloric outreach program. Malaty's first love is teaching and when his schedule permits, he conducts master classes at schools and universities. In 2012, the Denver Bonfils-Stanton Foundation granted Malaty a Livingston Fellowship in recognition of his significant leadership role in Colorado's non-profit sector. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Malaty is proud to have forged a company alive with American ideals of energy, invention, popularity and eclecticism.