Aspen Santa Fe given grants, honored with Award for Excellence |

Aspen Santa Fe given grants, honored with Award for Excellence

Staff report
"Silent Ghost" premiered in July at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
Rosalie O’Connor/Courtesy photo |

As the dance company approaches its 20th anniversary, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet earned recent awards from three prestigious arts-funding organizations: the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, The Schubert Foundation and the Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

The New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project supports the creation of new dance works that will tour the United States. Out of 124 competitive applications, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet was one of 18 recipients selected by a panel of national dance leaders. The National Dance Project’s production grant of $92,000 was awarded in support of Aspen Santa Fe’s newest commissioned work, “Silent Ghost,” by Alejandro Cerrudo, which debuted in July and will have an encore Aspen performance Aug. 22.

The award is used to support the creation of the new work, general operating support, and touring expenses, covering costs such as the choreographer’s fee, costumes, music, technical equipment and travel.

First commissioned by Aspen Santa Fe in 2012, Cerrudo is currently choreographer-in-residence at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. On working with Aspen Santa Fe for this second commission, Cerrudo told The Aspen Times, “The dancers of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are open to anything, … and that’s a valuable thing. It takes pressure off of the choreographer and encourages you to go for it, to try new things, to not play it safe.”

The Schubert Foundation supports nonprofit professional theater and dance companies through the awarding of unrestricted grants for general operating support. The foundation awards grants to organizations that have made significant contributions to the field and demonstrate a record of administrative strength, fiscal stability and development of new work and artists. After an extensive application process, Aspen Santa Fe was selected to receive a grant of $10,000 in May.

The Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts honors the contributions that individuals, organizations and businesses have made to the Santa Fe arts community. Aspen Santa Fe was nominated by artist James Posch, with the support of actress Ali MacGraw, Bob Martin from The Lensic Performing Arts Center and Ivan Barnett of Patina Gallery.

“As a Santa Fe resident, artist and gallery owner for more than two decades, I have personally watched the evolution of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet with pride,” Barnett wrote. He continued, “Watching the company spread its wings in a way that serves our community at large is stunning; its outreach programs have enriched our lives and contributed to the well-being of us all.”

Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mayor Javier Gonzales will present the award to Aspen Santa Fe at the annual Mayor’s Awards dinner and ceremony Oct. 15.