Local dance troupe has new partner
The Benedict Music Tent, the venue for Monday’s performance by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, offers a set of challenges for the local dance company. There will be no lighting component, no typical entrances and exits for the dancers. It will be a far different sort of experience for the company, which usually performs at the smaller Aspen District Theatre.”It will be really stripped down – you’ll just see the dancers dance and hear the music,” said Tom Mossbrucker, a co-director of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.The payoff is what kind of music the dancers will move to, and the audience will hear. The sound will be made live, by a chamber combo of musicians from the Aspen Music Festival. It is the latest project in this season of collaboration that features a series of events co-presented by the Music Festival and Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and will also have a collaborative project between the Music Festival and the Aspen Art Museum. The last time the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performed to live accompaniment was nearly a decade ago, when the company made its local home at the Wheeler Opera House.”It’s a luxury for us,” said Jean-Philippe Malaty, the other co-director of the ballet company. “For financial reasons, and because of our repertoire. We use a lot of new music, new voices, synthesizer music. Sinatra – we can’t have him come and sing.”Monday’s program has no Sinatra and no synthesizer music, but Bach. The company will dance Nicolo Fonte’s “Left Unsaid,” choreographed to Bach, and Jorma Elo’s “Pointoff,” set to music by Bach/Busoni. Both pieces were commissioned by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in the last few years. Also on the program are two musical numbers: Grieg’s “Norwegian Dances” and Sarasate’s “Navarra.”Apart from the live music, and the teamwork behind the performance, the event is notable for several other reasons. It marks the final appearance for Brooke Klinger, a founding member of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet company who is retiring from professional dance. Klinger is featured in both pieces.It is also the biggest audience to see a performance by the company in its hometown of Aspen – thought not its biggest crowd ever. In May, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet danced for an audience of some 2,400 in Portland, Ore.; it has also performed for crowds of more than 2,000 in Boulder and Charleston.Finally, it is the only appearance for the company this summer. Normally, the company performs in its own Aspen Dance Festival, which also includes appearances by outside dance troupes. The festival was scratched for this year because of a renovation project at the Aspen District Theatre.The next collaboration up for the Music Festival is the recital on Thursday, co-presented by Jazz Aspen, featuring bassists Christian McBride and Edgar Meyer.
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