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Ballet Fantastique unveils 2011-2012 season!

At last, the announcement of BFan’s upcoming season–DARING! In celebration of 11 years of innovative, enthralling performances. No one else does ballet quite like us 🙂

Now for the details on our Hult Center performances!


(Photo: Bob Williams)

Incendio
Saturday, October 22nd at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 23rd at 2:30 pm
Ballet Fantastique opens its 2011–2012 season with powerful bravura, when
the LA-based band Incendio plays its Latin, Middle Eastern, jazz fusion live with
ballet for the first time. Richly-textured, all-original choreography by mother-
daughter co-producers Donna and Hannah Bontrager shows off the critically-
acclaimed dancers of Ballet Fantastique’s chamber company. The sounds
of Incendio’s sweeping, passionate music meet the skill and daring of Ballet
Fantastique dancers in a celebration of brilliant live music and dance.


(Photo: Woden Photography)

Arabian Nights
Saturday, January 28th at 7:30 pm
“By telling these tales I might save myself…” Be transported through the eyes of the beautiful storyteller Scheherazade with this daring, exotic, and mysterious ballet. Inspired by the ancient treasury 1,001 Arabian Nights, choreographers Donna and Hannah Bontrager weave tales of adventure, truth, fantastic imagination, justice, and faith with their original choreography. With the ancient power of story, this all-new Ballet Fantastique production sweeps through Persia, Arabia, and India. Its lavish costuming and fantastic choreography will enthrall you.


(Photo: Woden Photography)

Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet
Saturday, May 12th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 13th at 2:30 pm
Ballet Fantastique’s daring, all-original, rock and roll version of the Cinderella story is unstoppable! This ballet, set in the 1960’s to live soul-warming music by Satin Love lead singers Shelley and Cal James and their band, will rock to the nostalgic songs of The Supremes, The Ronettes, The Temptations, The Beatles, and more. Mother-daughter choreographers and producers Donna and Hannah Bontrager will bring it on with ballet like you’ve never seen it before.

And of course, our Open Barre series:

(credit: 5d-Creative)
* Incendio Open Barre: Wednesday, October 12 from 6:30-8 pm
* Arabian Nights Open Barre: Wednesday, January 18 from 6:30-8 pm
* Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet Open Barre: Wednesday, Wednesday, May 2 from 6:30-8 pm

Performances and Open Barre aside… we have a Peter Rabbit tea party, a mother-daughter winery tour, and more!
Information on our entire season, including where to purchase tickets and register for events, available here.

Looking forward to seeing you this season!

What’s New at BFan!

ABOVE PHOTO: Backstage at last year’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Hello everyone!

While it’s been a long while since we’ve posted, we haven’t been twiddling our thumbs! Thanks so much for your patience with us and here’s the latest news from behind the scenes at Ballet Fantastique…

In the studio:

  • We’re gettin’ ready for our third tour to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival! On June 13, BFan dancers Amelia, Krislyn, Leanne, Ash, and Hannah (with Justin, one of our favorite dude dancers, and Matthew Fuller, acclaimed violinist) will be presenting our “Pirates & Gypsies” show for opening night of OSF’s Pirates of Penzance. We’re creating a spicy, energetic and fun set for this show, comprised of both existing Ballet Fantastique original repertoire (the Gypsy violin trio with Matt from Red Violin and the Folk Dance, to name just two), and a few new pieces created just for this program and inspired by Penzance. It’s fun to hear that we already have a few die-hard BFan fans planning to head down to enjoy us and the OSF in Ashland. Join us if you can! The show is Saturday, June 11 at 7:15 pm and thanks to OSF’s wonderful Green Show series, it’s free!

 

PHOTO: Dancers Ashley and Amelia were up for auction!

 

 

 

Under our belt:
One of our goals (one we hope is a no-brainer!) is to produce fundraisers that are actually really fun to be a part of. We were busy in May with the following two:

  • We raised $1,400 at our 2nd Annual Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction at The Bridge Bar & Grill last week, and we had a BLAST! Ten talented and fascinating young men and women volunteered their time and took the risk to be auctioned off. We had music from DJ Redd Fox (who definitely got us all dancing), and enjoyed Evan’s (of Bartender Wars fame) delicious sangria. All of the proceeds we raised go to BFan’s nonprofit work in the community.

PHOTO: Rich, insanely talented Executive Chef at The Bridge, is auctioned off in spite of initial apprehension.

  • Another annual fundraiser that was a real treat: Our first annual Mother’s Day Limo Wineries Tour. Since we pretty much work seven days a week, fellow dancer Leanne and I planned to be excited just by virtue of the fact that we got to relax as “work.” BUT OH MY GOSH, THIS WAS AWESOME! Sunshine Limo swept us (and some of our mommas) up from City Center for Dance. After mimosas, we drove through a magical (albeit rainy) Eugene wine country to an amazing tour at King Estate. We were privileged to try a number of special reserve wines–not part of a normal flight–and then had a special tour to the King Estate Tower, which was closed for the day to everyone else. From there, we voyaged on to Sweet Cheeks (a favorite of Ash-Han-Leanne), and had some tasty cheese, another wine flight, and really dug the live music. The view was spectacular and the company magical. This is a don’t miss for next year, folks…and from the dancers’ perspective, it gave us a chance to bond more with some of our audience members and make new friends.


PHOTO: The Limo Wine Tours crew enjoys the view at King Estate

In the wings:

  • The dancers will laugh that the state of the oversize white board on the wall in my office is an indication of how crazy Hannah is lately, and it’s pretty full! We’re prepping next season (still hush-hush, but coming soon!) and The Academy of Ballet Fantastique’s Summer Dreamworks intensives (click here). We promise to keep you posted with updates on all.

Lots of love!

Hannah

Out on the Range–Meet the As You Like It characters!

A tongue-in-cheek guest blog entry written by Adam Haaga (dancing the part of Silas!)

Synopsis:

BFan convincingly imbibes their adaptation of Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It with exciting Wild Western motifs, maintaining the play’s original humor and levity without yielding the refined elegance of their classical roots.

Truly speaking cordially of love’s affable nature, this performance alights to the idea that love is a source of incomparable delectation and a force for happiness. It opens with a series of corruptions, iniquities and grievances: Duke Senior is ousted from office as sheriff, his younger brother Frederick appropriates legal power, assumes the aforementioned title, and exiles both Rosie (on account of his jealousy regarding the acclaim townspeople give her for her courage), and Lando, for a crime he did not commit. Rosie is accompanied by her close cousin CeCe and their campy assistant La Belle.


The tempo and mood translate quickly as soon as the banished characters begin their sojourn on the Range of Ardenne (Act II), a dominion where potent change occurs and a sense of balance is restored in all.

The scene out west illuminates with convivial magic and affection. Lando’s virtue and merit has won the heart of Rosie, though she, in her guise as the young cowboy Ganymede, must first counsel Lando. His clumsy and effusive poetry are only slightly irritating, and she wishes to show him how to be a more attentive and caring lover. Rosie proves a quick wit and her acute sensitivity in the ways of love commands the attention of all as she orchestrates, with the help of chimerical Cupid, the matrimony of four couples. Cupid’s omnipotent role infuses the story with light-hearted humor and amusement.


Meanwhile, Phebe’s degraded status as a wench does not seem to abate Silas’ devotion to her. The milkmaid does not reciprocate the cowhand’s admiration, but even stinging harlots have their tender streaks, as Rosie’s handiwork sets in motion an outrageous string of promises that unravel a complex love triangle. Touchstone, the bard-narrator who accompanies Rosie, CeCe and La Belle along their journey, emerges in a new capacity for this adaptive performance, acting as ritornelle, the troubadour narrating the story with lyric charm and appeal. Admittedly, this is a slight artistic liberty taken, but one the audience is sure to enjoy.

As You Like It celebrates a love crisp as turbulence, one that rattles your nerves to vibrate with the ardent stirring of fireflies tangled in the warp and weft of Hope’s sinew, ensuring us that there is nothing the magnitude of dreaming dynamism cannot accomplish, and that romantic success and change for the better are always gravid possibilities.


Meet the Characters (with slightly westernized names from Shakespeare’s original):

  • Duke – exiled leader who has the countenance to accept his lamentable position with grace and poise
  • Sheriff Frederick – delinquent younger brother to Duke whose nefarious motives bring corruption into the social order
  • Rosie – the sharp-witted daughter of exiled Duke who is the object of Lando’s adulation (Danced by: Hannah Bontrager)
  • CeCe – daughter of Sheriff Frederick, cousin and best friend of Rosie (Danced by: Amanda Coleman)
  • Ollie – Lando’s older brother who raised his sibling like a peasant, unschooled; Ollie’s allegiance sits with Sheriff Frederick (Danced by: Justin Feimster)
  • Big Bad Charlie – name says it all…not a man you would cross; thug bandit and Ollie’s co-conspirator, challenges Lando to a duel (Played by: Gianluca Paparo)
  • Lando – despite his inadequate upbringing, he is a nobleman of spirit and ethic and loyal to the exiled Duke; given to cloying sentimentality and deeply in love with Rosie (Danced by: Alberto Liberatoscioli, guest dancer from Nebraska Ballet)
  • La Belle – sweet, goofy barmaid and friend to Celia and Rosie (Danced by: Amelia Unsicker)
  • Audrey – a cute little country jezebel, friend of Phebe (Danced by: Jordyn Richter)
  • Phebe – milkmaid wench who spurns the ardent advances of the persistent cowherd Silas (Danced by: Krislyn Wessel)
  • Touchstone – acts as both choral narrative and the accompanying fool to Rosie, CeCe and La Belle (Played by: Adam Goldthwaite, Portland-based guest actor)
  • Silas – a tenacious admirer of Phebe; the cowherd whose complaisant gestures are met with her disapproval (Danced by: Adam Haaga)
  • Cupid – seraphic architect of romantic entrapment (Danced by: Leanne Mizzoni)

Our ballet will be fun, rollicking, playful, tongue-in-cheek, and toe-tapping. Don’t just join us—bring your friends! Groups of six or more receive a whopping $5 off EACH ticket!

Much gratitude to UO Shakespeare scholars Rachel Hanan and Lynn Freitas for their great service in assisting BFan with our wild west ballet adaptation. Our As You Like It is the first-ever ballet version that we are aware of of the work and is a DON’T MISS!

Tickets are going fast, with significant discounts for youth, seniors, students, young professionals, and groups of six or more!

Link to tickets so you can get ’em now: http://www.hultcenter.org/event/as-you-like-it-2010/

Thanks for your love and support,
xo
BFan

Check out the Bossa Brasil commercial!

Click here to watch our fun and fabulous Bossa Brasil commercial by the amazing Nikos and Jackson of Vanguard Media!

With a few commercials under our belt now, it’s always something that we totally look forward to. Because we’re a small ballet company, we each end up being more involved in ALL of the aspects of the process–from the glamorous (being on TV! We’ve all dreamed of this since we were so little) to the mundane (actually right now Leanne and Ashley and I are in the process of helping sew trim onto our bodices for “Tango Forte”). Maybe this is sort of a “duh” thing, but being part of the behind-the-scenes stuff is definitely one way to really cultivate a visceral appreciation for all of the elements that go into pulling off a show. We have a sense of fierce pride and ownership for the finished product that you just can’t have when all you do is show up and dance (though goodness knows, we have lots of respect for folks who “only” do that, too).

Back to the commercial: We filmed it late last Saturday night at the CCD (that’s my code for “City Center for Dance”) after a long day of teaching and rehearsal. Leave it to Nikos and Jackson to come up with a concept that would intrigue and inspire us, though! The idea they brought to us sounded risky at first: tell a story-within-a-story in just 25 seconds (the designated Comcast length)?! But the transition from rainy outside to colorful inside totally worked! It helped capture the idea of Bossa Brasil’s steamy, fun, and colorfuldances! We also think it’s neat in this commercial that you get a behind-the-scenes look at the “making of” the commercial–you get to see the lights, the backdrop, and even the people (Jared! our awesome photographer who helped us shoot the poster images).

What did we love best? It was so fun for this commercial to get goofy and let go of being totally serious. We’re working so hard to pull the performance together in such a short time, so rehearsals have been scheduled to the minute and it can be intense. We’re trying to get back in shape after the break, get on top of the choreography, create all of this new and inspiring material, you get it…but anyway, by the end of a long day, we can all get a little silly! You’ll get to catch some of our hilarious “bloopers” ‘cuz they’ll be played on stage after the performance of Bossa Brasil so…GET YOUR TICKETS!!!

Watch the commercial click here
More about Vanguard click here
Get your Bossa Brasil tickets NOW click here(tickets are FLYING out of the box office!)

Meet new company dancer Amanda!

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We know! It’s amazing!!! Another fabulously beautiful new BFan ballerina. We want you to meet her!

Check out the website, www.balletfantastique.org, to learn more about all of us. 🙂 Post from the new ladies coming soon!

Amanda Coleman

Photos: Ari Denison, Gene Newbold

Hometown: Eugene, OR Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2010 Favorites: Ginger candies, the book/film Rosemary’s Baby, and forget-me-not flowers Pointe shoes: Bloch Serenades

Amanda grew up in Eugene, Oregon and studied at the Eugene Ballet Academy for 11 years under the instruction of Sara Lombardi, Florabelle Moses and Susan Zadoff. Amanda was hired as an apprentice with Eugene Ballet Company (EBC) at age 16, and performed with the company for two seasons from 2008 through 2010. With EBC, Amanda performed in Dracula, Peter Pan, Dark Side of the Moon, and American in Paris. She also extensively toured with EBC in performances of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker throughout the Pacific Northwest and in Anchorage, Alaska.

Amanda was awarded scholarships to study at the Joffrey Ballet NY, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Austin, and the prestigious CRAFT of Choreography Conference summer intensives. She was featured as Aurora in Eugene Ballet Academy’s production of Sleeping Beauty and as Swanilda in the Academy’s production of Coppelia. She was also a member of the Eugene Youth Ballet. This is her first season with Ballet Fantastique.

Meet new company dancer Jordyn!

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We’re so excited to have Jordyn here! You can read up on her and all the BFan dancers on Ballet Fantastique’s website, and you can meet us all in person at the Open Barre for Bossa Brasil (details about Open Barre here).

All about Jordyn:

Hometown: Spokane, WA College: AA, Spokane Falls Community College Ballet Fantastique: Here since 2010 Favorites: Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, Casino Royale, burger and fries, Skittles, and the quote: “You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.” -Merce Cunningham Pointe shoes: Suffolk Solos

Jordyn trained under Peggy Goodner Tan at Ballet Arts Academy for ten years and from there attended The Academy of Dance under Kristen Potts. During those years, Jordyn performed with Theatre Ballet of Spokane and was honored to be featured in the role of Clara with the Alberta Ballet and performed as a Nyad with Eugene Ballet Company/Ballet Idaho. Jordyn competed in the Musicfest Northwest competition where she won three Certificate of Merits and the Gold Medal. After high school she moved to Carlisle, PA to dance at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the tutelage of Marcia Dale Weary and the rest of the faculty.

Jordyn attended summer programs with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, American Ballet Theatre in New York and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, where she was one of thirty two out of eight hundred dancers invited to attend. Jordyn has guested with companies across the Northwest, including Ballet Spokane as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. She just completed her first season with BalletMet Columbus in Ohio, where she performed six different programs with the company throughout the season. Previously, she spent two seasons as an apprentice and corps member in The Suzanne Farrell Ballet out of The Kennedy Center in DC, where she performed multiple Balanchine ballets in DC and on tour to New York, and in fall 2010 as part of the Balanchine Initiative Project. This is her first season with Ballet Fantastique and she is so excited to be here!

–We’re excited to have you, Jordyn!

xo
Ballet Fantastique

The world rushes by…

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One more photo from 5-d Creative/Reathel Geary! We love how this captures the urban feel of Ballet Fantastique’s City Center for Dance.