Now hiring male dancer for the 2013-2014 season!

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Attention male dancers! Ballet Fantastique is on a national audition search for a male company dancer for the 2013-2014 season. Please pass the information along! More info

ballet fantastique contemporary chamber company (in gorgeous eugene, oregon)

30+ WEEKS OF PAID WORK 2013–2014 SEASON + TOURING

ALL-ORIGINAL CONTEMPORARY BALLET REPERTOIRE

choreographer-producers donna marisa + hannah bontrager

2013–2014 season includes—subject to some change:

zorro (original score)

as you like it: a wild west ballet

tales from a floating world (live japanese taiko drumming)

Contract includes three new contemporary ballet premieres each season, plus touring. Competitive pay by the week and benefits, including shoes, massage assistance, and full physical therapy. Also available: additional opportunities for paid outreach and teaching work.

Competitive applicants will have strong classical ballet and contemporary vocabularies, and confidence with soloist and pas de deux work. Applicants must be a US citizen (or hold a green card or work permit), and are preferably 5’9” and up. Audition by DVD or in person (contact us for more details).

Additional skills of interest (desired but not requisite): Choreography, arts education, arts administration, dance instruction (ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, pas de deux, and/or hip-hop).

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It’s time for ballet camp!

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Photos of studio: Reathel Geary, 5d-Creative
Photos of young Ballet Fantastique dancers: Jerry Gowins
Meeting a Ballet Fantastique dancer photo: Taylor Jewell

Summer Fairytale Ballet Camps at The Academy of Ballet Fantastique are right around the corner (for boys and girls ages 4-7), and we wanted to give you a little taste for what our young dancers will be up to in the studio; after all, this is where the magic will be happening for many youngsters who are brand new to dance, and there’s something very beautiful about that! Like all BFan classes, there’s a lot more going on than just glorified babysitting. You will be truly astounded at what these kids can learn and do in just two hours a day for one week. I know that I am every summer!

We were the first to offer week-long themed camps in our area (starting ten years ago), and we’ve developed a special formula for what we do and how we do it. Each day begins with a full dance lesson, encompassing a Pre-Ballet syllabus that I developed years ago out of my UO Dance Department coursework. The syllabus includes fundamental concepts of ballet (including positions of the feet, arms, and the first forms of key ballet steps, like plie, port de bras, pas de chat, saute, etc.). It also includes key concepts of rhythm and music (e.g., adagio, allegro, andante, staccato, legato, and how dance works with music), the vocabulary of movement in space (points of the room, kinesphere or self-space, levels in space), lots of creative sparkle (structured choreography: in one class, we might be everything from lions, to clowns, to spaghetti, to magical beanstalks), and elements of working together (when to follow the leader vs. when to do your own thing, taking turns, etc.). We balance a lot of fun with motivated-yet-age appropriate expectations for what kids should know…and what are capable of learning (a lot!). Whether or not they will become the next Svetlana Zakharova or Mikhail Baryshnikov–or a schoolteacher–or a rocket scientist–these concepts equip young people with athleticism, musicality, confidence, and even social skills. You can tell how passionate I am about all this, so forgive the tangent/sermon. 🙂

Then, after our awesome daily dance lesson, we’ll delve into our story of the week! Rather than choose very general concepts (though I have to say that a camp themed after a color, e.g., “Pinkalicious Camp” sounds pretty darn fun–so kudos the local dance schools offering these!), we’ve always chosen real ballet stories for the kids to study.

This summer, young dancers can mix and match from the following list:
Swan Lake: July 11-15
Coppelia: July 18-22
Sleeping Beauty: July 25-29
Where the Wild Things Are: August 1-5

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Photos of City Center for Dance: Reathel Geary, 5d-Creative

Note: All camps are from 9-11 am, Monday-Friday, at our beautiful new City Center for Dance studio, and include all activities (craft, dance lessons, healthy snack, and end-of-the-week performance with costumes and stage makeup). Camps are $85 each or $150 for any two!

Studying the story includes Storytime and then watching a renowned ballet company perform the ballet story while we enjoy a healthy snack. Teachers facilitate discussion questions (From “Which character do you think that is?” to “Why is the music scary here?”). Next, we’ll participate in a daily craft related to our story, which might include a prop (like a crown that will be used in our Friday performance) or a miniature costume or set design, depending on the day of the week and the story in question (we don’t want to give it ALL away here, folks!). While we work on our craft projects, we’ll also listen to music from the story and discuss how it helps to tell the story’s action. Each camp morning finishes with a rehearsal of choreography for our performance at the end of the week! Some fun additional activities throughout the week include meeting a BFan company dancer in costume, a field trip to the public library’s dance section (with parental permission, of course), and a performance at the end of the week complete with costumes, stage makeup, kid-produced tickets, programs, choreography inspired by the original, and a viewing of the scenery and costumes that each young dancer would create in his/her own staging of the production someday. (We’ve got fun stories from past projects: one young man many years ago elected to give Von Rothbart, the bad guy in Swan Lake, gingivitis and a case of bad plaque in his costume design–“since Mr. Rothbart is so evil and irresponsible.”)

Parents will learn, too: Expect a full report on the ballet story, composer, and key musical moments during the Friday performance at the end of each Camp week.

Finally, another key ingredient that makes BFan’s Fairytale Ballet Camps so special is that they are limited in size to nine kids…so each young dancer truly gets a lot of personal attention from his or her teacher, creates some great new friendships, and feels comfortable to learn and reach their highest potential and to contribute creatively. We love what we do and know that you will too! Please help us pass the word along about our very Fantastique Fairytale Dance Camps (we still have a few spaces available in all camps, but our weekly Shooting Stars class on Wednesday afternoons is full).

You can learn more about the camps and register online here!

Psst: We also have limited space still available for some Professional Division Summer Intensive Program workshops (ages 7 and up)…just send us an email or give us a call!

Art Walk at Opus 7

We love being out in the community, and were privileged to have been asked to participate in the First Friday Art Walk at the beautiful Opus 7 Gallery as part of the opening celebration for their “Just Dancin'” exhibit (with art by Anne Teigen).

BFan company dancers performed excerpts from our upcoming “Pirates & Gypsies” show (for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s opening night of Pirates of Penzance on June 11 in Ashland), and to rub shoulders with RG photographer/writer Bob Keefer, artist Anne Teigen, and even the Slug Queen!

Some photos from the event:

Meet your dancers

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Ballet Fantastique company dancers Amelia, Hannah, Leanne, and Krislyn as part of photographer McKenna Johnson’s COLORS series.

More of McKenna’s work (including some Ballet Fantastique performance shots):
website: http://www.wix.com/mk3nna/mckennaphoto
blog: http://heretothere1.wordpress.com/
vimeo: http://vimeo.com/mckennaphoto

We love being out in the community and working with local artists! Feel free to contact us to get on our projects list of collaborators. 🙂 Thanks for the awesome opportunity, McKenna!

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

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.