balletbc

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Launch into Ballet BC’s 2014-15 season with No.29 - an evening of explosive works from the choreographic talents of Fernando Hernando Magadan, Lesley Telford, and Jacopo Godani.

Playing the Queen Elizabeth Theatre November 6 - 8, No. 29 Student Rush Tickets must be purchased in-person at the box office from 6pm - 7pm, only.

Cost: $23.50 with valid student ID.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre: 650 Hamilton Street.

Visit our website for more information: www.balletbc.com

Not available by phone or online. Subject to availability. Seats will be at the theatre’s discretion.Limit 1 ticket per valid ID. Tickets non-transferrable. Student ID required for student rush ticket pricing. Student Rush Tickets are not available for purchase from 7pm - 8pm.

 

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Join our Young Professionals group Ballet BC Up as they kick off a new season! Become an Up member and attend the Season Launch Party on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 5:15pm.

The first event of the season will feature a private, in-studio Sneak Preview of a work from Ballet BC’s upcoming production, No. 29, at The Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street. Following the sneak preview, the night continues at The Morrissey Pub for drinks and appetizesr with the dancers! To RSVP and become an Up member, email up@balletbc.com by Monday, October 20th. 

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Ballet Kelowna’s newly-appointed Artistic Director and CEO, Simone Orlando, will begin her position on September 1, but before Simone takes an exciting new leap forward in her career, we wanted to reflect on her 13 years of dance with Ballet BC. We interviewed Simone about her defining moments in dance, her journey from stage to AD and CEO, and her thoughts on the direction of Ballet BC.

What was your favourite memory during your time with Ballet BC?
Hearing the first few notes of the live orchestra on the opening night of world premieres of ballets like Carmina Burana and A Streetcar Named Desire was both humbling and exhilarating.  It was an honour to dance principal roles in these ballets and others for Vancouver audiences and I cherish many memories and moments from my time on the Queen Elizabeth stage.

After training at the National Ballet School in Toronto, why did you choose to dance with Ballet BC? How does Ballet BC differ from other dance companies in Canada?
I joined Ballet BC because I was interested in working with John Alleyne and other contemporary ballet choreographers to gain insight into choreographic processes and be involved in the creation of new work. I think Ballet BC has always attracted artists, whether dancers or choreographers, who are willing to take risks and move outside of their comfort zone.

What are your thoughts on Ballet BC’s latest work under Emily Molnar’s artistic leadership?
As a creator, I enjoy watching and experiencing the work of many of today’s leading choreographers through Ballet BC’s programming.  Emily has done a great job building the Company’s repertoire while at the same time providing audiences, as well as the dancers, with opportunities to be exposed to new voices in dance.

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2009 was also a big year for you – tell us about your shift from dancing to becoming an AD and CEO.
My performing career was cut short in 2009 due to an injury.  Since then, I have continued to choreograph and teach and in 2012, I went back to school to study business management full-time at BCIT.  I recently graduated and I am looking forward to starting my new job as Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna on September 1.

Though you won’t be dancing on stage for Ballet Kelowna, how involved will you be in the practice?  
In addition to overseeing all administrative aspects of the Company including marketing, development, and public relations, I will be in the studio each day teaching company class, choreographing new works, and rehearsing the dancers.  I will be more involved than ever!  

How did being a professional dancer with Ballet BC help you in your career shift?
My time at Ballet BC taught me that there is always more to explore and learn about dance; it is an evolutionary process whereby each new creation builds upon the last and teaches you more about yourself as a person and an artist. I think this mindset, being willing and open to discover and understand new concepts and ideas, allowed me to excel in my recent studies at business school.

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
I am looking forward to moving to Kelowna and getting to know people in this community.  It will be exciting to work with the Board, staff, and dancers to build on Ballet Kelowna’s success and lead the Company into its next chapter.

What advice would you give aspiring artists today?
Always look for opportunities to learn and grow as a person outside of the world of dance.  Developing skills and interests that are non-dance related builds confidence and also serves to inform and enhance one’s approach and experience as an artist.  

Congrats, Simone, on your journey ahead and thank you for the beautiful legacy you leave behind at Ballet BC! 

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Photo Credits: (1) David Cooper (2) Emily Cooper

Were you formerly with Ballet BC? Get in touch with our alumni program at alumni@balletbc.com

imageA recent graduate of the Arts Umbrella program, Vancouver-born Christoph von Riedemann joins Ballet BC as a full company member this season. Determined to become a professional artist, this dedicated dancer used to commute hours a day across the Lower Mainland (bouncing between New Westminster, Kerrisdale, and Granville Island) to get the level of training that would make him company-ready come graduation.

What else don’t you know about Christoph? Read his answers to the Proust Questionnaire to find out!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  
Being with friends and family.

What is your greatest fear?
Spiders crawling into my mouth while I sleep.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Einstein. Brilliance and humility all in one man.

Which living person do you most admire?
Gotta say mom and dad.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  
I freak myself out very easily and find it hard to stay calm, cool and collected in stressful situations.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Selfish dishonesty.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Secondhand clothing runs

On what occasion do you lie?
Questionnaires ;)

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My determined uni-brow and my “biscuit feet”

When and where were you happiest?
When I got my training wheels off. Such proud and happy moment.

If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?
Have them all closer and on the same continent.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  
Being in this incredibly company with all these incredible artists.

If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?
I often fantasize about coming back as something that could fly.

What is your most treasured possession?
My music collection.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Stepping in a puddle with sneakers on.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Again gotta say mom and dad.

What is it that you most dislike?
Paper cuts.

How would you like to die?
Fulfilled and satisfied.

What is your motto?
Its still being defined, but these two quotes hold some worth in my life:

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid.” - Albert Einstein

“A day without laughter is a day wasted. ” - Charlie Chaplin

For more information on Christoph, read his full bio on our website.

 

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We’re delighted to welcome Vancouver-born Kirsten Wicklund to Ballet BC as a full-time company member this season! You may recognize Kirsten from her performances at Dances for a Small Stage, on stage with Washington Ballet or on recent tour with Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet. Learn more about Kirsten through the Proust Questionnaire, a personality questionnaire made famous by French writer Marcel Proust.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To be living fully in the present moment.

What is your greatest fear?
Complacency.

Which living person do you most admire?
So easy…my mother.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  
Self-doubt. When it is around I limit myself from my possibilities. I am always trying to eliminate self-doubts and challenge myself to be brave.  

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Apathy, or having a general disinterest or disengagement with the world, the present moment, or an endeavour.

What is your greatest extravagance?
High heels, I just love a good pair of high heels even though they are horrific for my poor feet!

On what occasion do you lie?
I think I do when I am faced with a strong fear.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I am learning every day to love and appreciate myself more, there then becomes less room for things I dislike about myself and more space for positivity and love.

When and where were you happiest?
When I am in a total fit of laughter with someone I love…nothing beats a good laugh, it’s like fuel for life and passion.  I LOVE to laugh. People have told me I laugh too much and too loud. I think thats debatable :)

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
To be more spontaneous. I like planning, list-making, and being prepared. I think I would like to change that in order to be open to the possibilities that already exist in front of me…so I could see them more clearly.

If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?
That I could put them in my pocket and take them with me wherever in the world I may go.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  
My perseverance in my craft. I have often been faced with situations that could have stopped me from continuing my career as an artist and I have persevered through them with everything inside of me. This is my greatest achievement, to be able to continue doing the work I was made to do even when it scares me and I feel I cannot go on.  

What is your most treasured possession?
My time & my art…if those are possessions.  My movement practice is very valuable to me, as is the time I take to nurture it.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To lose passion in life and be without the desire to explore, create, learn, grow and experience.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother and her most amazing father…my papa. They are the most incredible humans I have met in my life. Also my peers & fellow artists I am with everyday, they are the biggest source of inspiration to me.

What is it that you most dislike?
Seafood.  Seriously, yuckkk.

How would you like to die?
Fulfilled and with nothing unspoken.

What is your motto?
Be here now.

For more information on Kirsten, read her full bio on our website.

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Ballet BC is partnering with Fresh Air Cinema for their free outdoor screening of Footloose on July 22. Details here.

Though the 30 year old film about rural rebellion and banned dancing is older than some of our dancers, they know it well and love the story. So we asked a few of them: have you ever been told you couldn’t dance? Here’s what they (surprisingly!) had to say:

“I started dance very late, around 12 years old.  So - I had teachers tell me I would never be a professional dancer because I wasn’t flexible and I didn’t have a good body for a dancer. I had to work extra hard to catch up in technique to other dancers my age. Since I was always a hard worker, the rest of the teachers in my life were very supportive in helping me develop my craft!” - Kirsten Wicklund, 1st season 

“I was 15 when I started dancing so my teachers told me I was too old. I felt sad but I was inspired to get to where I am now.” - Peter Smida, 7th season 

“When I was 12, my teacher told me I would never be a dancer and that I should be an actress instead.  I had to convince my mom that my teacher was wrong and that I WAS going to be a dancer! When I was with Alberta Ballet, that teacher came to watch rehearsal and I remember having a really big smile on my face.” - Racheal Prince, 8th season 

Hope to see you on Tuesday!




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Ballet BC is partnering with Summer Cinema on Tuesday July 22nd for their screening of the 30th anniversary edition of Footloose! Check out the event here

Enter our selfie contest! Show us your best moves and take a dance selfie. Then, follow us on Instagram at @balletbc and share your photo with hashtags #balletbc and #summercinema.

Our Ballet BC dancers will choose the winner - so dance to impress! The winner will win a pair of tickets to a Ballet BC performance, plus they’ll get to sit and watch the movie with the dancers in the VIP section on July 22nd, and their selfie will be shown on the big screen before the movie!

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions…

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Welcome new dancers! Ballet BC is thrilled to welcome Andrew Bartee as a new full-time company member this season! Originally from Everett, WA, Andrew joins us from Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Let’s learn a bit more about Andrew through the Proust Questionnaire, a personality questionnaire made famous by French writer Marcel Proust.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  
Nutella.

What is your greatest fear?
Loneliness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?  
Intolerance.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Expensive greeting cards.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I would like to be more articulate.

What is your most treasured possession?  
Curiosity.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  
Vegan baked goods.

Who are your heroes in real life?  
My parents.

What is it that you most dislike?  
Littering.

What is your motto?  
Swag don’t come cheap.

To learn more about Andrew Bartee, read his full bio on our website.

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After apprenticing with Ballet BC for two years, Scott Fowler is now a full-time Company member! Scott shares his life as a dancer, what inspired him to dance and answers a few questions from the Proust Questionnaire!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To live in the present moment.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Insincerity.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Clothing, photography and videography.

When and where were you happiest?
Flying across the Caribbean on the Golden Eagle.

When did you know that you wanted to become a dancer and what inspired that moment?
I was enrolled in dance when I was 9 years old, and didn’t know much about it. Through my years of training I became more and more interested and intrigued by dance. By the time I had to choose between dance and university, I knew it was what I wanted to do. It felt a lot more like what I wanted, because to be moving and pushing my physical boundaries was a sense of being free and alive for me.

Did you have a teacher or mentor who personally inspired your career in dance?
I would say it was not one particular person, but many of my colleagues and maybe a few others who inspired me to take on a career in dance. I was very fortunate and am now very thankful for three main teachers in training at Arts Umbrella, Artistic Director - Artemis Gordon, Marquita Lester and Lynn Sheppard. All three of them had such a huge impact on my development as a dancer, and really helped me get to where I am now.

You work with many different choreographers with various styles and ways of working. How do you prepare yourself to work with a choreographer?
To be ideally prepared to work with a choreographer is to be as physically able and as mentally fresh as possible in order to present what is being asked by the choreographer to the best of your ability. This can be a challenge especially when creations are back to back and there isn’t much time to physically and mentally recuperate. It can also be beneficial to do a bit of research on the choreographer, to know what work they have done and perhaps get a sense of their choreographic style.

Do you have a favourite choreographer who you have worked with?
I don’t have one favourite choreographer or style. I personally find it limiting and unhelpful to pick a favourite choreographer, my aim is to find a way to enjoy the uniqueness of each choreographer.

What does your audience mean to you?
My audience is the recipient of the work I am communicating. They are viewer of my expression. An audience can be a huge source of inspiration and energy for me when performing.

Why do you love dance?
There are many reasons, some that come and go, but a couple of main ones. One is that dance is a constant discovery, there’s always room to surprise yourself and go beyond your boundaries. Another reason is that dance will always be a way for me to check in with who I am. The element of physicality intertwined with expression and emotion in dance is a key to getting back on page with myself, and is like an escape or rejuvenation.

For more information on Scott Fowler, read his full bio on our website.

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Photo Credit: Michael Slobodian

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It’s time to finally get up close and personal with the visionary choreographer and Artistic Director. Emily recently filled out the Proust Questionnaire and (almost!) left no question unanswered.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living in the moment.

What is your greatest fear?
That I stop learning and growing as a person.

Which living person do you most admire?
I admire many people, young and old. They are around me everywhere and everyday.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Self-judgment.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of gratitude.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Coffee.

On what occasion do you lie?
To myself, when I am afraid.

When and where were you happiest?
When I was learning something new that excites me, finding a moment of stillness, laughing… little moments of bliss are a daily menu.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
To not worry about the future.

If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?
There is nothing. It is not up to me to try and change my family or anyone for that matter.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
That I care.

If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?
Whatever I did not get to this time around.

What is your most treasured possession?
My health and time.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To lose the will to live.

Who are your heroes in real life?
The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and so many others…where do I begin, the list is long.

What is it that you most dislike?
Wasting time with negative thoughts.

How would you like to die?
Smiling.

What is your motto?
What if tomorrow is not there?

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Are  there any other questions you’d like to ask Emily? If yes, send us an email at info@ballet.com!

Photo by Michael Slobodian

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Another incredible season of Ballet BC has ended and we’re busy preparing for our 29th season launch in the fall. In the meantime, we’re excited to announce a new feature to find out what some of our former artists are up to now.

Artist: Ainslie Cyopik

When did you dance with Ballet BC?
I was with Ballet BC from the very first day, at the beginning of 1986, and danced with the company for 10 years.

Where are you originally from and where did you train?
I am from Welland Ontario, and trained at a small local school before going to The Quinte Ballet School near Kingston, in its early days. Following my training, my first job as a professional dancer was with The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto. 

What was your favourite memory during your time with Ballet BC?
I have so many great memories, it’s difficult to choose just one! To name a few:

When we toured in Asia. One of our tours was a six week adventure where we performed in four countries in Southeast Asia . That was a truly fantastic experience. Fascinating, fun, culturally stimulating, fulfilling and one of a one of a kind.

Dancing "in the middle, somewhat elevated" by William Forsythe and having him come to Vancouver to rehearse us. It was equally exciting, thrilling and terrifying at once.

All the wonderfully (sometimes wacky) tours we went on. In the early days, we really moved together like a tight knit family and we built wonderful bonds. Because we all started at the same time, at the beginning of this new fledgling company, we built the future together. There was no past to rely on or be compared to. 

Why did you choose Ballet BC as the company to dance with?
I liked the idea of a smaller company that was planning to do a mix of exciting and innovative new contemporary works and neoclassical favourites, vs classical full length ballets.

In your opinion, what makes Ballet BC unique as a dance company in Canada?
Ballet BC really has a unique and fresh repertoire that is different from other companies in the country, crafted firsthand on the dancers here.

What are your thoughts on Ballet BC’s latest work under the artistic leadership of Emily Molnar?
I loved the last performance I saw in April, UN/A. The choreography was exciting, immensely challenging for the dancers, and rewarding to watch. It’s admirable where Emily is taking the company and I’m so impressed at how quickly she is moving it forward. I’m amazed that the level of dancing just gets better and better. I’m left in awe of the dancers and their talent.

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What you’ve been working on since you’ve left Ballet BC?
When I retired from my performing career, I became a yoga teacher for a short period of time. It was a great transition out of dance. But for years I had been designing and making my own dancewear for class and rehearsals, as well as for dancer friends in various companies. Creating dancewear really was a passion and my dancewear clothing company, AinslieWear, slowly and organically emerged. It became my full time endeavor 15 years ago. We have our own factory here in Vancouver and sell our line of beautiful bodysuits to over 250 stores around the globe at www.ainsliewear.com

Are you still involved in dance? If yes, how?  
Aside from making clothing for dancers, I enjoy Argentine Tango. another passion of mine! I miss the performance days of covering space on a big stage but performing tango with a great partner is a good second. As the saying goes, once a dancer, always a dancer. I am also on the board of two dance companies here in Vancouver.

How did being a professional dancer with Ballet BC help you in your recent pursuits?
A professional dancer has to be pretty driven to succeed in such a demanding career. You have to keep going through many difficult and challenging situations, often when the body would rather take a rest. But the show isn’t over until the curtain is down, and one develops a strong will to persevere because of that.  I also worked in the wardrobe department while I was dancing at the company, which helped fuel my creative outlet. These things helped pave the way for me to start my own clothing company and make it work for the long term.

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
Oh, another endless list I can’t narrow down! I’m always looking forward to my next travel adventure, either for work or personal interest. And I always look forward to live dance and theatre performances here in Vancouver, or wherever I happen to be.

What advice would you give aspiring artists today?
Keep following all your interests, as well as dance. Keep open and inquisitive about what is going on in the world around you.

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Follow Ainsliewear on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Were you formerly with Ballet BC? Get in touch with our alumni program at alumni@balletbc.com

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“As part of our upcoming 2014-15 season we are delighted to welcome new dancers and apprentices to Ballet BC,” says Artistic Director Emily Molnar. “Our company of 14 dancers and 4 apprentices continues to express our commitment to innovation in a collaborative and interactive environment. We are thrilled to be bringing in these new artists, whose unique individuality and passion will contribute in exciting ways to our artistic vision and future.”

New Company members

Andrew Bartee: A native of Everett, WA, Andrew comes to us most recently from Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Scott Fowler: Scott joins the company as a full member after two years as a Ballet BC apprentice.

Christoph von Riedemann: Vancouver-born, Christoph is a recent graduate of the Arts Umbrella Dance Program.

Kirsten Wicklund: A Vancouver native, Kirsten studied at the Goh Ballet Academy, danced with Washington Ballet and most recently starred in the only principal female role with Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet.

Tara Williamson: From Richmond, BC, Tara trained at the Richmond Academy of Dance, was a principal dancer with Alberta Ballet and was most recently a member of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal.

Apprentices

Nicholas Bellefleur: Born in Trois-Rivières, Nicholas trained at École supérieure de ballet du Québec.

Zoe Michalik: From Halifax, Zoe is a recent graduate of the National Ballet School.

Keigo Nozaki: Japanese-born Keigo Nozaki began his professional training at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet and has worked with Nordharzer Städtebundtheater in Germany.

Maya Tenzer: From Vancouver, Maya is a recent graduate of the Arts Umbrella Dance Program.

Returning Company members

Emily Chessa, Darren Devaney, Livona Ellis, Alexis Fletcher, Connor Gnam, Rachel Meyer, Racheal Prince, Gilbert Small and Peter Smida.

Read full bios for all Company members and apprentices here.

Artist in Residence

After four years with Ballet BC, Dario Dinuzzi has been named Artist in Residence for our 2014-15 season. Read more information on the Artist in Residence program here

“We would also like to say a fond farewell to our departing dancers Alexander Burton, Emilie Durville, Thibaut Eiferman and Daniel Marshalsay, along with our 2013-14 apprentices Ryan Genoe, Taylor McAuley and Alanna Sager,” says Artistic Director Emily Molnar. “We wish them much success as they embark on the next phase in their careers.”

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Follow Ballet BC on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram.

Photos: Clockwise from top left - Kirsten Wicklund, Andrew Bartee, Tara Williamson, Maya Tenzer, Keigo Nozaki, Zoe Michalik, Nicholas Bellefleur, Christoph von Riedemann and Scott Fowler.  

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As a non-profit organization, Ballet BC relies on the ongoing support of donors to continue our work. Our 2013-14 campaign goal is to raise $500,000 by June 30th, 2014 and to date - we’ve already raised more than $280,000! Each milestone we reach is made possible by the support we receive from patrons and partners in our community.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our patrons. Meet Melanie Ferrandi -  a dance enthusiast and generous donor. Melanie shares her memories of Ballet BC and the impact dance has had on her life.

What interests you most about Ballet BC? 

Dance has been an important part of my life – my mother was a dancer and I danced until I was about 15. When I moved to Vancouver in the early ‘90s, I wanted to restore this creative and artistic interest to my life (professionally, I am a financial advisor). Since then, I started to attend Ballet BC performances and don’t think I have missed a season since.   

Why does art and culture matter to you? 

For me, all art forms provoke emotion and emotions are what make people interesting. For people who don’t work in the world of art and culture, I think that being exposed to it helps us to think in a different way than we usually might. I am also someone who loves to learn and so exploring new art forms or cultures is very fulfilling. I think it is important to nurture the arts because a love of the arts connects people and creates special interesting communities.

What is your favourite memory of Ballet BC? 

I have many - but my most recent favourite moment was the summer of 2013, when I took my 14 year old daughter (who is also a Ballet BC fan) to Jacob’s Pillow, North America’s longest-running dance festival. We loved everything about it. The Berkshires are beautiful. Jacob’s Pillow itself is an amazing place with a great sense of dance history. It was inspiring to be surrounded on a daily basis by avid dance fans. The Ballet BC dancers were as excellent as always and it was quite moving to be in the audience for a standing ovation in such a prestigious environment.  

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