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Interview with Ethan Schweitzer-Gaslin

Ballet Idaho: What inspired you to start dancing?
Ethan: As a little kid I loved to perform. I would dress up and put on shows and always dance around the house whenever there was music playing, especially when the weather channel would do the “local on the 8s”. When I was around 5 my parents saw an ad for a ballet school in the newspaper and asked me if I wanted to try ballet, and I’ve been dancing ever since.

BI: This year, you choreograph the Spring Fashion Show and are a featured choreographer in New Dance. How is dancing on the runway different from the normal stage?
E: The runway for this event presents a unique challenge for me as a choreographer and for my cast of dancers. I performed at last year’s fashion show and choreographed for the Ballet Idaho fall gala where we had a similar stage so I have had a little bit of firsthand experience. There is the obvious difficulty of the size of the stage (it’s only about two feet wide and there are audience members sitting very close on either side so the dancers have to be very careful!) but also the fact that we don’t have our special Marley flooring, which makes it very slippery and hard to move quickly in ballet shoes. I really enjoy creating work for events with these kinds of challenges because it forces me to come up with things I might not otherwise, and asks me to consider how ballet exists for people outside of a typical theater.

BI: What can we look forward to with the NewDance, Up Close spring series?
E: New Dance spring seems like it is going to be a pretty fun show. I don’t want to spoil too much of the surprise so you’ll have to get tickets and come to the show to find out, but I will say that I am creating a high energy trio for a few of my favorite dancers in the company and anyone who liked the ballet I set for Graham and Adrienne last year will enjoy it.

BI: What is the process when creating a new work?
E: The process for new work is a little different every time for depending on what kind of piece I’m creating, but I am usually very procedural. Just like dancers have to have technique and know which muscles to use and know the building blocks of each step they do, so too there is a technique for choreography. I almost always start with the music, listen to it over and over until I know every note, and map out where I want things to happen. Then I create movement phrases and take those into the studio and manipulate them with the dancers. I start with ballet steps and then tweak things and play with the way the movement looks.

BI: When you are not dancing, how do you spend your free time?
E: Ballet is a very demanding job, so you have to spend a lot of time taking care of yourself. However, as artists and athletes, both physical and emotional health is important so you need to have interests outside the studio. Food is very important in my family and something I’m very passionate about so I cook a lot. I also love to get outdoors and hike or camp or soak in a nice hot spring, and I try to involve myself in politics and the development of the great community we live in as much as I can.

Ethan rehearsing with Graham Gobeille

Spring Workshops and Class Offerings

Choreography Workshop

Join us for a series of choreography sessions and delve into the creative process. Lydia Sakolsky-Basquill, BIA faculty member and director of Project Flux, will lead the workshops along with other guest faculty. Together students will experiment with the tools and techniques of dance composition. The session begin Friday, April 15 and culminates with a Choreography Showcase on May 6th highlighting student creations. Choreography Workshop 2016 Click here for complete schedule and details or contact Emily Wallace ewallace@balletidsaho.org.

Six Week Boys Class

We are excited to offer a 6 week introductory Boys Class on Saturday afternoons, April 16th – May 28th (no class May 21) from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm for $90.00. Adam Still, former professional dancer and BIA faculty member, will introduce a curriculum specific to the male dancer, focusing on strength building, techniques for jumps, turns and partnering. Our goal behind this introductory teaser course is to incorporate it into the curriculum next fall. For more information, contact Emily Wallace ewallace@balletidaho.org

To register for either course contact Lasin@balletidaho.org or 208.343.0556 × 232

Interview with John Selya

Ballet Idaho: What inspired you to become a dancer?
John: Dancing is the perfect balance of sports and music and at 10 years old I began dancing with the School of American Ballet.

BI: What do you appreciate most about Nine Sinatra Songs?
John: I appreciate the complexity and simplicity of the romantic relationships. Each pas de deux is an example of certain feelings and emotions we all experience.

BI: You have worked with Twyla Tharp for over 20 years, what has been one of your favorite moments with her?
John: I think most of the moments with her are my favorite. She allows me to express myself every time I dance with her.

BI: You spent some time here in Boise last year when you came to first meet the company, what were you most looking forward to upon your return?
John: I love Boise, the community and the environment of the city. I look forward to working with the dancers and the professionalism and attitude they bring with them.

BI: When you’re away from the studio, how do you like to spend your time?
John: Surfing, as often as I can.

As a native New Yorker, John Selya trained at the prestigious School of American Ballet from 1980 – 1988. In his final year, he received the Mae L. Wien award for Outstanding Promise before joining the American Ballet Theatre. There John performed works by Balanchine, Robbins, Tharp, Mark Morris, Tetly, Kudelka, Kylian, as well as the classical repertoire. In addition to making a name for himself, John choreographed three works for the company: Moondance, Disposition and Don’t Panic. Later, John joined Twyla Tharp Dance to create and perform the central role of Eddie in Tharp’s Tony winning Broadway show, Movin’ Out. His extraordinary performance earned him a Tony nomination for best actor in a musical, an Astaire award for outstanding dancing on a Broadway stage and a Theater World Award for outstanding Broadway debut.

Since then Mr. Selya has appeared as the Mambo dancer in Damn Yankees, Scranton Slim in Guys and Dolls and Sid in Twyla Tharp’s recent Come Fly Away. In 2008, John was an “Artist-in- Residence” at New York’s Joyce SoHo, where he created two works: Tweaker and La Voix Humaine. In addition to appearing on stage, John also has appeared on screen in the movies Everyone Says I Love You, Across the Universe and Romance and Cigarettes.

John recently staged and directed the Royal Danish Ballet’s production of Tharp’s Come Fly Awaywhere the production had a historic run and earned numerous awards for the artists involved. Mr.Selya has recently been assisting Ms. Tharp in collaborating and creating a curriculum for Twyla Tharp’s school for dance in New York City.

Interview with new company member Shane Horan

We had a moment to catch up with company member, Shane Horan, who joined Ballet Idaho just before The Nutcracker, in December of 2015.

Ballet Idaho: How long have you been dancing and what got you started?
Shane: I’ve been dancing since I was 4 years old. I immediately fell in love with ballet when I first saw The Nutcracker, and since then it’s been the only thing I’ve dreamed of doing. So getting to be a professional ballet dancer is pretty special.

Ballet Idaho: What are your influences?
Shane: I’m greatly influenced by the New York City Ballet. It’s my favorite ballet company and I think the diversity of movement as well as the Balanchine style is definitely something I aspire to bring to my dancing.

How was it joining the company late in the season?
Shane: It was kind of nerve-wracking joining the season late. I mean this is my first professional job, so I was initially nervous about jumping right in with new people and having to learn Nutcracker rather quickly. However, everyone here is really supportive and encouraging, which made the transition much easier and very enjoyable.

Ballet Idaho: What has been your favorite role of your dance career thus far?
Shane: I really loved dancing in Septime Webre’s ALICE (in Wonderland) when I was in the Second Company at Kansas City Ballet. It challenged me in many ways, but the movement was beautiful and very fun to dance.

Ballet Idaho: What are you most excited about this season with Ballet Idaho?
Shane: I think I’m most excited for Valse Fantaisie this season. I may not dance in this ballet since there’s only one male role, but Balanchine is my all-time favorite choreographer. So to have the Balanchine stagers teach company class, and to see the progress of the ballet coming together will be an exciting experience for me.

Ballet Idaho: How do you spend your time out of the studio?
Shane: Outside of the studio I’m generally relaxing in some way or form. I try to hit the gym as frequently as I can, but when I’m not I like to hang out with fellow dancers and watch some movies, or go shopping. As dancers we work our bodies so much throughout the work week, it’s extremely important to make sure we rest when we can.

See Shane next on stage in Sinatra and More, February 19 and 20 at Morrison Center.

Summer Intensive Auditions at Ballet Idaho

Please visit their website for more information.

Ballet Austin
Monday, January 4, 2016
Registration 4:00 – 5:00, 5:00 -7:00 Studio 1

Oregon Ballet Theatre OBT
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Registration 12:00 – 12:30, 12:30 – 2:00 Studio 1
Registration 2:00 – 2:30, 2:30 – 4:00 Studio 1

Northwest Dance Project
Sunday, January 24, 2016 (ballet/modern)
Registration 12:00- 12:30, 12:00-3:00 Studio 1

Nutmeg Ballet
Friday, January 29, 2016
Registration 4:00 -4:30, 4:30 – 6:00 Studio A

Gelsey Kirkland Academy GKA
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Registration 12:30 -1:00, 1:00 – 4:00 Studio A

The Jillana School
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Registration 12:00 -12:30, 12:30 – 2:30 Studio 1

Pointe Shoe Fittings Saturday, Nov 14 with Phillip Broadbent from Empire Dance Shop in Spokane, WA

Ponite Shoe Fittings with Phillip Broadbent from Empire Dance Shop in Spokane, WA. Phillip has a longstanding relationship with students and professional dancers throughout the Northwest for his expertise in fitting pointe shoes.

Location: Ballet Idaho, Studio 3 – Annex Building PLEASE ENTER through our 8th Street entrance!

Cost per fitting: $10.00 Checks made out to Ballet Idaho.

What to bring: current pointe shoes (if applicable)

Please contact Emily Wallace to schedule a time. ewallace@balletidaho.org or 208.343.0556 ×227

Ballet Idaho Dancers Return to the Studio

Fall is upon us and, second to a pumpkin spice latte, we are thrilled to have our dancers back in the studio full time! They are hitting the marley floor hard in preparation for NewDance, Up Close fall series and The Nutcracker.

Adrienne back to studio

Phyllis Rehearsing Solo

Ballet Idaho Academy Student Joins Professional Company

We are proud to announce that Ballet Idaho Academy student, Lydia Herman has joined the Ballet Idaho company as apprentice. We had a moment to sit down with Lydia and discuss the upcoming season.

BIA: How has this start to the season differed from previous years of coming back to the Academy?
Lydia: I started off with academy classes just as always, but as soon as company classes started so did rehearsals and preparation for our first performance. That is something I was not used to, jumping right in to get ready for our first showing.

BIA: What are you most looking forward to this season?
Lydia: This season I am excited for everything, since it is my first year. I am thrilled to perform on the same stage as all of the wonderful, inspiring company dancers. But most of all I am just excited to dance, more than I have ever before.

BIA: Is there anything you are anxious about this season?
Lydia: Although I am looking forward to performing most shows, it makes me nervous and anxious to think that I will be on that stage most of that year, in front of those huge crowds. Hopefully I will be able to dance higher level parts as well.

BIA: How do you spend your time when you’re not dancing?
Lydia: When I am not dancing I start to focus more on my school work and catching up with everything I am behind in. Also to keep in shape I take hot yoga classes as much as I can or I go to the gym.

BIA: Who or what inspires your dancing?
Lydia: Since I was five I have loved dancing. Maybe because I am inspired by my mom, who is a dancer also, or just because I enjoy creating those beautiful lines that I am always trying to improve. I have never really known why I love it, but watching it makes me happy and performing makes me even happier. Like I can get away from all of my problems and only focus on improving myself physically and emotionally.

Ballet Idaho Returns to Barnes and Noble

Support Ballet Idaho by shopping online or in store between November 18 and December 3. Mention Ballet Idaho at the register of your local store, present this bookmark or use the bookmark code online. A percentage of your sale is donated back to Ballet Idaho!

Ballet Idaho Youth Ensemble will be in-store on Saturday, November 28 from 11 am to 4 pm for story time and performances. 1315 N Milwaukee St, Boise, ID 83704

Barnes and Noble November

Shop Amazon and Support Ballet Idaho

You can support Ballet Idaho when shopping online with Amazon by using AmazonSmile! AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. When customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.

Steps to get started:
-Click here to link your reguilar Amazon account to a charity of your choice.
-Search Ballet Idaho Inc under ‘pick your own charitable organization’
-Select Ballet Idaho Inc
-Start Shopping!

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