Ballet News

Archive of: 2018

An Interview with Garrett Anderson

An Interview with Garrett Anderson

We recently sat down with our new Artistic Director, Garrett Anderson, to get a sneak peek at the upcoming season, talk about Garrett’s passion for dance, and more!

You have danced all over the world – from San Francisco Ballet to Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – through this vastness of dance experience what has been one of your favorite pieces to perform and why?

Different works create completely different experiences for the dancer and audience.
One very memorable piece for me was William Forsythe’s Artifact. This is a full evening of work in 4 acts, and it was quite the ride. It required so much commitment, intensity of focus, and sheer stamina that by the end I was deliciously exhausted. There is really nothing like feeling that you have given a performance every ounce of your being, and dancing at the edge of your ability for 3 hours on stage is something that never gets old. From Belgium we toured that program for about two years. Needless to say, we got to know this work very well and to this day, when I hear the music, the experience of dancing it comes flooding back.

In a very different way, and with a very different type of focus and energy, Jiri Kylian’s work comes to mind. This was a full evening including, Petit Mort, Serabande, and 27:52”. That program had a similarly full and immersive experience into the genius of Kylian’s choreography. His is more internal, infused with a sensibility that is uniquely his own. It is actually very difficult to summarize or articulate verbally, but I would call it transcendent yet human, poetic, and laced with a dark humor. Without a doubt he is another one of the geniuses of our time. He has such a quiet and powerful presence, which is so clear in his work. Of these three works, I would say the duet in Petit Mort was among the most profound. The partnering has such a fascinating juxtaposition of precision and abandon, and when it worked it was really incredible. I remember Alejandro Cerrudo helping to teach me this part, (another choreographer I greatly admire) with Ana Lopez, and it was clear how special this part was for them. The passing of information between us became akin to a transference of something almost sacred.

During the course of the 2018/19 season, you will be collaborating with other choreographers known throughout the world and locally; was there a guiding theme as you pulled together the different pieces, and if so, what was it?

The works are not so much thematically linked in their content as much as linked by the choreographers themselves.
I chose the artists for who they are as creators as much as the excellence of the work they produce. The work this season will demonstrate the sensitivity and care that these choreographers all embody. They don’t make work to achieve a specific style or aesthetic, but rather with a guiding ethic that runs deeper, and gives the work (and demands of the dancer) an intention and purpose in the moment. The result is a beautiful thing, but not the sort of beauty that is external or superficial.
It is easy to get stuck in our own little creative bubbles and to insulate ourselves with our own ideas and the people we share those ideas with on a regular basis. But this doesn’t keep us sharp, or refined. For me there is always great inspiration in the challenge that is born out of creative collaboration. Some of these are artistic challenges and others are logistical, but the solutions to both can be creative. I want to remain open to learning about our art form and our work from those outside of our organization. If engaged in thoughtfully and openly, these experiences can only help us define who we are and inform our own sensibility.

Our former Artistic Director, Peter Anastos, was with Ballet Idaho for 10 years and had a profound impact on making Ballet Idaho what it is today. What is one of the components of his legacy that you value the most?

Firstly, I am so grateful for the company I am inheriting from him, and feel so fortunate to be stepping in where he has left off.
He will have a lasting influence in how he shaped a group of young artists and provided the formative experiences in the work he has brought and used to educate with, especially in introducing Balanchine to these dancers and our audience. Many of our dancers came from schools that emphasized Balanchine training, and it is one thing to work in class but another to experience the utility of this training in the masterpieces of choreography that exemplify the ideals therein. Peter had a deep sense of reverence for the tradition and history of this art form, and his enthusiasm and respect for dance was effusive and contagious. Ballet is, after all, an experience that is pretty far removed from the everyday experience of many in our culture. Peter did the important work of both honoring that sense of value while removing the barriers and stigma that come from a lack of understanding or access to its history and the culture that lends it meaning.

Now that you and your family are beginning to settle into your new home, how do you like Boise so far? What are some of your favorite parts?

We are loving Boise!
My kids have already become very acquainted with all the places to get ice cream, and are quick to spot a good toy store, and our neighborhood has both.
We are all loving living somewhere so bike friendly and have enjoyed the community and impromptu social setting of our block. We end up spending more time chatting with neighbors and hanging out in back yards (or just on the street) than we ever have. It is such a friendly, relaxed place.

What do you think makes dance truly distinct when compared to other art forms such as painting or poetry?

One thing that comes to mind here is the ephemeral quality of dance.
We experience it while it is happening, and then it really is gone except for the trace memories in our minds and muscles, like echoes. This transitory nature makes it that much more precious and fascinating to me. At any point in the process or scale, it is wholly unique – no two performances, rehearsals, or arabesques are the same.
I also love how much it asks of the artists who spend their lives giving to it. Dance is a musical art form, it is a dramatic art form, it is highly athletic, yet emotional, and as subtle in its qualitative demands as it is extreme in the physical ones. It almost contradicts itself in the capacities it requires and I think that is why it is so special.

You are carrying on the tradition that Ballet Idaho first established during the 2012/13 season of including a Balanchine piece in the season lineup. Though Balanchine was often known for his more modern work, you have selected Allegro Brilliante, which is one of his most classical pieces, and is set to Tchaikovsky music, a traditional ballet accompaniment. What is it about this piece that drew you to it?

I think the classicism of Allegro Brilliante is part of what attracted me.
I love Tchaikovsky and the grandeur and romance in his music and the dancing is so crisp and free and has such vitality. To me what makes Balanchine great is the way he takes classical technique and liberates it, not by defying its conventions but by more fully exploring them. The dynamics and speed are so satisfying. This approach, with the Tchaikovsky score as its driving force, makes for an undeniably powerful piece of dance. In Balanchine’s own words, Allegro Brilliante, “contains everything I know about the classical ballet in 13 minutes”. That pretty much sums it up.

The November program will be our first performance of the season. Would you say that it sets the tone for the remainder of the season’s programs? What can our subscribers look forward to seeing in NewDance: Form and Concept that we may see echoed throughout the rest of the season?

In some ways it will set a tone.
It will introduce many different voices and represent a range of styles from classical ballet to contemporary dance. On the other hand it will be a unique experience in the setting and scale of the work. It will be a more intimate, episodic program than the mixed rep in the Morrison, and will be far less about storytelling than something like Cinderella at the close of the season. That said, there will be an echo in that some of the choreographers you see will return, both in subsequent programs and seasons. Seeing NewDance: Form and Concept will in some ways be an introduction to my vision for the company’s future and in others be a wholly unique experience.

2018/19 Performance Season Announced!

BALLET IDAHO ANNOUNCES 2018/19 PERFORMACE SEASON

Boise ID — Ballet Idaho, under the new artistic direction of Garrett Anderson, has announced their 2018/19 performance line-up. The new season includes choreography from around the country, as well as traditional favorites The Nutcracker and Cinderella. Season tickets are on sale now, starting at $122, at www.BalletIdaho.org.

Ballet Idaho will open the season with a redefined version of their contemporary series, NewDance: Form and Concept in November. Featuring a world premiere by Boise’s Lauren Edson and pieces from Robyn Mineko Williams, Penny Saunders, and excerpts of works by Dani Rowe and Craig Davidson, this series expands Ballet Idaho’s repertory in their own 200-seat theater in downtown Boise.

In December, the company returns with the holiday tradition of The Nutcracker, with choreography by recently retired artistic director, Peter Anastos. Ballet Idaho has announced that this will be the last showing of the current production of The Nutcracker, before its replacement takes the stage in December 2019. After three consecutive sold out runs and new this year, Ballet Idaho has added a Thursday evening performance. Boise Philharmonic will play Tchaikovsky’s score live for all six performances.

Ballet Idaho’s winter performance in February, titled ReDefine, features the work of some of the world’s preeminent dance makers and new voices. This series includes choreography by George Balanchine, Hubbard Street’s resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, Craig Davidson, Penny Saunders, and a world premiere by Danielle Rowe. Opening with George Balanchine’s seminal work for five couples, Allegro Brillante, set to the rousing Tchaikovsky score for piano and orchestra. Penny Saunders lends a sweeping and intricate duet in Berceuse, set to Benjamin Godard. It explores the nuanced line between classical and contemporary, expressed through relationships between the dancers, music, and movement. Australian Craig Davidson shows us ballet’s most current direction with his energetic and innovative Ambiguous Content. Alejandro Cerrudo’s Lickety-Split is a light-hearted yet poignant work, set to the songs of folk singer Devandra Banhart. Lastly, is a world premiere from Danielle Rowe. Drawing upon her performing experience in the world’s preeminent ballet and contemporary companies ranging from Australian Ballet to Netherlands Dance Theater, her work employs a simplicity and emotional honesty that is both captivating and personal.

A more traditional take on Ballet Idaho’s studio series returns in March, NewDance: Inside View, will feature new work from their own artistic staff and dancers at their home theatre in the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy.

The season will wrap in the first weekend of May 2019 with Edwaard Liang’s Cinderella. Set to Prokofiev’s jubilant and lush score, this timeless fairytale is brought to a creative and humorous new life. Liang’s choreography takes us on the narrative journey employing all of the intricacies of classical staging, yet never purely relying on convention. Be drawn in to experience these characters as they move through the surreal and beautiful world of this beloved fairy tale. This entrancing performance will captivate all ages.

Complete 2018/19 season details:

NewDance: Form and Concept
Ballet Idaho Theater
Single tickets on sale September 19, 2018
Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Friday, November 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 2 pm
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 1 pm
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 5 pm

The Nutcracker
Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts
Single tickets on sale October 17, 2018
Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Friday, December 14, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 2 pm
Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 12 pm
Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 4 pm

ReDefine
Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts
Single tickets on sale December 5, 2018
Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm

NewDance: Inside View
Ballet Idaho Theater
Single tickets on sale January 17, 2019
Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Friday, March 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 2 pm
Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 1 pm
Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 5 pm

Cinderella
Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts
Single tickets on sale February 20, 2019
Music by Sergei Prokofiev
Choreography by Edwaard Liang
Friday, May 3, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 2 pm
Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm

About Ballet Idaho:
Since 1972, Ballet Idaho has enriched lives through classical ballet and served as a dynamic reflection of the Boise community. Ballet Idaho is the only professional ballet company and academy in the state of Idaho, bringing together the highest level of dance excellence with a commitment to education and training. For more information, visit www.balletidaho.org.

Welcome to Your New Social Scene... Ballet Idaho Introduces the Social Circle

Young professionals and lovers of the arts are invited to join this casual, membership-based meet up group at local partnering venues. We are calling on individuals and companies to help us kick-start this program and build the next generation in our arts community.

We want to hear from you if interested in a Social Circle membership, corporate partnership, or venue sponsorship.

With a gift of $25/month, membership to our newly formed Social Circle grants access to event invitation lists, as well as offers exclusive performance offers, offstage and behind the scenes. Enjoy discounts and perks from our partner venues while you grow your network of friends and professional connections.

For details, please contact Lindsey Pate at lpate@balletidaho.org or download this Social Circle Partnership .

SOCIAL CIRCLE PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL

Ballet Idaho’s new Social Circle connects a vibrant group of young professional supporters, ages 21 – 40. Social Circle members receive unique opportunities to engage with the artistic community and company of Ballet Idaho through behind-the-scenes social networking events at partnering venues.

Social Circle members represent the future of Idaho’s art scene as the next generation of donors, patrons, and community leaders. Ballet Idaho recognizes the power of this demographic and offers the platform for them to meet, grow their personal and professional networks, support local businesses, and integrate with the Treasure Valley’s artistic community.

Please direct inquiries to Development Director Lindsey Pate, lpate@balletidaho.org.

Venue Partner Benefits:
Partner receives benefits listed below with beverage and food donation of $1,500+
- 4 complimentary Social Circle memberships for employees
- Logo inclusion in Ballet Idaho 2018/19 Souvenir Program, with exposure to more than 20,000 audience members (if committed by August 31, 2018)
- Logo with hyperlink on Ballet Idaho’s website
- Social media acknowledgement on Ballet Idaho’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, reaching approximately 17,000 individuals
- Invitations to exclusive special events

Professional Partner Benefits:
Partner receives benefits listed below with Social Circle promotion and employee membership encouragement
- 50% savings for Partner employees during first year of membership
- Logo inclusion in Ballet Idaho 2018/19 Souvenir Program, with exposure to more than 20,000 audience members (if committed by August 31, 2018)
- Logo with hyperlink on Ballet Idaho’s website
- Social media acknowledgement on Ballet Idaho’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (exposure to approximately 17,000 individuals) when membership within partner’s organization reaches ten employees
- See member benefits listed below

Social Circle Membership $300 annual ($25/month) gift includes:
- Recognition in 2018/19 Souvenir Program, with exposure to more than 20,000 audience members (if committed by August 31, 2018)
- Invitations to exclusive events
- 20% savings on Ballet Idaho performance tickets (limit two per series, excludes The Nutcracker)
- 10% savings on Spring Fashion Show tickets (limit two, seating sections B and C)
- Private social media group access
- Complimentary and discounted food and drinks from partnering venues; offers vary
- Membership is considered a tax deductible donation

New Rehearsal Director Announced

See a montage of Anne performing here: https://vimeo.com/65616915

BALLET IDAHO ANNOUNCES NEW REHEARSAL DIRECTOR

Boise ID — Ballet Idaho announced today that Anne Mueller has accepted the position of rehearsal director. Anne will teach company class, and assist Artistic Director Garrett Anderson with rehearsals and productions.

Ballet Idaho’s new Artistic Director, Garrett Anderson remarked, “We are thrilled to have Anne Mueller joining Ballet Idaho as rehearsal director for the 2018/19 season. Anne brings with her a wealth of professional experience as a dancer, coach, and leader. With a rare balance of confidence, intelligence, and humility, Anne is adept and experienced in the process of staging and creating work as well as teaching and mentoring professional dancers.”

Anne will relocate to Boise from Portland at the end of the summer. “I am elated to join the artistic staff at Ballet Idaho and to dedicate my skills and expertise to realizing Garrett’s vision for the company,” said Anne. “Having danced at the highest level in a wide range of choreographic styles, Garret Anderson brings an artistic richness and breadth of experience that excites and inspires me. I deeply love to shape and support artistic talent and to be a part of bringing great works of art to life. I can’t wait to do these things for Ballet Idaho within a community and organization filled with so much spirit, energy, and creativity.”

Anne Mueller Biography:
Anne Mueller danced with Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) from 1996 to 2011 and Alabama Ballet for three seasons prior. She became a principal dancer for OBT when ranks were established in 2007. Anne became artistic coordinator for OBT while continuing to perform. Her responsibilities combined ballet mastering with tour management. She initiated a company residency at Caldera and tours throughout California, Oregon and Washington. She managed the company’s second tour to Seoul, South Korea and laid the ground work for OBT’s first appearance at Wolf Trap. She was promoted to director of artistic operations and, following Christopher Stowell’s departure, became interim artistic director. As interim artistic director, she oversaw the re-mounting of Stowell’s full length Swan Lake and the creation of several new works, also leading a tour to the Kennedy Center for OBT’s second appearance in Ballet Across America.

She first choreographed for OBT under founding Artistic Director James Canfield. Later, under Stowell’s encouragement, Mueller continued choreographing and served as a collaborating creator and project manager for OBT’s The Stravinsky Project. She was also Stowell’s choreographic assistant on several of his ballets, including Rite of Spring in which she also appeared in the leading role. Rite earned critical acclaim with both the Portland and national press, including Dance Magazine.

In addition to works Anne staged for OBT, Mueller has set works by Christopher Stowell, Nicolo Fonte, and Trey McIntyre for companies such as Ballet West, The Washington Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Diablo Ballet, and Carolina Ballet. She self-produced tours of her own work to Bozeman, MT and to Ballet Builders 2009, a New York-based choreographic showcase. Her choreography has been performed by Oregon Ballet Theatre, Alabama Ballet, Ballet Victoria, Body Vox, and The Portland Ballet. Mueller was on the faculty for the School of OBT from 1999 to 2013.

Anne was a co-founder of Trey McIntyre Project (TMP), performing as a company artist from 2005 to 2007, also serving as the organization’s founding managing director from 2004 to 2006 and as director of outreach in 2006-2007. Anne appeared with TMP in leading roles performed at Vail International Dance Festival, Aspen Dance Festival, Wolf Trap, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, with her performance praised by the New York Times. She led workshops for TMP in Boise, San Antonio, Milwaukee and Birmingham.

In 2015, she joined the staff at The Portland Ballet as co-artistic director where she launched and led the school’s pre-professional training program. She continues to hold a position at The Portland Ballet as Resident Choreographer.

Currently, Anne is working as Choreographic Assistant to Guillaume Côté of the National Ballet of Canada, assisting him in the creation of Frame by Frame, a multi-media collaboration with Robert LePage and the Canadian Film Board.

Anne received her training from Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, The Washington School of Ballet, and The Kirov Academy.

About Ballet Idaho:
Since 1972, Ballet Idaho has enriched lives through classical ballet and served as a dynamic reflection of the Boise community. Ballet Idaho is the only professional ballet company and academy in the state of Idaho, bringing together the highest level of dance excellence with a commitment to education and training. For more information, visit www.balletidaho.org.

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An Interview with Peter Anastos

Peter Anastos

With the end of Swan Lake comes the end of an era – Peter Anastos, artistic director for the last 10 years, will be taking his leave of Ballet Idaho and beginning his retirement. Our Marketing Director, Meredith Stead, sat down with him to talk about both his journey of the past ten years, as well as his plans for the future.

What are you most proud of during your ten years with Ballet Idaho?

Well, pride is a process: I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity, by AJ Balukoff, Mrs. Simplot, and the Board in 2008, to form a company from scratch. We all took a huge gamble, but I’m proud to say we’ve survived. Just keeping the Ballet company running for 10 years makes me proud of our community. I’m proud of the way we have shaped and defined Ballet Idaho, and certainly for bringing the ballets of George Balanchine here. Finally, I’m proud that Ballet Idaho is now a known and respected company on the ballet world’s map. We did it!

What were the toughest challenges that you faced?

Always and forever, the biggest challenge is fund raising. But we’ve continued to grow as a company, refine our efforts, enlarge our donor base, make new friends every year. Although we’ve been through some dicey times, we’ve never missed a payroll!

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen take place over the years in the company?

One big change is the size of our audience. We started small, I have to admit. But the change is positive and it’s the confidence and support our community has shown in the company after 10 years. Our audience is large and growing, we have touched so many people’s lives, educated so many students, introduced so many people to the joy of ballet. We have also seen change in our repertoire, adding more contemporary work (which has a very sizeable fan base) and, again, adding the ballets of my hero, George Balanchine. His ballets create an audience by their genius and their accessibility.

As you pass off the torch, do you have any advice to give to Garrett Anderson, our new Artistic Director?

I wouldn’t presume to give him advice, except to say “be strong.” The Artistic Director is the company’s leader, it’s head and heart, and everything that the company does should flow from the vision of the Artistic Director. There is no such thing as a good ballet company without a great Director. I have no doubt Garrett Anderson will continue to improve and grow Ballet Idaho. It’s a very exciting adventure for him, for the company and for the community. I wish him God speed.

What would you wish for Ballet Idaho ten years from now?

I would wish for more work week for the dancers, better pay, more performances. I wish that in 10 years Ballet Idaho is a major national treasure and the pride of Idaho.

What are your plans for post retirement?

People like me don’t really ever “retire.” I have some interesting freelance choreography projects coming up next year in the US and also a developing project in Japan. That should be exciting. But first I will be catching my breath with a summer vacation to Norway and Russia. Want to bet I won’t be able to keep away from ballet performances? Also, I plan to stay in Boise, a wonderful place to live. We love our home, have many friends here, and I look forward to watching the continued growth and success of Ballet Idaho.

2018/19 Season Dates Announced

2018/19 Season Dates Announced

Please mark your calendars for our thrilling 2018/19 season.

Programming TBA.

Fall Gala at JUMP – Oct 13, 2018
NewDance fall series – November 8 – 11, 2018
The Nutcracker – December 13 – 16, 2018
Winter Repertory – February 8 – 9, 2019
NewDance spring series – March 7 – 10, 2019
Spring Story Ballet – May 3 – 4, 2019

Ballet Idaho Announces New Artistic Director

Ballet Idaho Announces New Artistic Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2018
Contact: Meredith Stead, Marketing Director
208.343.0556 Ext. 222, mstead@balletidaho.org

BALLET IDAHO ANNOUNCES NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Boise ID — Ballet Idaho announced today that Garrett Anderson has been named the Artistic Director, following a nationwide search to replace retiring Peter Anastos. Anderson will join the company in July.

“It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Garrett into our Ballet Idaho family,” said Randy Anderson (no relation), Ballet Idaho’s Board President. “His commitment to artistic excellence, community engagement and collaboration, development of new work, and classic favorites will resonate with our audience. Garrett has an impressive background in classical ballet and contemporary dance. He has also danced with Trey McIntyre Project and LED, so he is familiar with Boise and its audiences. Working with our search committee of representatives from the Board, staff, and dancers, I believe we have made an excellent selection for the future of our company.”

“I am eager to work with these artists and administrators to connect with the larger conversation Boise is having about its future,” said Anderson upon his appointment. “Together we can continue to extend Ballet Idaho’s work throughout the region and expand its artistic voice. Looking forward, my goal is to continue a legacy that is inclusive of all audiences, while pushing the boundaries of dance and helping to define its relevance in our community. My aim is to continue to bring great artists to Boise and to expose the dancers and our audience to a variety of choreographic perspectives. I am honored to join this organization at an exciting time in the development of its identity and the vital role it holds in this community. “

About Garrett Anderson:
Garrett began his training in Walnut Creek, CA under the direction of Richard Cammack and Zola Dishong at the Contra Costa Ballet Centre. He went on to study on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet school and then in the professional division at Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 2001, Garrett joined San Francisco Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet and in 2005 was promoted to soloist.

After seven years in San Francisco, he and his wife left the company in 2008 to join the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp, Belgium, where he danced as a first soloist. There, they toured extensively throughout Europe and the world. In January of 2011, he returned to the United States to dance with Trey McIntyre Project. Following this, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in August of 2011, where he danced a number of leading roles in work created on the company.

In August of 2016 Garrett became Chair of the Dance Department at New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe. He has since performed two seasons with SF Danceworks in San Francisco for which he was named as one of the years outstanding male performers by Dance Europe in 2016. Garrett has also been a guest artist with LED, Ballet Chicago, Civic ballet of Chicago, and Chicago Reparatory Ballet. Garrett was the recipient of the American Ballet Theatre national dance scholarship and holds a B.A. from St. Mary’s college of California.

Garrett, his wife Courtney and their two boys, Rowan and Kellan, are so excited to be a part of the Ballet Idaho family and the larger Boise community. “My wife and I have visited many times since working here in 2011. We have both been fortunate to have had dance careers that have taken us many places and are so thrilled to finally be able to make Boise our home.”

View 2018/19 season dates here.

Since 1972, Ballet Idaho has enriched lives through classical ballet and served as a dynamic reflection of the Boise community. Ballet Idaho is the only professional ballet company and academy in the state of Idaho, bringing together the highest level of dance excellence with a commitment to education and training. For more information, visit www.balletidaho.org.

Editors: Photo and interview opportunities are available. We would be happy to help in making this a feature story for your publication.

We are hiring! Apply for the Development Director position

Director of Development Job Description

Working with Executive Director and the board of directors, this position will oversee formulating and implementing fundraising goals, strategies and programs, including but not limited to, annual gifts for operating capital, corporate sponsorship and support, capital campaigns for production assets, special event fund-raiser management and long-term fund development, including a planned giving program and an endowment.

The successful candidate will possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit and have experience in successful fundraising and strategic planning with quantifiable knowledge and solid relationship-building skills within the arts and education fields. Demonstrated fund development success required. Demonstrated experience with donor and patron relations and excellent communication skills are also necessary.

Excellent teamwork, presentation, organizational and analytical skills are essential with detailed and accurate financial forecasting ability. Proficiency in MS office suite is required along with other donor relations software systems. Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in arts/education preferred or corresponding career experience.

Responsibilities:
The Director of Development (DoD) provides the leadership and direction for Ballet Idaho’s comprehensive fundraising program. The DoD manages and implements Ballet Idaho’s development plan including but not limited to, Trustee Giving, Major Gifts, Membership, Corporate Sponsorships and Support, Foundation and Government Grants, Annual & Capital Giving Campaigns, Prospect Management and Special Events.
Creation of annual fund-raising budget to include income and expenses for the department. Creation of specific strategies and tactics to facilitate the fulfillment of budgetary goals.

Specific responsibilities include:
Communications:
• Guide and prepare Board members in identifying, cultivating, and engaging donors
• Work closely with the Executive Director to identify prospective leadership for Ballet Idaho’s Board of Directors, Board committees, and gala fundraising events
• In conjunction with senior staff, devise, and recommend strategies for organization’s long-term fundraising objectives
• Report to executive leadership and Board of Directors on a bi-monthly basis
• Attend Board Meetings, Committee Meetings, Ballet Idaho performances, and other organizational events as appropriate
• Manage ongoing donor communication via verbal, written, and electronic correspondence, and ensure that all donor relationship information is recorded in Ballet Idaho’s database

Annual Campaign, Sponsorship, Major Gifts and Special Events:
• Meet expected revenue goals slated for all areas of giving (Individual gifts, Corporate Giving, Foundation/Government Grants, Special Events, special campaigns)
• Adhere to expense guidelines as set forth in the annual budget
• Research, cultivation, and stewardship of prospective donors corporate, foundation, and individual
• Creation and implementation of direct mail campaigns, sponsorship materials, and other projects
• Oversee donor recognition program
• Oversee planning and execution of numerous cultivation/recognition events and activities annually including but not limited to: Academy fundraiser, Fall Gala, Pre-performance dinners, Open rehearsals, Post performance events, backstage tours and cultivation events

Data Management and Materials Development:
• Develop methods to ensure proper acknowledgement and recognition of donors
• Maintain database, files and records of development activities involving identifying, cultivating, soliciting and tracking gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations and other fundraising activities
• Participate in the development of fundraising materials


Email resume, cover letter and references to jweaver@balletidaho.org.

Behind the Ballet: An Interview with Daniel Ojeda

Behind the Ballet: An Interview with Daniel Ojeda

With the Fleetwood Mac Collection just around the corner, our Marketing Assistant, Alanna Love, sat down with Choreographer and Company Dancer, Daniel Ojeda, to get a sneak peek at what this groundbreaking ballet will be like and some of the core ideas woven throughout the music and the movement.

When did you first discover the music of Fleetwood Mac?

I was five years old I think, and I was sitting in my dad’s car. I remember we were driving down Cross Bay Boulevard and “Dreams” came on the radio. I’ve always associated this particular song with a large portion of my childhood.

Many of the songs you are drawing from for this ballet are either from the Rumours album or the Tusk album. How do the two compare and contrast?

They are certainly contrasted as albums as far as songwriting is concerned. With Rumours there was more of a band effort, while Tusk was predominantly spearheaded by Lindsey Buckingham.
Lindsey Buckingham spoke a lot about the difference in approach to Tusk, and how Fleetwood Mac didn’t want to replicate Rumours. They wanted to start taking risks as far as songwriting style was concerned, so a lot of the song arrangements are more experimental and sparser than they were in Rumours. There’s less of a band effort, especially as far as harmonies are concerned. There were a ton of harmonies all over Rumours, whereas Tusk seems to be the effort of three distinct songwriting voices.
While both albums are about romantic fallout, Rumours approaches it from a very pop-y and hopeful place, while Tusk is moving more into grief, and even insanity. Their music goes from tracks like “Go Your Own Way,” which were hopeful and optimistic, to tracks like “What Makes You Thing You’re the One,” where instead of smiling and waving goodbye at your ex-partner, you are screaming at them.

What are the core themes of this ballet?

The themes in the ballet match the themes in the music, and the themes in the ballet especially match the history of the band.
There was a lot of sex and a lot of drugs involved in the band’s history. There’s no outward expression of either of those things in the ballet, but there is a hedonistic undertone and sexual tension between all of the dancers that are on stage.
The ballet is about an entity that has to work together to achieve an artistic endeavor. A lot of art inherently is a reflection of yourself in order to relate to other people. As a result it’s unfortunately very difficult to find the line between what drives you creatively and what fuels you relationally and romantically in your everyday life, without there being too much bleed between the two. If there is too much bleed, things go wrong and relationships crumble. The ballet is about what happens next. How do you redefine your relationship with someone when the romance crumbles and you still have to be a part of this artistic group?

Would you say that the ballet is loosely biographical of the band members of Fleetwood Mac?

It is very loosely biographical. I would say certain dancers represent certain band members, but then there are dancers that also represent specific aspects of those same band members. For example, Madeline Bay is inspired by Stevie Nicks, while Anissa Bailis represents the Rhiannon character.
Stevie Nicks used to dress up as Rhiannon for certain shows – it was a persona that she would put forth on stage. It’s interesting to see two dancers representing two sides of one person.
The same with Justin Hughes – it just works out that he is a massive guy, as is Mick Fleetwood. We even used to call Justin “Big Daddy,” and during Fleetwood Mac’s recording process, everyone would refer to Mick Fleetwood as “Big Daddy.”
John Frazer is indicative of the Lindsey Buckingham character. John and Christine McVie, whose eight-year marriage ended shortly before recording Rumours, are loosely represented by Shane Horan and Ethan Schweitzer-Gaslin.
So yes, it is definitely, 100% inspired by the relationships in the band, but I don’t want it to be seen as a concrete representation of them as people.

Consistently you have described this production as being a “self-aware” piece – what does that mean?

In most of my productions I like there to be at least a shred of self-awareness and a breaking of the fourth wall. I like to suggest that a lot of the ballets I create actually exist in the same universe, and there are often times where I allude to previous ballets I have created.
With this production, there is much more of a self-awareness than I normally use, in that it is a production about a production – the dancers on stage are representative of dancers on stage. They are not ideas or snowflakes… simply human beings. Human beings almost trapped in this production. There is a moment in the ballet where that sensation of being trapped comes full frontal. And at the end… I’m not actually going to tell you about the end.

What is a favorite moment in this ballet?

One is “Tusk” – it’s the funnest song to choreograph to. Fleetwood Mac actually recorded it with a marching band in a baseball stadium. The track is so out there, and so I want the dance to be out there with it. The dancers are going to represent this deranged marching band that spends way too much time with one another – the dancers will have been on stage together for about 25 grueling minutes at that point.

What do you want your audience members to walk away thinking or feeling?

I want to keep the shoes empty so the audience can put themselves in it. I want to challenge myself and the audience to ask the question, “where is the line between art and reality?” I want them to not know what is part of the performance and what is part of the reality of the dancers. I want them to wonder where the bleed begins and ends.

Buy tickets for the Fleetwood Mac Collection here.

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