As children’s rehearsals for The Nutcracker progress, I would like to address the reality of working with a professional company, a reality that includes especially our younger cast members: There is no such thing as “meanness” and “embarrassment”. Once rehearsal starts there is only the work to be done as efficiently as possible. When there are multiple casts, at first it is possible that only one cast will be used to set the choreography, once the choreography is being rehearsed, all others will be brought up to speed. The priority is to set the production as fast as possible, in order to have sufficient time to make every single child on stage look like a million dollars. There is absolutely no reason to “feel bad” about not having danced in rehearsal at this point. This might well be the first “real life” experience and as parents you can help your child understand that once cast in a show, even if things change there is nothing wrong with them or with Ballet Idaho. It is a simple matter of process, which is the same all over the world. This is THE Nutcracker production in the state of Idaho. It is a privilege to be a cast member no matter how small the part. 10,000 people are expected to attend this year, this is a big deal and therefore also an obligation to deal with the reality of professionalism.

Ballet Idaho’s inaugural “Dress Rehearsal” Fashion Show Fundraiser was a smashing SOLD-OUT success, held last Friday, October 9th at the Linen Building. Company dancers and professional models strutted down the runway in fashions from several downtown Boise and Eagle boutiques. The evening was all about the answer the age-old question: Whatever shall I wear to the ballet? It was presented in four tiers: the matinee, the date night, the gala and the runway finale featuring beautiful vintage gowns donated by ballet patrons that were then placed for silent auction. A huge thank you to Clothesline Cleaners, who hand-restored and cleaned all of the garments for this segment.
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Ballet Idaho has kicked off the new 2009-2010 season with the opening of the Academy and the Nutcracker Auditions. We are gearing up now for our first performance and setting the stage for the rest of the year! As I say all this, I can only think about how much help we need to carry out everything we want to do. With that being said I want to invite you to become a friend of Ballet Idaho. As a “friend” you play a crucial role in ensuring the continued vitality of Ballet Idaho by participating in fundraising events, dance advocacy and other activities that keep our non-profit going!
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Swan Lake, Idaho! Who would have thunk it? Since I saw my first Swan Lake, oh, about 45 years ago, I have always found the scene with the Hunters, the beginning of Act II, to be unfinished. They appear in nearly every production of Swan Lake all over the world, but who are they? Are they just the Prince’s friends or are they out hunting swans all the time? Are they freelancing or do they belong to a Rod and Gun Club?
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Nutcracker Auditions without a hitch. Do you think this is a miracle? Well, it happened in Boise yesterday. We had nearly 100 children come to Ballet Idaho’s Nutcracker audition and it was a splendid success. We found terrific talent, wonderful kids who eagerly took on the challenge of performing roles in our production. Everyone was so bright, friendly, fearless and enthusiastic. We had Mice so eager to scare us! We had Soldiers marching and running through their drills. We had beautiful and polite party children who expressed the warmth of a Christmas evening. We had delightful Bakers, eager to show us their leaps. And we had energetic Sailors and Serene Angels, all ready to make this year’s Nutcracker better than ever.
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As the company reunites I can spot a heightened sense of pride and togetherness. “First-Season-Flutters” have made room for healthy ambitions and self-responsibility together with a sense of self secure-ness, self-motivation and a drive to excel. Our three new principal dancers, Racheal and Zeb Nole and Jared Hunt complement Phyllis Rothwell Affrunti’s and Heather Hawk’s presence and provide a point of reference in standard and ethic for the rest of the company.
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