Ballet Idaho made its first appearance in Colorado Springs dancing The Nutcracker over Thanksgiving weekend.
We were produced by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, a wonderful orchestra that played beautifully for us. The musicians, staff and many members of the audience told us it was the best and most lavish Nutcracker they had ever seen! We were really happy to be working with such a wonderful group of people there and it looks like the Thanksgiving weekend in Colorado will become an annual feature of the Ballet Idaho schedule.
In September, Alex Ossadnik and Racheal Hummel went down to Colorado to coach the local ballet teachers and their students in our production. Using a DVD of last year’s Boise performances, they took everyone through the show. Alex visited Colorado again in early November to see how the kids were getting along and he reported they were doing magnificently.
When the company arrived on Thanksgiving Day we were nervous about the Friday. We had never rehearsed with the children and never heard the orchestra. Friday was a difficult day. In the morning we did a complete technical rehearsal for the sets and lights, at 2pm we had a dress rehearsal, which was the first time we were with the orchestra and children together. It was rough, but we got though it. We had to establish tempos with the orchestra, iron out stopping and starting after variations, all the different things about my production, including a slight re-order of the numbers in the score. The maestro, Thomas Wilson, was fantastic and very patient. He did a superb job with the orchestra and they played beautifully!
All the children were wonderful! They exceeded our expectations in every way! There was only one tragedy and that was a girl playing a Salt Water Taffy sailor. At the technical rehearsal she tried to stop the boat coming in too fast and she shattered some bones in her arm! She never danced in the show, although she came to show off her cast! Sometimes working in the ballet can be dangerous…
The volunteer staff and parents were brilliant! They had the whole thing beautifully organized, an impressive feat that is even more so when one considers they had never seen our production before and weren’t completely sure how the children’s parts fit in. The volunteers and parents worked tirelessly to make the show a success. We can’t thank them enough for making everything work so smoothly!
All in all, a great debut for Ballet Idaho. We hope to have a long and wonderful relationship with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic going forward. They are a great orchestra, the Pikes Peak Center is a beautiful theatre (bigger than the Morrison Center!) and the community gave us resounding standing ovations. We nearly sold out all 4 performances — and look forward to doing so next year.
Thank-you, Colorado Springs! We love you!
-Peter Anastos