Sleuthing Dancers’ Summer Schedules
There was no such thing as ‘downtime’ for most Ballet West dancers.
“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy,” so goes the song by Ella Fitzgerald.
For a few Ballet West dancers, those words may ring true, but for many, summer is a busy, chaotic few months of navigating around the world to visit family, teaching at ballet schools, guesting for other companies, devoting time to a second career, or any combination of all the above. For Ballet West dancers, summertime can be far from easy!
At Ballet West, the dancers’ contracts end after Innovations in late May. It’s then a few quick months to do as they wish, and then as mid-August hits, there is a requirement to report back to the Jessie Eccles Quinney Ballet Centre. So, what do dancers do with their ‘time off?’ Here are just a few highlights of what dancers were up to over their break:
- As soon as Innovations ended, Principal Beckanne Sisk and First Soloist Adrian Fry packed their bags to dance at Gala de Danza in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This event brings artists from more than 15 countries together to raise money for the Cabo community. Beckanne and Adrian danced an original work from celebrated choreographer, Josie Walsh.
- Demi Soloist Jordan Veit will guest with Houston Ballet as they make a historic trip to Australia. Performing Stanton Welch’s Romeo and Juliet, Jordan will rehearse in Houston for about 10 days before traveling to Melbourne for another 13 days.
- While he continues to dance for Ballet West, earlier this year, Principal Christopher Ruud launched RUUDDANCES, his own Company to further explore his choreographic talent. This summer, he is producing Adrian Fry’s Networked, which will debut at the Utah Arts Festival in June. Christopher has also been invited to present at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, where he’ll stage a world premiere of his own, along with other works.
- One to rarely take a day off, First Soloist Allison DeBona is ping-ponging across this country as she guests for other companies, teaches master classes, and continues to grow her own summer intensive program in Philadelphia, while launching a new location in Detroit. Demi Soloist Katlyn Addison is also teaching ballet throughout the summer, and will be a guest instructor in Detroit with Allison’s intensive.
- Finally, what is summer without a few weddings? Principal Arolyn Williams married Owen Gaj, who danced for the Company from 2008 to 2013. The couple shared vows in a beautiful wedding on June 18 in Rowe, Massachusetts. And, in Salt Lake City, Demi Soloists Jenna Rae Herrera and Alexander MacFarlan were married at a luscious ceremony in Memory Grove on June 25.