VPAC Scoop column: Have some fun with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Feb. 22 | VailDaily.com

VPAC Scoop column: Have some fun with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Feb. 22

Editor's note: From time to time, members of the Vilar Performing Arts Center community will provide insights into upcoming art, music and dance performances at the 535-seat theater in Beaver Creek Village. This week, the Vilar Performing Art Center's Ruthie Hamrick previews Wednesday's performance by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

Contemporary ballet company Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is a beautiful creation that originated from a dual-city relationship. Our neighboring city, Aspen, with its flair for arts and music, collaborated with Santa Fe, New Mexico, and its legendary history and culture to develop what we know as today as Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has a strong national reputation and has toured overseas to Brazil, France, Greece and Italy, among other places. Its uniqueness and artistry has delighted audiences repeatedly at the American Dance Festival, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, The Kennedy Center, Jacob's Pillow and on our very own Vilar Performing Arts Center stage.

'Graceful and elegant'

So what makes this company so absorbing and captivating? The dancers not only perform elegantly but also display their athletic and adventurous individuality in every performance. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet prides itself on its innovative structure that welcomes undiminished creative drive and they don't take themselves too seriously.

Mass Live stated in a review of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, "… as always, they made everything look graceful and elegant, even when they were a little goofy at times."

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You may not think having fun on stage would be a unique ability, but it is apparent and one of the reasons we are most excited to see them once again on our stage. Life, art and dance — all are too marvelous to take too seriously all of the time. To see a ballet performance of this caliber, which can be heavy and emotional yet enjoyable and uplifting, makes this a truly special dance program.

Must-see show

This ever-evolving company will be performing three stunning ballets for us on Wednesday. Jorma Elo choreographs the first ballet, "1st Flash," and the music is by Jean Sibelius. Albuquerque Journal explained the dance as "… intensely musical, mirroring the dark splendor of Sibelius's emotional extremes."

Alejandro Cerrudo choreographed the next piece, "Silent Ghost," with music by Dustin Hamman, King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm. Boston Globe wonderfully describes the performance as "… a beautiful, quiet dance that never spells out the death in the title, but instead depicts the tenderness that often surrounds loss."

Cayetano Soto choreographs "Huma Rojo," the final ballet, with music by Ray Barretto, Nat "King" Cole, Xavier Cugat and his orchestra, Abbe Lane and Perez Prado and his orchestra. This dance is enticing and full of explosive choreography. Boston Globe summarizes the performance by stating, "The dancers finally are just feeling what we've been experiencing the whole time: unabashed joy."

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's VPAC show is a must-see if you are interested in an internationally known dance company that modestly began in our backyard with a deep commitment to cultivating unique, new performances and knows how to have fun.

Ruthie Hamrick is the marketing manager for the Vilar Performing Arts Center.