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Spotlight on the Stars: Colby Foss

Posted on: June 5th, 2012 by admin

 

 

Colby performing in An Occasional Dream set to the music of David Bowie.

Colby Foss began his dance training in Fargo, North Dakota, at age 15. At the time, he enjoyed performing in musical theater, and the director of his middle school production asked him to be the boy in a dance studio’s version of The Velveteen Rabbit. He was required to be enrolled in a dance class to be eligible, so he took a ja class. And the rest is history, he says.

“I love how dance provides a medium to use one’s own body to create art,” says Colby. “You don’t need brushes or instruments, just yourself. It’s a wonderful combination of athleticism and artistry.”

Colby graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona in 2008 with a BFA in dance. He taught and performed with Ballet Magnificat in Tucson, before joining BNC. Now in his fourth season at BNC, Colby has performed in Garrett Ammon’s An Occasional Dream and No Passengers, as well as works by Ma Cong, Joshua Blake Carter and Jon Sloven. He will be appearing in the special encore performance of Garrett Ammon’s Rock Ballets, June 8th.

“Rock Ballets is my favorite BNC production because it’s fresh in my mind,” Colby says. “There’s a lot of great dancing in there. And great tunes!”

Currently, Colby spends 40 hours per week preparing for his next performance. He loves to rock out to his favorite rock song “Live and Let Die” by the Beatles. He loves the song because it reminds him to be his own person and forge his own path, regardless of what society may expect.

When Colby’s not dancing, you can find him hiking, practicing yoga and catching up on his Hulu queue. And did we mention he loves to eat? Colby loves all things Indian. If he wasn’t a dancer he would definitely want to be a judge on Top Chef.

Don’t miss Colby’s next performance in Rock Ballets on June 8th at the Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheater.  Tickets start at $15 for Lawn seats. Buy tickets now!

Spotlight on the Stars: Get to Know Julie King

Posted on: March 25th, 2012 by admin

 

Julie King has been with BNC since 2005. She has danced leading roles in Garrett Ammon’s Once Was a Time I Thought, Love of My Life and Moulin Rouge. She has also performed in Joshua Blake Carter’sMothertongue and Ma Cong’s Passion, There. Before joining BNC, the Lansdale, Pennsylvania native trained with David Taylor Dance Theatre and at Virginia School of the Arts. After graduation she danced with Ballet Austin, where she was featured in Steven Mills’ The Nutcracker, as well as with Nashville Ballet, where she danced roles in Romeo and JulietRobin Hood, and Giselle.

Julie King & Jason Franklin performing to the music of Queen. Photo by David Jennings

When did you start dancing and why?

I started dancing when I was 4 and just fell in love with it immediately.
 

What do you love most about dance? I’m a shy person, so I love the ability to express myself. I also really enjoy the physical challenge of it, and freedom. Although I’m shy I feel most at home and content on stage performing.

Which BNC production has been your favorite? I don’t have a favorite production. It would be hard to pick because they are all so different, and therefore special to me in different ways.

 

What do you do in your free time when you’re not dancing? I enjoy cooking and watching movies.

If you weren’t a dancer what would your dream job be? I can’t really imagine having a different job. I love animals…but I don’t think I could be as happy as I am doing anything else.

What is one thing you can’t live without? Air.

What inspires you? Music, other dancers, the process of everyone coming together to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Words to live by: “Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.”

Julie King & Damien Patterson performing to the music of INXS.

Favorite Color: Green

Favorite Food: Dessert

Fun Fact: I’m obsessed with zombies. Zombie movies, tv shows and books. I can’t get enough!

Favorite Rock Song: "This is hard for me beacuse I always have many "favorites." Right now I would have to say Everlong by the Foo Fighters because it always inspires me."

You can see Julie’s next performance in Rock Ballets on April 13-15 at the Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School.

Spotlight on the Stars: Get to Know Marian Faustino

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012 by admin

 

Marian Faustino performs in Love in the Digital Age. (Photo: Amanda Tipton)

At age 10, Marian Faustino was a competitive gymnast. Her mom put her in a ballet class to help improve her floor routine. At age 13, Marian was uprooted from her hometown in Virginia when her parents decided to move to the Philippines. Although she was unhappy about the change at the time, she soon began to discover the Filipino culture and language through dance.

She began training as a professional dancer in the Philippines. She performed soloist and principal roles with Ballet Manila and Ballet Philippines, and was also a Philippine representative in several international ballet competitions. Marian returned to the U.S. to dance in Nashville with Dance Theatre of Tennessee.

Since joining Ballet Nouveau Colorado last August, Marian has been pushed to try new things.

“I really loved BNC+Redline: A Shared Experience in Art. Working with Maurya Kerr was a really interesting experience,” says Marian. “While she was creating her piece, I remember feeling almost uncomfortable, and that I had never been asked to more that way ever in my entire life. But it was a good discomfort, in that it made me try something new.”

Although the show forced Marian to step outside her boundaries, pushing her limits is exactly what Marian loves most about dance.

“I love that dance presents you with new challenges everyday,” she says. “You have to push the limits of your body, or find different ways of expressing yourself through movement. I love that it seems to slow time down and allows people to examine life, relationships, and emotions a little more closely.”

Marian Faustino performs with Colby Foss in BNC+Redline: A Shared Experience in Art. (Photo: Amanda Tipton)

When Marian isn’t dancing, she leads a low-key life spending time at home, reading books or articles, catching up on TV shows, watching movies or enjoying good food. One thing she misses about the Philippines is the delicious food. Her favorite dish is called ginataang kalabasa, a combination of squash and string beans cooked in coconut milk with ginger and shrimp.

Marian also has a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of the Philippines. If she wasn’t dancing, she would look for work as a preschool teacher. But putting in up to 50 hours a week in the dance studio, Marian’s free time is limited.

Right now Marian and the other dancers are preparing for Rock Ballets in April. She says that although she didn’t grow up listening to Queen, David Bowie, or INXS, she is enjoying connecting with the piece.

“I didn’t really grow up listening to these artists, so I don’t really have a emotional connection to the music, but it is definitely a cool process developing that connection and getting to know all of the songs as we dance to them and hear them more and more,” she says.

Come see Marian’s performance in Rock Ballets on April 13-15 at the Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School.

Spotlight on the Stars: Get to know Damien Patterson

Posted on: March 19th, 2012 by admin

 

 

Damien Patterson was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He took his first dance class at age 8, when his uncle, who was a dancer, signed him up. He started taking formal ballet classes at 14 and by 18 he was a professional dancer.

He moved to Tennessee where he danced Dawn Fay and Garrett Ammon, BNC's artistic directors, for Ballet Memphis. Damien came to BNC in 2009, excited to try something fresh and different. Now in his third season with BNC, Damien says it is hard to pick out a favorite show.

“I don’t think I have a favorite yet,” he says. “I’m not done with my career. Once I’m done I will be able to make a decision. Just being able to get up and dance every day is my favorite thing.”

He says that one of the biggest challenges he has faced so far is making each character he portrays his own. The role he will dance in Rock Ballets was originally choreographed for someone much smaller. Damien is 6’ 1 ¾” and says learning to execute the moves is like using a cello instead of a violin to perform a concerto.

“The ballets have already been set and we’re trying to breathe new life into them,” he says. “I’m playing someone else’s character and I’m trying to make it my own. It’s like putting on someone else’s suit in each ballet.”

In spite of the challenge of adaptation, Damien is looking forward to performing a pas de deux to “Mediate” by INXS. He performed the piece during Moving Together two summers ago, and is looking forward to finding a new raw emotion to put into it.

Damien loves dance because he can express himself without even using words. Dance is a universal language that anyone can understand. But more importantly, he loves dance because race fades to the background.

“It’s a joy to me to do this because, especially here at BNC, I’m not put on this planet to represent diversity. I’m here to be a dancer,” he says. “I’ve danced in an all black company. I’ve been the only black person in the company. And it doesn’t do anything for anyone. I’ve realized that the better dancer I become, the less you think about my skin color. It’s visible, you see it, but at the same time I’m here to show you the dancer. I’m here to move forward and represent the human race and not one group of people.

When he’s not dancing, Damien likes to spend time at home watching movies, writing poetry and talking to friends. As a seasoned choreographer, he also spends his time thinking about where he can take dance when his career as a professional dancer comes to an end.

He says he is still developing his own sense of style and movement and learning to understand the other dancers around him. As a choreographer Damien works to help the dancer to understand his vision, and he is still learning to bring out what he wants to see in another person through movement. He hopes to use choreography to continue dance into his future.

“There is no other job for me, to be honest. This is it. This is what I was put here to do,” he says. “I quit dance once and it was the most awful thing I’ve ever done to myself in my life. If I wasn’t a dancer I wouldn’t be here.”

You can see Damien perform in Rock Ballets on April 13-15 at the Performing Arts Center at Pinnacle Charter School. 

Spotlight on the Stars: Get to know Meredith Strathmeyer

Posted on: March 17th, 2012 by admin

 

Meredith Strathmeyer performs in the 2008 world premiere of Garrett Ammon's Rock Ballets.

Meredith Strathmeyer started dancing at age 7, after watching her older sister perform as a Bon Bon in The Nutcracker. At the time, she says she was a bit of a klutz and her father, who was also her softball and basketball coach, hoped ballet would give her some grace on the playing field. It did improve her coordination, but also ended her athletic career as she began to pursue her true passion: dance.

“I love that dance will never get easy,” she says. “There is always something magnificent lurking around that tendu that is just out of reach.”

Meredith joined BNC in 2006 after graduating Magna Cum Laude from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance and an Outside Field in Comparative Literature. She has performed in more than 25 BNC Productions, her favorite of which was Garrett Ammon’s Moulin Rouge.

“It was an incredible experience. It is a dancer’s dream to have a full length ballet created with her in mind,” she says. “ I had to really rise up to the occasion and push all my artistic and physical boundaries to make it happen.”

Meredith’s next performance will be in Rock Ballets this April. She draws her inspiration for dance from every part of her life.

“I feel like I got this far as an artist because of my tendency to soak up everything around me as fuel for inspiration,” she says. “Dancers tend to allow their emotions to run very close to the surface, right under the skin, because we need easy access. Films, music, art, photography, the weather….you never know what is going to strike a chord.”

To get pumped up for Rock Ballets, Meredith looks to “Oh You Pretty Things” by David Bowie, which is not only her ringtone for all the BNC dancers, but also inspired the creation of her signature dance move, the Bop.

Currently, Meredith puts in 40 to 45 hours a week dancing. But when she’s not in the studio, Meredith loves to read and write children’s books.

“Who knows if anything will ever get published, but it makes me absurdly happy to think up odd little limericks and sketch and design the layouts,” she says.

Meredith also teaches Pilates at a studio in Denver. If she wasn’t a dancer, her dream job would be to work as a travel writer for a Pilates magazine. In the meantime, she will continue her power struggle with her tiny European oven to yield the perfect batch of cookies.

Catch Meredith's Performance in Rock Ballets on April 13-15 at the Performing Arts Center at Pinnacle Charter School.