Julia Wilkinson Manley

Video: Contemporary II’s Spontaneous Urban Performance

Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by The Long Family


BNC's Contemporary II class performed their first Spontaneous Urban Performance Lisztomania at the Louisville Farmer's Market on 9/3/11. Afterwards, those students and School Director Julia Wilkinson Manley hosted a ballet demonstration and taught the audience their Mercy dance. To quote a  dad  who was pulled up on stage with his daughter, "who knew we'd get to do all of this ! We just came to buy some apples!"

Be on the lookout for more Spontaneous Urban Performances from students in the Contemporary II class!


One Night Only, Local & National Advanced Dance Students, Training for the Summer at The School of Ballet Nouveau Colorado Share their Diverse Talent on Stage

Denver- Saturday, July 30th at 7:30pm, The School of Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s (BNC) most advanced dance students, a group comprised of 20 young dancers, will showcase their hard work and development as dancers gained while training in BNC’s Advanced Summer Intensive program. The whole family will enjoy this evening full of entertainment that will include contemporary choreography and classical repertoire at economical ticket prices of $10 for students and $12 for adults.

The various works are choreographed by The School of BNC's School Director Julia Wilkinson Manley, BNC's Associate Artistic Director Dawn Fay and former BNC professional company artist, Megan Coatney. The production is staged by renowned dance historian, Randall Newsom. "Using contemporary dance, I wanted to explore the use of everyday objects and see where they led the piece. What has resulted is whimsical, yet has moments that reflect daily life,” says Fay.

National Dance Day was established to recognize and build awareness in three important areas: healthy lifestyles, dance education and physical fitness across the United States for all ages. The School of BNC is committed to this same vision and desires to build local awareness about these areas. The Advanced Summer Intensive Showcase is a perfect celebration of these principles.

The School of BNC has long offered summer dance programs for students of all ages. The six-week Advanced Summer Intensive has attracted students from across the nation for the past five years, one of only a few in the country filling a niche for high-quality contemporary dance training with a strong classical foundation. “The program is unique in that students get the opportunity to train with professionals in a fresh, innovative and caring environment while providing them with individual attention,” says Manley.

This year’s 20 students in the 2011 Advance Summer Intensive program range in age from 10-21. Six students represent the following states -- Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, Washington and Texas. The other 14 students reside in Boulder, Broomfield, Louisville, Superior, Erie, Westminster, Arvada and Thornton, many of whom have been training with BNC since they were in kindergarten or younger.  One of these students is 14-year-old, Momo Sakai who resides in Superior, Colo. She is one of 39 students who are part of BNC’s need and merit based scholarship program. This past season, Sakai played the lead role, Clara, in BNC’s The Nutcracker and was a featured dancer in BNC’s Student Company Spring Concert, Prince Igor. “Being part of the Summer Intensive Showcase is amazing; it allows me to explore the use of space, music and the use of props with dancing. It’s rewarding to gain a better understanding of contemporary dance that is so different from my classical ballet training,” states Sakai.

Another student, Broomfield resident, Antonio Houck, age 14 has danced with BNC for six years. This past year, he was the lead role, Nutcracker Prince, in BNC’s The Nutcracker. “I love getting the opportunity to train like a professional and get the one on one attention of working with Garrett Ammon,” says Houck. Manley states, “Seeing these students’ confidence and contemporary technique sky rocket by the end of the summer is so rewarding.”

Performance Information

Advanced Summer Intensive Showcase

Date July 30 at 7:30pm

Location Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School - 1001 West 84th Ave I Denver, CO 80260. There is ample free on-site parking available.

Cost Children 12 and under, tickets are $10 I Adult tickets are $12

Order tickets Online at www.bncdance.com/school or by phone at 303.466.5685

For exclusive photo and interview opportunities with the various choreographers and students contact Ashley Burns, communications manager.
Phone 303.466.5685


DENVER -- On Saturday, May 14, 2011, The School of Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s (BNC) Student Company presents their end of year production, a contemporary series featuring the famed Ballets Russes ballet Prince Igor, at Pinnacle Charter School’s Performing Arts Complex at 1001 West 84th Ave. Broomfield resident, Jeremy Studinski, age 15, will dance the title role of Prince Igor. Studinski has studied with BNC for six years, and this summer he will study with the San Francisco Ballet School on scholarship.

Prince Igor, originally performed as an excerpt to the full-length Russian opera, was later choreographed as a stand-alone work by famed Ballets Russes Choreographer Michel Fokine and premiered in 1909 in Paris. It is based on the story of a Ukrainian ruler and his family who are faced with the challenges inherent to love and war. BNC’s production of Prince Igor was staged by Cristina Munro, artistic director of Corpus Christi Ballet in Corpus Christi, Tex.

The performance will also highlight choreography by BNC Associate Artistic Director Dawn Fay and two of BNC's professional company artists, Colorado native Sarah Tallman and Damien Patterson.

Fay said, “I have enjoyed the process of working with these young artists and watching them develop. Their fresh, youthful, enthusiastic spirits became the inspiration for my piece entitled, gamin, gamine.” Fay’s work, a playful neo-classical ballet, will feature a pas de deux danced by Studinski and Momo Sakai.  Sakai, age 13 from Superior, danced the role of Clara in BNC’s 2010 production of The Nutcracker and began dancing with BNC when she was three years old.

Tallman's work is inspired by Charlie Brown’s pals, Lucy and Schroeder, from the comic strip Peanuts. "It is a privilege to work with the Student Company. It is amazing to see how the students have developed through the process of creating this piece, and to have the opportunity to be part of their development is so rewarding," said Tallman.

Patterson’s work, set to jazzy tunes by Aretha Franklin, takes place in a summer street scene while teenagers play and socialize. The piece reflects on the cycle of time and reflects on the similarities youth today have with the youth of the past. The piece features a solo danced by Lafayette resident Frances Purcell, age 14, who has studied with BNC since she was five years old.

BNC’s Student Company is comprised of 14 dancers, ages 12-19, many of whom reside in Boulder and Broomfield County. These aspiring young artists study dance for over 20-25 hours per week, including classical ballet, contemporary ballet, modern and jazz. They have been preparing for this production since August, in addition to participating in BNC’s The Nutcracker and community performances.

“It is a great honor to work with such devoted students,“ remarked School Director Julia Wilkinson Manley. “They are extraordinary students with great passion and dedication to their craft, and the result is remarkable. Putting together a full evening of dance takes an enormous amount of dedication and diligence, and the students of The School of BNC’s Student Company demonstrate the heart and devotion needed.”

Performance and Ticket Information
Date and Times
Saturday, May 14 - 2pm & 7:30pm

Location Performing Arts Complex at PCS (Pinnacle Charter School), 1001 West 84th Ave, Denver, CO 80260 – West of I-25, at 84th Avenue and Huron Street

Cost Regular Ticket Prices: $16 Prime I $14 Standard I $12 Value

Child/Student/Senior Ticket Prices: $14 Prime I $12 Standard I $10 Value

Order tickets Online at www.bncdance.com, or by phone at 303.466.5685.

Photography shoots and interviews can be arranged by contacting Ashley Burns, communications manager

Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s Anti-Bullying Program Goes National

Posted on: February 23rd, 2011 by admin


Dance Theatre of Tennessee and Oklahoma City Ballet Launch Ugly Duckling in Area Public Schools

DENVER – Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s (BNC) Ugly Duckling Anti-Bullying Program has gone national, expanding into Nashville, Tenn and Oklahoma City.  BNC School Director Julia Wilkinson Manley recently traveled to Nashville, to work with Dance Theatre of Tennessee to share this original and meaningful dance curriculum that will soon be featured in Nashville area public schools. Oklahoma City Ballet has also just received a grant to add this program to its community programming.


This came about in part because the state of Tennessee recently adopted affective education for anti-bullying in the public school system. Affective education focuses on the social, emotional and psychological needs of students, which also includes lessons on tolerance, respect for others, good decision making and self-esteem.  All these lessons are interrelated when it comes to addressing bullying, and it mirrors the anti-bullying messages in the Ugly Duckling choreography.

This state-wide initiative sparked the interest of Christopher Mohnani, artistic director of Dance Theatre of Tennessee (DTT), to find ways in which the company could help equip schools to promote anti-bullying through dance. Upon doing research on anti-bullying programs, Mohnani discovered BNC’s highly successful Ugly Duckling Anti-Bullying Program and decided to contact BNC to discuss a possible collaboration.

“One of BNC’s primary community education goals is to teach other qualified dance organizations across the U.S. to provide high-quality, effective and curricular-based dance education in their own communities,” said Wilkinson Manley. “Dance Theatre of Tennessee was the perfect organization for us to pilot such a program and take it national.”

The Ugly Duckling was choreographed by former BNC Artistic Director Robert Mills in 2005. Mills’ concept was to take the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale and add a modern twist that would appeal more to youth.  Mills chose Cindy Lauper’s popular 80’s tunes to create the musical story line and it provides an upbeat energy for the tale to develop while showcasing different styles of dance. The piece focuses on demonstrating how bullying can affect students and teaches students how to stop bullying.

In 2007, BNC collaborated with Creating Caring Communities, the creators of “Bully Proofing Your School,” to develop the emotional ballet into a comprehensive anti-bullying program. This award-winning program has been part of BNC’s lecture and demonstration series for several years, and thousands of students in the Denver metro area have seen BNC’s Ugly Ducking Anti-Bullying Program. Teachers are provided with pre-materials and post-materials to set the stage for an in-house performance for the students.

BNC has agreed to allow DTT use the ballet and the educational materials for a period of three years along with some costumes. DTT is scheduled to begin performing the ballet in early March for three elementary schools in the area, with the plan to expand the program throughout the Middle Tennessee region.

Mohnani commented, “We are thrilled and can’t wait to present this program to area schools. We have no doubts that it will be a big hit and will certainly make for a worthy program. We also hope to have future partnership and collaboration opportunities with BNC. Already, Julia and I are talking about future projects."

Oklahoma City Ballet, where Mills is now artistic director, recently received a grant to take this program into public schools in the Oklahoma City area for their 2012-13 season. Mills added, “I had no idea when creating this work as an educational tool that it would resonate on such a national level. As someone who can personally relate to being bullied, it is an honor to know this piece is making such a positive impact in our communities.”