We won’t be able to gather together for The Nutcracker at the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts this year, but we will be able to watch online the 2020/21 performing season of Ballet Idaho as it has transitioned to a fully digital format.
To capture this digital season, Ballet Idaho is partnering with FrontRunner Films who has been creating promotional films for Ballet Idaho for the past 2 seasons. Subscribers will have an opportunity to see edited performances, interviews with choreographers, creators and dancers, and beautifully archived footage.
The virtual season was launched in November 2020 on Ballet Idaho’s new digital streaming platform. The season started with the premier of the “Hidden Languages: A Season in 5 Movements,” inspired by Martha Graham’s quote, “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body”.
Each Movement is a month-long experience with two behind-the-scenes films being released prior to the release of at least one world premier per Movement. Movement 2 will stream in December 2020 and will include the video of The Nutcracker featuring the choreography of Peter Anastos and Anne Mueller.
Newly created content includes Danielle Rowe’s world premiere of Carnival of the Animals, an exciting new collaborative performance with LED. This is a charming ballet set during a 1960s family dinner where (maybe?) nobody gets along, hilarity ensues as new boyfriends come over, butlers scurry about, siblings play pranks, and retro jello makes a comeback!
"You don’t have to know about ballet to enjoy it, all you have to do is look at it". -- Edwin Denby
Additionally, there will be the return of the innovative NewDance program with choreography from Ballet Idaho dancers Daniel Ojeda, Ashley Baker, Cydney Covert, and Antonio Carnell along with guest choreographer, Yusha-Marie Sorzano. There will also be world premieres from returning choreographers Craig Davidson, Penny Saunders, and Robyn Mineko Williams.
Artistic Director Garrett Anderson says, “This is perhaps the greatest challenge our industry has seen or will see in our lifetimes, but the arts have survived war, pandemics, and plagues throughout time and we will survive this and be better for it”.
The health and safety of Ballet Idaho dancers, students, patrons and staff is the organization’s top priority. Executive Director Laura Mulkey says, “We are addressing a dichotomy within the dance world and within our organization; dancers feel like they must keep dancing to stay in shape and stay relevant but are concerned about the potential risks associated with dancing in close proximity to other artists. Much in the same way that we have reimagined how we will present our shows this season, our dancers and administration are working together to reimagine ways to safely rehearse and perform together.”
It is a testament to the indefatigable human spirit. Says Anderson, “It is also an opportunity for us to innovate and be at the vanguard of an exciting moment in the evolution of the performing arts.” Ballet Idaho Artistic Director Garrett Anderson and Executive Director Laura Mulkey are pleased that this season has pivoted to a fully digital format for the continuity of these valuable experiences.
Along with Movement 3 streaming in February of 2021, a collaboration that has been anticipated for years will finally come to fruition. Ballet Idaho will join forces with LED in creating a full length new work. LED, most recently named by Dance Magazine as one of 2020’s “25 to Watch,” is a pivotal voice in the Idaho dance and artistic community. When discussing this new project, LED Artistic Director Lauren Edson said the work “will combine the Ballet Idaho company of dancers with LED’s Creative team to capture a film shot throughout all of the Morrison Center. It will weave together original choreography by Lauren Edson, music composed by Andrew Stensaas, film direction by Quinn Wharton, lighting design by Michael Mazzolla, and the highest caliber of dancers.”
While single film streaming will be available, the only way to receive the full experience and have access to all of the content is by becoming a Digital Season.
A full chronological list of Digital Stage programs can be found here: BalletIdaho.org