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Ballet Theatre Company Live Performances Return to West Hartford

Maria Terezia Balogh (center) in Serenade in A, 1981

“Fall” back in love with live performance at Ballet Theatre Company’s studio in West Hartford.

BTC’s Resident Dancers pictured with guest choreographer, Derek Brockington in rehearsal. Photo by Tracy Dorman


On November 5 and 6, at 7 p.m., Ballet Theatre Company (BTC) will present its first live ballet performance since December 2020.

“While we were lucky to have many unique opportunities to present digital work and perform in creative ways over the past year and a half, as a dancer, there is nothing quite like performing for a live audience in a more traditional performance setting,” says Emily Aubrey Silva, resident professional dancer and BTC Ballet Mistress. “Since theaters shut down in March 2020, we’ve been dreaming of the feeling of electricity in the air just before a performance begins, and the energy shared between audience and performers. There are no words for the excitement brought by our long-awaited return to in-person performance!”

In the upcoming performance, “Up Close: Fall,” BTC will premiere its newly inaugurated company of resident professionals and Season 23 Junior Corps de Ballet in a diverse program of contemporary, modern, and neo-classical repertoire.

“Up Close” will open with two movements from Paul Mejia’s “Serenade in A,” neoclassical ballet choreographed to Igor Stravinsky that premiered in 1981. “’Serenade in A’ began as a choreographic study with four wonderful, different and compelling female dancers, a wonderful pianist and a great score by Igor Stravinsky,” explains Paul Mejia. “It was the process that became a voyage of discovery and showed me once again that if you have all the best  ingredients, wonderful things can happen in a minimum of time. The ballet was completed in five days.”

“Serenade in A” was staged by BTC’s Artistic Advisor, Maria Terezia Balogh, who was also an original dancer and performer in the piece. Balogh says, “I have staged ‘Serenade in A’ several times, and each time I discover more. The musicality of the choreography allows you to visualize the music. It is definitely a challenge for the dancers, but if you stage it on enthusiastic dancers such as the four ladies in BTC, it becomes a great pleasure”. The company plans to present the entire four movement ballet for its spring performance of ‘Up Close’ scheduled for May.

“Up Close: Fall” will continue with a world premiere, “Pieces of a Legacy,” choreographed by guest choreographer and dancer of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Derek Brockington. Pieces of a Legacy” centers around the immense strength of the individual, and how that individual contributes to the overall progress, grace, and beauty of a group. The music for this piece comes from an album titled Legacy and is composed of works for bassoon by African-American composers. “In order to challenge myself over the past year, I decided to seek out and use classical music composed primarily by Black composers,” Brockington says. “Ballet dancers and composers of African descent are represented similarly in their field. As I poured myself into a search for viable music I found time and time again that I was able to relate to these pieces of music in a different way and it allowed me to place more profound intention into my work.”

Dancer Roman Mejia, Soloist of NYCB in Dattellas’ film premiere of Autumn Aurora in November 2020. Photo by Thomas Giroir

The performance will conclude with the live debut of Artistic Director Stephanie Dattellas’ ballet, “Autumn Aurora” choreographed to Antonio Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from The Four Seasons. “It is always a delight to revisit a piece of choreography and breathe new life into it,” Dattellas says. “The piece originally was filmed outdoors in a gorgeous fall landscape. It has been enjoyable to visualize the scenery and find new ways to highlight that landscape through the dancers’ movement.” Dattellas’ “Autumn Aurora” will also feature BTC’s Junior Corps de Ballet in the second movement.

“Up Close: Fall” is the first of BTC’s Black box performances that offers the unique opportunity to view BTC’s talented dancers in a more intimate setting than a typical, main-stage production. Audience members are seated “up close” to the dancers, exposing a more intense perspective on the art of ballet. The performance is located in The Ron and Nancy Compton Studio at Ballet Theatre Company’s studio, 20 Jefferson Ave., West Hartford.

Visit www.dancebtc.org/up-close-fall to purchase your tickets today. Limited seats [50 seats per show with COVID-19 safety protocols] are available, so patrons are encouraged to act fast. BTC is also pleased to offer a live-stream ticket option for ballet-lovers who prefer to enjoy the performance from home. Tickets are $35 for in person and $25 for the live-stream.

BTC is excited to announce that for the “Up Close: Fall” performance, we are partnering with WeHa Brewing & Roasting Company. All patrons who come to our “Up Close: Fall” performance on Nov. 5 and 6 will get a coupon for 50% off their choice of brew. Beer or Coffee at WeHa Brewing and Roasting Company good through Nov. 7.

BTC is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is supported in part by Connecticut Office of the Arts, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Ron and Nancy Compton, The Edward C. & Ann T. Roberts Foundation, Ensworth Charitable Trust, The Long Foundation, Connecticut Public, Cricket Press, Laurel Graphic Design, We-Ha.com, Beam & Barre, and Hearst Media Group.

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