Arts Entertainment Happenings Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Ballet Theatre Company to Present ‘Up Close: Fall’ as First Performance of the Season

Victoria Jaenson and Gennan Della Ragione. Courtesy photo

Ballet Theatre Company will present ‘Up Close: Fall’ in West Hartford on Oct. 1 and 2.


The community is invited to join Ballet Theatre Company (BTC) on Oct. 1 and 2 for its first performance of the season. “Up Close: Fall,” an intimate, mixed-repertoire performance, will feature two world premieres by local choreographer Calvin Bittner and BTC’s Artistic Director, Stephanie Dattellas.

This performance offers the unique chance to view Ballet Theatre Company’s professional dancers and students of the Junior Corps de Ballet at close range, giving a completely new perspective on ballet that will appeal  to new and returning audience members alike. While dance in a traditional theater setting is thrilling, hearing the dancers’ breath and shoes on the floor, and watching them prepare in the “wings” between each entrance brings audience members into the physicality behind this powerful art form.

Up Close: Spring 2022. Courtesy photo

To open the program, Calvin Bittner, a local performer, teacher, and guest choreographer for BTC, will premiere his brand new work, “Conspicuous Figures.”

“Conspicuous Figures” is an exploration of faux-exotic mid-century fluff, cast through a lens of experimental dance theater. It features a number of “characters” who weave their hapless dramas among a landscape of the abstract and indifferent corps.

Bittner graduated from The Hartt School in 2017 with a degree in Dance Performance. Since then he spent a year as a company artist with Ballet Hartford (formerly Vivid Ballet), and is now freelancing as a choreographer, teacher, and performer. As a choreographer, his work centers around inventive movement styles, high abstract concepts, and cultivating the unexpected and the delightful for the audience. His work has been presented at The American College Dance Association, University of Saint Joseph, The Alvin Ailey School, and Jacob’s Pillow.

Bittner’s artistic portfolio includes drag performances and professional wig styling.

“I am quite pleased to be able to work with a company that I have watched emerge and flourish even in the short time I have lived in Hartford,” shares Bittner. “It’s rare to find such a professional environment in which to create new work, and the opportunity to do so was a happy surprise that brought me out of a long hiatus in my choreographic pursuits. I’m hoping this work will jump start my creativity once again and set me on the path to continued choreographic exploration.”

Preview of Up Close: Fall. Courtesy photo

Dattellas’ “Movements for Dvorák” is a vibrant neoclassical work, showcasing fast footwork interwoven with soft and drawn out movements that highlight the ebb and flow of Dvorák’s masterful composition. Dattellas will present two of seven movements of the ballet in “Up Close: Fall.”

Performances are offered on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., and Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. at BTC’s home-theater, the Ron and Nancy Compton Studio at 20 Jefferson Ave. Tickets are available at dancebtc.org/up-close-fall. Audiences ages 8+ are recommended to attend the performance. Limited in-person seating is available as well as an on-demand video ticket option. Purchase your Fall and Spring Up-Close tickets in the same transaction and save $10 per set. Discount applies to order at checkout.

Ballet Theatre Company is supported in part by: Ron and Nancy Compton, State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts, CT Humanities, The Greater Hartford Arts Council, The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, The Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, The Ahearn Family Foundation, Homestead Funding Corp, The Robert and Margaret Patricelli Foundation, Henry Hall Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, The Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust, The Buchalter and Breslow Family, We-Ha.com, Beam & Barre, Laurel Graphic Design, Virtus, Cricket Press, Hearst Media Group, SKY Investment Group, State Farm of West Hartford, and by individual patrons.

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford! Click the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Translate »