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Getting ‘Up Close’ with Ballet Theatre Company

Roman Mejia and Emily Silva. Photo credit: Thomas Giroir (courtesy photo)

Ballet Theatre Company is finding a way to safely, but beautifully, bring the performing arts to the community.

Roman Mejia and Emily Silva. Photo credit: Thomas Giroir (courtesy photo)

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Ballet Theatre Company of West Hartford is getting “up close” while socially distancing this fall season with its digital performance season titled, “Up Close.”

Two brand new works choreographed by BTC’s Artistic Director, Stephanie Dattellas, will premiere featuring BTC’s Season Dancers, guest dancer Roman Mejia of New York City Ballet, and select members of BTC’s Corps de Ballet. “Up Close: Part 1 – Autumn Aurora” will premiere on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. followed by “Up Close: Part 2 – Flashes” which will premiere on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. – both on a digital platform.

Autumn Aurora is a neo-classical ballet set to Vivaldi’s “Autumn” concerto from The Four Seasons. The pre-recorded performance will feature footage taken outside in Winchester, CT, capturing the beautiful and appropriate fall foliage as the backdrop for this ode to the season.

The ballet includes three movements: “Allegro,” “Adagio,” and “La Caccia” – that celebrate change in the colors of leaves and the transition of seasons from summer to autumn. “Allegro” will feature a pas de deux that highlights Vivaldi’s intricate instrumentation and use of repetition playing between the two dancers. “Adagio” features a duet of two female Season Dancers portraying the slower, monotone music complimented in the reflection of autumn colors in a nearby pond. Lastly, “La Caccia” features a sextet of selected BTC Corps de Ballet dancers that showcase power, unison and fleeting moments. Autumn Aurora is sponsored in part by Reid and Riege Attorneys.

Artistic Director Stephanie Dattellas at the filming. Photo credit: Thomas Giroir (courtesy photo)

“Flashes” is a compilation of short solos set to music by different 1950-60s artists. Each piece highlights struggles of the past and present including race, gender, relationships, and longing for human connections. The pieces are created in collaboration between BTC’s Season Dancers and choreographer, Stephanie Dattellas.

Dattellas wanted to explore the dancers’ organically created movement before inputting her choreographed sequences. The openness for change and for freedom of movement is a direct contrast to the problems that have come from personal differences. This defiance of creating pieces in the opposite way the issues have risen in our world, is her personal reaction to the current times.

Corps de Ballet. Photo credit: Thomas Giroir (courtesy photo)

Dancers featured in these new works will include BTC’s Season Dancers, select Corps de Ballet student dancers, and special guest artist Roman Mejia of New York City Ballet (NYCB).

BTC is thrilled to welcome Mejia to BTC this season while he awaits for New York City to heal and theaters to reopen. Born in Fort Worth, TX, he began his ballet study under his mother and father before enrolling full-time at the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school. In November of 2017, he joined the company and since has had the opportunity to take on fulfilling roles. He was recently featured in Pointe Magazine’s Spring Cover Story, “Roman Mejia is Carving His Own Path at New York City Ballet.”

Roman Mejia. Photo credit: Thomas Giroir (courtesy photo)

Each ballet will be released on a digital platform on its specified date and time. Tickets can be purchased online for $15 per household. A discount of $3 per performance is applied at checkout if tickets to both premieres are purchased at the same time. Ticket holders will have access to the performance link for one week, beginning on Saturday at the premiere time and ending on the following Friday.

Members of select tiers of BTC’s Encore Society membership program will be invited to attend a virtual talk-back discussion through Zoom with BTC’s Season Dancers, guest dancer Roman Mejia, and choreographer Stephanie Dattellas. Participants will get to know the artists and have an opportunity to ask questions about the featured presentation, their careers, inspirations, and more. BTC’s Encore Society is a donation-based membership program that offers exclusive benefits to individuals who are able and willing to monetarily support the longevity of the performing arts in the West Hartford community. Membership into this circle of benefactors constitutes its members as a circle of strong supporters of the arts community and friends to local artists. With a one-time donation of $100 or more, you too can join this circle of supporters and enjoy exclusive benefits offered throughout the season.

Originally imagined to include an intimate in-studio performance in BTC’s newly opened state-of-the-art studio and performance venue at its 20 Jefferson Ave., West Hartford home, “Up Close” has been reimagined and adapted to the current times. Instead of inviting local audiences to witness the power of movement in-person, the company is presenting its artistry to the community digitally for families and supporters to remain engaged in the performing arts.

To keep up to date with current happenings, sign up for Ballet Theatre Company’s newsletters, follow BTC on Instagram, and like us on Facebook. Although this season may look different, BTC believes in the power of the performing arts and is committed to serving the Greater Hartford community offering inspiring and engaging performing arts experiences for all.

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