Ballet Idaho

Mike Reid

Daniel Ojeda, a choreographer for Ballet Idaho, is guiding dancer Liz Keller in rehearsals, spinning along beside her.

It’s an original work of his, called the “Monster and The Gift.” The ballet will have its premiere in the Winter Repertory concert at the Morrison Center in Boise. And there’s not much time left to practice.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Friday and Saturday Ballet Idaho does its winter show at Boise’s Morrison Center for the Performing Arts. And tickets sold much faster than usual. This ballet is made up of four short pieces but one of them in particular is generating the excitement.

At a recent rehearsal John Selya goes over trouble spots with Ballet Idaho dancers, an activity he calls slaying dragons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVdPK-W15ts&feature=youtu.be / Ballet Idaho

In its third year, a record of 580 groups are participating in Idaho Gives. The annual event – which is modeled after a similar one in Minnesota – is sponsored by the Idaho Nonprofit Center, and has grown in scope every year.

Ballet Idaho

Ballet Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic are bringing live music back to the Christmastime favorite “The Nutcracker.

Ballet Idaho’s Artistic Director Peter Anastos is also the choreographer of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." He says the two organizations have worked together in the past, but a financial crunch last year meant Ballet Idaho had to use a CD for the performance.

Ballet
Courtesy of Ballet Idaho

Ballet Idaho opens the season Friday and Saturday with four ballets including Akimbo. This ballet comes from Charles Anderson, the artistic director for Company C in California. He was in Boise to select dancers for Ballet Idaho’s Akimbo and teach the steps. 

“It looks like an Olympic event,” explains Ballet Idaho’s artistic director Peter Anastos. “I mean it’s beyond athletic.”   

Jillana, Ballet
Courtesy of Jillana

It's been 30 years since renowned choreographer George Balanchine died, but his ballets and vision are alive through companies like Ballet Idaho. 

For the second year, Ballet Idaho is working with one of Balanchine's dancers, Jillana. Ballet Idaho performs Balanchine's Serenade Friday and Saturday in Boise, nearly 80 years after ballet was first choreographed.

Steve Smith Photography

Ballet Idaho premieres Swan Lake tonight. Here’s what you need to know about this classic ballet. There’s Prince Siegfried. He falls in love with a beautiful woman named Odette, who’s actually trapped in the body of a swan.

Phyllis Rothwell Affrunti dances the part of Odette. The lead dancer calls her character “fragile,” a beautiful creature that has been imprisoned as a swan by the evil wizard Von Rothbart. “She’s waiting for true love to come to save her,” explains Affrunti. “It’s the only thing that can.”

Steve Smith Phototgraphy

You can't help but applaud and laugh throughout Ballet Idaho's Don Quixote. ​ The classic ballet debuted Friday night at Boise's Morrison Center. The story centers around two lovers, the innkeeper's daughter, Kitri and the barber, Basilio. Kitri's father catches the couple together and wants Basilio gone. 

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

Boise composer Jim Cockey’s newest work debuts tonight in Nampa. Sacred Land is a tribute to the Shoshone-Bannock tribes. Their history, from before settlers arrived in the Treasure Valley to the forced relocation of the tribes to the Fort Hall Reservation in Eastern Idaho in 1869, unfolds through the music.

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s capitol city celebrates its 150 anniversary next year. But long before Boise became a city, the Treasure Valley was home to the Shoshone–Bannock people. In the mid-1800s the tribe was forced to relocate to Eastern Idaho.

Their story, from early history to present day, unfolds in a new musical piece called Sacred Land which premiers this weekend.