Favorite son back in Telluride to dance in "The Polar Express"

Favorite son back in Telluride to dance in "The Polar Express"

[click “Play” to hear Paul DiStefano’s conversation with Susan



kicker: Ames Conservatory’s big production takes place this weekend, 12/10 – 12/12

Polar Homeboy Paul DiStefano is a Telluride success story:  He grew up in Telluride, became a street magician and is now poised to become a dancer on the world stage.

In September 2009, Paul showed up at the Telluride Dance Academy, now the Ames Conservatory. His idea was take classes with former prima ballerina and artistic director Valerie Madonia. Within six months of intense study, pedal to the metal (or toes to the boards), Madonia felt confident enough in Paul’s emerging talent to recommend him for an audition at the Joffrey School of New York, where Valerie regularly taught.

Long short: Paul was accepted in to the Joffrey summer program on full scholarship. He now lives in New York, where he continues to study. Upon graduation, Paul DiStefano should be a slam dunk for a position in a major dance company. (In addition to talent, he’s got looks and height, no small thing in a male dancer. )

This month, Paul took a time out to return home to Telluride to dance the role of the Snow King in the snow sequence of the Ames Conservatory’s holiday production of “The Polar Express,” directed by Madonia. Paul’s “queen” is Katie Bowlby, another Madonia success story. The production also features Ted Keegan, star of Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera.” Zachery Prentice of Ballet West dances the lead role of The Conductor.

Performances Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 12, is a matinee @ 3 p.m.

To learn more about Paul and why he’s excited about “The Polar Express,” click the “play” button and listen to his brief interview.

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