BalletCollective Returns to Palm Theatre

BalletCollective Returns to Palm Theatre

Telluride reconnects with the New York dance world. Residency culminates with performance Saturday, August 1, 8 p.m. Reserved seating tickets for the public performance are $38 for adults and $25 for students and children and can be purchased here or by calling 970.369.5669.

BalletCollective at New York’s Skirball Center

BalletCollective at New York’s Skirball Center


On your toes everyone. Ballet Collective returns to town brimming with brio on the heels of its success at New York University’s Skirball Center, where the company premiered a number of pieces previewed in Telluride last summer including “All That We See” and “Dear and Blackbirds.” “Clearing Dawn,” a new work choreographer Troy Schumacher created just for the New York City Ballet, also premiered. The performance was received with critical bouquets.

“The worlds created by BalletCollective are mint-fresh. They feel both attuned to life outside the performing arts and to the interior lives of the performer,” said the New York Times dance critic Alastair MacCaulay, who continued…

Though its dancers are members of City Ballet, they show new facets with this smaller ensemble: They’re more vulnerable, more ardent…Each dance leaves an impression of secret complexity. Program notes tell us that ‘The Impulse’ and ‘Dear and Blackbirds’ have grown from source poems by Cynthia Zarin. ‘All That We See’ is based on art by David Salle. This information is almost distracting, leading us to wonder if we can’t ‘get’ these dances unless we know this source material. In fact, all of Mr. Schumacher’s work stands on its own. I don’t feel the need to know his inspiration as much as I simply want to see these dances again.”

And so do the Telluride audiences.

And we will expect more of what we saw last year: virtuosity, versatility, zeal, graceful athleticism, eye-popping ensemble work, bravura solos and pas de deux, emotive storytelling. Dancing brilliantly, the seven youthful chameleons of BalletCollective displayed carefree assurance and uniform skill, leaving us all jonesing for more.

BalletCollective’s encore takes place Saturday, August 1, 8 p.m., the culmination of the company’s second residency in Telluride.

This season, the company presents world premieres of two works, both inspired by separate series of commissioned photographs by Paul Maffi and Dafy Hagai, respectively, with commissioned scores by music director and resident composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin) and Mark Dancigers (NOW Ensemble). The new works will be performed along with “All That We See” and “Dear and Blackbirds.”

About Troy Schumacher and BalletCollective:


Founded by Troy Schumacher in 2010 as a 21st-century model inspired by historic ballet, music and visual art collaborative efforts, BalletCollective brings together artists, poets, composers, choreographers, and designers to work as equals in creating distinctive works of art. The ballets the Collective performs are intimate and reflective, yet accessible, and tailor-made just for this highly accomplished group of dancers.

At the heart of BalletCollective lies process.

Artists from different genres are encouraged to think beyond their usual frame: a composer considers visual art; a choreographer, the structure of a poem; a photographer, the rhythm of a piece of music. Boundaries are stretched and ultimately resolved into a dance piece – which continues to be re-imagined and enhanced. As long as a particular work continues to be performed, it evolves.

BalletCollective has had previous seasons at the Joyce Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Troy Schumacher, founder, BalletCollective

Troy Schumacher, founder, BalletCollective

In addition to founding and directing BalletCollaborative, Troy Schumacher has received choreographic commissions from the 92nd Street Y Fridays at Noon series, School of American Ballet, New York Choreographic Institute, Salon/Sanctuary with Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Atlanta Ballet. Schumacher is active in other cultural media, and has participated in a number of cutting-edge collaborations including choreographing shoots for Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book, Aritzia and producing a performance for Creative Agency V Group’s Zero Zero Project.

As a dancer with the New York City Ballet, Schumacher has performed principal roles in several ballets, including George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Stars and Stripes, Peter Martins’ Swan Lake, and Jerome Robbins’ Interplay.

A short history of a dance residency in Telluride:

In the halcyon days of the 1990s, instigated by former prima ballerina Valerie Madonia, a nonprofit known as the Telluride Society for the Performing Arts signed a five-year contract with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Madonia’s alma mater, establishing a summer residency for the internationally acclaimed company.

The relationship worked like a beautifully choreographed pas de deux: the Joffrey got to reconstruct old favorites from its repertoire and create new works in an inspiring setting; locals and guests came to anticipate regular dance performances by a troupe known for its diversity, technical pizzazz and irrepressible spirit.

At that time, a tent was erected in the Mountain Village each summer to host the Joffrey and soon, other performances by other top-tier professional dancers from the Washington Ballet, RhythMEK, MOMIX and more. The infrastructure and expense required to host the talent was extraordinary, but the commitment of Madonia and the group of dance lovers that gathered around her under the umbrella of Dance in Telluride bore fruit: even recalcitrant husbands and sport-addicted couch potatoes eventually succumbed to the technical panache and sensuous lines of dancers whose hands and feet seemed to articulate scripts of their own.

And now, years later, another residency and other highly anticipated performance, this time driven by the artistic director of Palm Arts Dance, Shirley Fortenberry or “Miss Shirley” to her students, a friend and professional colleague of Madonia and a former a dancer with the Australian and London City Ballets.

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