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Lexington Ballet

Your City, Your Ballet

An Exchange of Cultures

The Lexington Ballet Company is proud to announce that they will be hosting an International Exchange, June 5th-15th during their Summer Intensive program. The exchange will take place between Lexington’s premier ballet company and a group from the Arabesco Dance Academy in Matagalpa, Nicaragua.

Last June, a group of dancers from The Lexington Ballet visited Nicaragua to represent not only their ballet company, but also the State of Kentucky and the United States at the XII Gala Internacional de Ballet Clásico in Managua. Dancers, Alixandra Kish and Tyveze Littlejohn, led by Director Luis Dominguez, performed at the Gala, as well as various other venues, including the Arabesco Dance Academy during their time in Nicaragua. It was this journey of art and culture that brought these groups together and led to the upcoming cultural exchange.

Director, Marcos Valle, of the Arabesco Dance Academy will be arriving in Lexington on Sunday, June 5th, along with his wife and three students from his dance academy. They are overjoyed at the opportunity presented to them by The Lexington Ballet and are looking forward to the Lexington Ballet Company’s Summer Intensive.

The Summer Intensive program at The Lexington Ballet is a week long, all-day, focused program for ballet students from all over the world to come and grow in their classical ballet technique. The skills developed in this program include: ballet technique, choreography, pointe, and contemporary dance. During their second week of intensives, The Lexington Ballet will be hosting special guest instructor, Mel Tomlinson, who danced for The New York City Ballet, The Boston Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem during his professional career.

The Lexington Ballet is very excited to be hosting this exchange with the Arabesco Dance Academy from Nicaragua, and plan to offer them the cultural specialties Lexington has to offer during their visit. No doubt, the Arabesco Dance Academy will be sharing their unique culture with The Lexington Ballet as well.

There will be a public performance including an informational demonstration, comprised of both The Lexington Ballet and The Arabesco Dance Academy on Friday, June 10th at 4:00pm in the LexArts Performance Hall. Please come out and show your support of the local arts in Lexington, and engage with our special guests from Nicaragua!

For more information, or if you would like to get involved with this exchange, please visit The Lexington Ballet website at www.lexingtonballet.org, or email info@lexingtonballet.org. Be sure to check out Facebook and Instagram @lexingtonballet for photos of this exciting cultural event!

Your Best Valentine’s Day Yet

There are 16 days until Valentine’s Day. 16 DAYS. Chances are, you’re still guessing at what to do with the one you love to show them how much care this year. Greeting cards, over-priced flowers, chocolates, dinner, maybe the latest romantic comedy–same things you did last year, and the year before that.

But what about something new? Something exciting and special, a romantic evening to remember! Seems like quite the undertaking, doesn’t it? Not this year. Come relax and enjoy a beautiful evening with The Lexington Ballet!

The Lexington Ballet Company is proud to announce their latest performance, Romeo & Juliet, February 13-14th at the Lexington Opera House. Artistic Director, Luis Dominguez and his talented professional dancers have a very special evening planned for you this Valentine’s Day weekend! Keeping a classic feel to the prominent ballet, the stage will come to life with Shakespeare’s famous tragic love affair. From sword fights and quarrels, to the strength and passion of forbidden love; this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare was first published in 1597 in play form, and has widely become one of Shakespeare’s most famous, and performed plays. It has been held in high regard, as well as been extremely popular for over 400 years now.

Romeo & Juliet, the ballet, however, was created by Sergei Prokofiev, a Russian composer who formed Shakespeare’s beloved play into a three-part orchestra composition, designed specifically for ballet, in 1935. This iconic ballet was born during a time of fear and change for the Russian people. The production provoked controversy amongst the Soviets, much like the love between Romeo & Juliet did for the Capulets and Montagues, and the ballet was postponed in Russia until 1940. However, the original debut performance of Prokofiev’s ballet was December 30, 1938 at the Mahen Theater in Czechoslovakia. Since then it has been revised, and is now famous for the 1940 rendition, choreographed by Leonind Lavrovsky.

This world renowned ballet will be performed live on stage, at the enchanting Lexington Opera House for one weekend only. Bring someone you love, and get swept up in the passion and excitement of this classic romantic tragedy, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Go ahead, call us Cupid, because this Valentine’s Day will be one to remember, thanks to YOU and The Lexington Ballet!

Visit The Lexington Ballet website, www.lexingtonballet.org for ticket information, or call the Opera House box office at: (859)-233-3535. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

For Art’s Sake: The Source of Our Desires

As I was sitting in my office, considering why we do the things we do here at the Lexington Ballet, my mind started drifting into the world of art. I spend countless hours writing emails, letters, blogs, etc.,  explaining that the mission of The Lexington Ballet is to spread art in our community and create a culture and a mindset that allows children to accomplish their goals. But why? Many people out in the business world may wonder why we feel so passionately about art, enough to make absolutely no money in order to spread a love for it, and why on earth they should give to support us.  Well, let me tell you why.

There is absolutely no doubt that art can be educational and therapeutic, as well as instill a level of dedication and discipline into one’s life. This could be in the form of painting, drawing, singing, dancing; the list goes on and on. Studies have shown that students who were exposed to art, music, and dance were likely to be more proficient in reading, math, and writing, and thus equipping them with excellent life-skills.

“…researchers determined that students who received more arts education did better on standardized tests, improved their social skills and were more motivated than those who had reduced or no access.” – Melissa Venable, PH.D

The reason we believe so passionately in the power of art in a person’s, and specifically a child’s, life is because art has the power to change. Art will inspire and encourage children and adults alike to dream of more than the reality they may be living in. And with enough cultivation and help along the way, those children may have the chance to reach their dreams.

Our job, our goal, and our desire is to encourage and equip students with the opportunity to reach their dreams not only as a ballet dancer, but in all of life as an artistic being. At the Lexington Ballet School students are instructed by professional dancers, and trained in the art of classical ballet. But we want to go one step further. We don’t want to limit ourselves to just the students currently enrolled at the Lexington Ballet School. We want to reach out into our community and encourage and teach students who may not otherwise get a chance to attend ballet classes. We want to give them hope for a brighter future, and a passion for dance.

“Art has to power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate.”

-Harvey Fierstein

But art goes beyond teaching children discipline and showing them new worlds; it transforms their mindset. It allows them to believe that they, too can accomplish great things. Art tells children that they can pursue their dreams and reach them, if only they try. It provides confidence and assurance to build a better life, and that is what we want to give people.

 “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

-Aristotle

Ballet is all about the significance and emotion that the ballerina portrays. They are storytellers, twisting and moving their bodies in ways that are not only physically taxing, but also aesthetically inspiring. When we watch a ballet, we do not see the pain the dancer is in from being on pointe so long, rather we see the beauty and grace of the artist as she effortlessly strides across stage.

The Lexington Ballet is currently working to provide students in our community with professionally instructed ballet classes for free, giving more students the opportunity to learn and develop their dance skills.  We are also striving to offer free tickets to Lexington Ballet Company performances to students who would otherwise not be able to attend. There is something so inspiring about watching live performing arts in a beautiful theater, and we want all children in Central Kentucky to have the opportunity to experience that with us.

So why then, do we teach, encourage, cultivate, and refuse to stop growing? For art’s sake, and for our future. We want to see children dream and then go out and reach those dreams.

If you would like to help us in reaching students in our area with a love for art and a brighter future, please contact us. We would love to partner with you as we seek to grow our children and our community. For those who already support The Lexington Ballet, we want to thank you for the help and encouragement you provide! Without you, we couldn’t do what we do.

Visit our website, http://www.lexingtonballet.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @lexingtonballet for photos, updates, contests, & more!

Dance Out Loud: A Review

Two weeks ago, The Lexington Ballet held it’s season opening event, Dance Out Loud, at the Lexington Opera House. This mixed-bill performance featured George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue; The Koln Concert, by Keith Jarrett;  as well as the World Premier of Attack of the Killer Plants by Eugene Ysaye. Attack of the Killer Plants is an original choreography by Artistic Director, Luis Dominguez, taken from Ysaye’s Sonata No. 3, and performed live by Lexington Philharmonic Concertmaster and University of Kentucky Violin professor,  Daniel Mason.

It is always a charming evening at the Lexington Opera House, and this performance was no exception. Crowds flowed in, purchasing tickets, and finding their seats amongst the beautiful architecture of the venue. At show time, the lights were dimmed, the Artistic Director introduced the evening, and all at once, the curtains opened and the ballet began. The audience was thrilled and entertained with Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue, as the dancers performed the jazzy, American piece. Next was Chairs, from Moulin Rouge. This piece was performed by the Student Company, and added it’s own sexy flair to the evening, as they portrayed the life of a cabaret. The students certainly held their own while on stage with a group of professional dancers, and Chairs has quickly become a crowd favorite for the Lexington Ballet School.

Rhapsody In Blue symbolizes classic American culture, and is a signature piece of the 1920s Jazz Age. It was beautifully portrayed as a love affair, complete with flair, style, and  humor. Greatly entertaining!

-Jonathan G.

Attack of the Killer Plants made its debut, as guest, Daniel Mason accompanied the dancers on stage playing the violin. In this piece, the female dancer, Alixandra Kish, portrayed a plant which when threatened becomes poisonous,  and the men: Jake Lowenstein, Casey Myrick, Amos Oliver, and Angelito Anacan, represented the animals desirous to eat her. The audience awaits to discover who really eats who in the end. Mr. Mason’s enrapturing violin skills, along with the graceful choreography of the dancers, made this a truly one of a kind, live performance!

The final piece of the evening was Keith Jarret’s piano recording, The Koln Concert. All company dancers were included in this piece, and each one helped in making the audience feel connected to the dancers on stage. The Lexington Ballet performed two of the three parts of Jarret’s work, which displays Jazz during the mid 1970s, and has become the all-time-best-selling album in piano history. Sitting in the audience during The Koln Concert, you couldn’t help but feel the emotions the dancers so vividly portrayed. You began to feel their sadness, growth, love, and feelings of acceptance within society. Each dancer played a different part, but they all had the distinct role of humanity, showing how similar we all are to one another.

“I loved the diversity of the choreography and the way in which the strengths of the dancers were showcased.”

-Piper C.

Each piece was clearly different from the next, and as Mr. Dominguez has stated it: “I love mixed-bill performances because you are able to touch on many different emotions and themes in the course of one evening.” And that is exactly what Dance Out Loud accomplished. The audience was captured, enticed, thrilled, excited, and connected throughout every performance of the evening.

What a wonderful beginning to what is sure to be a fantastic season for The Lexington Ballet Company! Let us know what you thought of Dance Out Loud in our comment section below.

Be sure to visit our website, http://www.lexingtonballet.org for more information regarding our upcoming performances, and follow us on Facebook & Instagram @lexingtonballet for photos, updates, contests, & more!

Let Us Introduce Ourselves

The Lexington Ballet has been providing the Central Kentucky community with the art of dance for over 40 years! We are proud of the professional dancers, directors, and performances that have shaped and cultivated our company, as well as our reputation for excellence. The Lexington Ballet is a non-profit organization, run by a Board of Directors comprised of local business men and women who volunteer their time and abilities to further expand the ballet here in Lexington.

Along with a professional ballet company, we also operate a school offering dance classes to children and adults, ages 3 & up. The Lexington Ballet School proudly offers a scholarship program to students who qualify, and have never turned a family away for their ability to pay tuition. We are dedicated to immersing our community with the arts, and to bringing culture and dance to children in our area.

Artistic Director, Luis Dominguez, along with his wife and School Director, Nancy Dominguez, help to make The Lexington Ballet truly a family affair. They are an excellent portrayal of the direct relationship between a ballet company, and a ballet school. The two go hand in hand, so fluidly that you couldn’t have one without the other. From the school, where a love for dance is born and carefully crafted, to the company where that fiery passion for dance still burns bright, and is now on display as a deftly beautiful illustration of the art of ballet.  The truth of the matter is, every ballerina began as a little girl in tights, and we desire that more boys and girls reach their dream of a career in ballet and dance.

In light of that desire, The Lexington Ballet is in the process of teaming up with local schools to bring the art of dance to children in the classroom. We believe this campaign will give kids the opportunity to dance their way to a brighter future, as well as teach them discipline and leadership skills which can be carried over into all aspects of life.

As a non-profit, The Lexington Ballet is completely funded by grants and donations from the State of Kentucky, area businesses, and friends and family like you! We are so thankful for the support that we receive as we strive to cultivate a passion for art in our surrounding community, and we are always desirous to grow.

We are very excited about our 41st Season, and hope to bring you stunning performances throughout the year! From our season opener just this past weekend, Dance Out Loud, to the Holiday classic, The Nutcracker, in December; Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare’s tragic romance, just in time for Valentine’s Day; and Lewis Carroll’s family favorite, Alice In Wonderland, bringing our season to a close in April. We would love to have you join us for these timeless performances, and we are sure you’ll enjoy every minute! For a list of dates and times, please visit our website, http://www.lexingtonballet.org.

Look for us in the 2015 Lexington Scout Guide, follow our blog, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @lexingtonballet, for videos, updates, contests, and more!

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