When it comes to lifting your mood and filling your soul, there’s nothing like watching a stunning dance performance. The movement of a dancer’s body in a rhythmic way for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, or simply taking delight in the movement itself— is absolutely breathtaking.
After the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performing company dissolved, which had been an integral part of the Aspen community and an impactful leader in the global dance scene for 25 years—it came as a major loss not only for the community, but also the artists who had worked and trained their entire lives to perform with a company of such prestige. This news left the dancers with two options; stay in Aspen and retire from their professional dancing careers or move and leave behind the lives and communities they built in Aspen. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, the dancers banded together to create a third option and DanceAspen was born.
In just a few short months after its inception, DanceAspen held its inaugural performance “The Pieces Fall” at the Wheeler Opera House, which sold out immediately. This diverse show consisted of seven pieces created by choreographers from around the globe and highlighted the dancers’ exquisite technique and powerful artistry. It was a performance that touched the hearts of the artists and audience alike and was a beacon of hope after a long 18 months void of live performances.
Starting from nothing, Founder and Executive Director Laurel Winton worked tirelessly to pull the pieces together and navigate the ever-changing hurdles brought on by recent change. Meanwhile, the dancers volunteered their time and artistry to get the company off of the ground, while working other jobs throughout the valley to make a living. As a result, the story of DanceAspen quickly made its way through the dance world, inspiring choreographers to donate their pieces to the company to perform.
As word got out in Aspen, the community support also began to grow and the company was able to begin fundraising to pay the dancers and administrators for their time, talent and efforts in putting together this amazing show.
Today, DanceAspen is in full swing. “Everyone at DanceAspen is excited to mark the one year anniversary of our founding,” says Winton. “With a packed calendar of performances, we are also pleased to celebrate our first big fundraising gala this Summer.” And, we couldn’t be more excited.