Tahoe Youth Ballet


When: March 14 & 15 | 7 p.m.

 Where: North Tahoe Event Center | Kings Beach, Calif.

 Admission: $20| All ages

Tahoe Youth Ballet kicks off its sixth winter season in March bringing new work and old favorites to the stage. The company includes eight dances and six apprentices from North Lake Tahoe and Truckee.

“The company has always prided itself on its diversity of contemporary and classical programming, which has fostered a talented group of dancers who continue to raise the bar for themselves and tour audiences,” said Christin Hanna, founding artistic director of Tahoe Youth Ballet.

Joining the company is the San Francisco-based dance company, tinypistol. The evening begins with a new work for the company, a collaboration between Hanna and Miro Magloire of New Chamber Ballet in New York City. The piece is a series of classical, yet contemporary dances, set to selections of Niccolò Paganini’s “Caprices” for solo violin.

“I danced for Miro in New York when he was starting his company. A lot of his work is about sculpture and line. It changed who I was as an artist and, as with many of the choreographers I bring in to work with Tahoe Youth Ballet, I wanted to share that with my dancers,” Hanna says.

“It’s an abstract work, but there are many stories interwoven that motivate the dancers through the six movements of Paganini’s beautiful, but slightly treacherous, music,” she said.

Tahoe Youth Ballet is bringing the return of “Viduity” to the stage set to the music of Leoš Janáček, with choreography by Constantine Baecher. Originally written for Hanna during her time with New Chamber Ballet, “Viduity” is the exploration of a community in mourning. Hanna describes the piece as a way to connect with the audience through the movement.

“It’s a totally different way of thinking about dance, its dance as an extension of an emotion,” describes Baecher in a discussion of the creation of “Viduity.”

“I don’t know if the actual steps are important in a ballet like ‘Viduity.’ I think it’s an ambiance, it’s a meditation.”

Maurya Kerr and her company, tinypistol, also are on the bill to perform the final piece for the evening. Loosely based on Angela Carter’s short story “The Tiger’s Bride,” Kerr describes the dance, titled “brutalisms,” as her animalist and feminist revision of Beauty and the Beast.

“Maurya was the dancer I connected with most when watching Alonzo King’s LINES company. She had such precise control, but with lively abandonment over her lanky figure,” said Hanna. “She’s been on my radar as an artist who really puts her work out there in a very clear, concise way. There is a very honest presentation of what she wants to say with her work, and I think many choreographers get too concerned with prettying up the package rather than focusing on the inside.”

The performance will take place at the North Tahoe Event Center. A post-performance Gala Reception will follow Friday’s show to support the company’s performances and programs. Guests at the reception will have the opportunity to meet guest artists and company members, as well as enjoy light fare, wine and a raffle.

“The audience will have a different experience at this performance, being closer to the artists. The works being presented were carefully selected for this type of venue. The athleticism and intensity of these works will be felt more viscerally up close and personal,” said Hanna.

Be sure to keep an eye out for announcements regarding the upcoming Lake Tahoe Dance Festival from July 15 to 17.

 For more information on Tahoe Youth Ballet, visit tahoeyouthballet.com.

Jenn Sheridan
Jenn is a freelance writer using words, photos and digital media to connect people to the outdoors.