FBP doesn’t stop in the summer

Here is company dancer Alan Alberto on returning to work for a week of rehearsal with choreographer Joseph Morissey:

Alan Alberto, FBP Company Dancer
Alan Alberto, FBP Company Dancer

It was a pleasure to finally have the opportunity of meeting and working Joseph Morissey. We have know each other for several years and are both graduates from The HARID Conservatory. This past week at FBP several company dancers and apprentices had the opportunity of taking class with him and learning two of his pieces.

It was a true pleasure for me to work with Joseph because I’ve heard so much about him. The experience was wonderful. It was nice to be in the studio again since we’ve been away for about a month now.

Ruth and I learned a pas de deux which was created on a couple from ABT. We learned the material in two days. It was rather speedy but we all knew we where in a time crunch. The following two days we worked on a group piece (originally set on Stuttgart Ballet) with Mady, Jennifer and Harry. This work was a little more complicated because we had two couples learning completely different material. We spent most of Friday and Saturday morning cleaning, learning, and re-learning.

We all had a great time and did our best for a week of intense work. We’re excited to be able to work on these pieces this coming season.

Both the pas de deux – “Poised” – and the group piece – “In Passing” – will be performed during Up Close on Hope in the upcoming 36th season.

Alan and Joseph Morissey
Alan and Joseph Morissey

It is called an intensive for a reason!

The first of two summer intensives begins today with the Junior Intensive! The students arrived this morning for their first full day of intense 9-5 classes. Our intensive programs are designed to enhance a student’s development during the summer, where they can fully focus on their classes and progress. These students not only work on their dance technique, they also have conditioning classes and lectures about dance history and other topics . It’s no surprise that these long days can be difficult to get through, so here are a few tips, courtesy of Friends of Festival Ballet Providence!

FBP 2011 Summer Program students in an outdoor class in Providence.

Make new friends!  There are students here from many cities and towns.  Making new friends can be one of the best things about Intensive.

Take Care of  Your Body. No sense working all day in class and not eating right or not hydrating during the day or staying up late at night.  You won’t perform well the next day.

Pack that dance bag well:

  • Toe tape (for lots of intense Pointe work)
  • Bobby pins, brush, hairspray
  • An extra pair of tights, ballets shoes, jazz shoes, ballet skirt and warm-ups
  • A note book and pen to record the corrections from teachers or difficult combinations
  • Snacks like a granola bar or banana (bananas are great for cramps!)
  • A tennis ball to relieve cramps and sore muscles
  • Jet glue for Pointe shoes
  • Band-aids are a MUST have for blisters

But most of all…HAVE FUN!

FBP 2011 Summer Program students in an outdoor class in Providence.

An American in Paris (sans-dancing)

Here is company dancer Kirsten Evans writing about her adventures in Paris. Kirsten – who is recovering from a back injury – was originally Paris-bound for a dance workshop with roommate and best friend Tegan Rich (who is still participating in the workshop). Now, she is discovering Paris a different way, and hopefully stepping lightly and carefully on those cobblestone rues.

Eiffel Tower

When you are presented with the opportunity to attend a summer ballet intensive in Paris, you take it, sans hesitation.  When you are diagnosed with a spinal stress fracture two weeks before the end of your season, making both performing in your ballet company’s final show and participating in the summer intensive absolutely impossible, you take those two weeks to start healing your broken back and quickly find a non-dance-related excuse to keep your Parisian travel plans.  Such was my predicament about a month and a half ago, just before FBP’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty.

So what ingenious justification did I come up with to save my previously purchased plane tickets and mostly memorized maps of Paris from an unceremonious trashcan burial?  Why, I signed myself up for a French language class in Paris, of course!  And I must say, it could not have worked out any better.  This is my third week of French classes here in the City of Light, and I’ve learned so much more than comment dire Je suis une Americain danseuse de ballet!

Eiffel Tower

Besides the immense amount of French language I hear, speak, write, learn, and (attempt to) use every day, simply being submerged in the Parisian culture for these past few weeks has taught me more than I ever could have anticipated. Not only have I become exposed and accustomed to the relaxed pace of this diverse city, but I’ve been able to absorb the sites and art through an (almost) completely unfiltered lens.

As I wander down les rues of my neighborhood during the day, I’m taking the time to look up and notice the clever and colorful street art that so perfectly contrasts the framed masterpieces of Monet and Renoir proudly embellishing the walls of some of the world’s most famous museums.

In Nice
In Nice

Between the obligatory trips to le Musee d’Orsay and La Tour Eiffel, I am exploring Oberkampf, the “bobo” hipster neighborhood two metro stops away from my apartment, and buying the sweetest cherries at my local produce stand. In the evenings I’m sampling charcuterie plates and taste-testing cheap wines in teeny little brasseries hidden away by red awnings.  At night I fall asleep to the sound of throaty French voices jabbering from balconies across the way, and in the morning I wake up to the purr of Vespa’s zooming past our gate en route to the workplaces of their operators.

It’s these less obvious experiences that I hope to build upon each day.  It is these unique times that will become my truly cherished memories of Paris when I’m no longer living around the corner from une fromagerie and a train ride away from Notre Dame.

Kirsten Evans and Tegan Rich
Kirsten Evans and Tegan Rich

To read more about Kirsten and Tegan’s trip to Paris, visit Kirsten’s blog: Setting the Barre.

(All photos by Kirsten Evans with her awesome camera)


Vacanti’s “Enroulement” presented in Paris

Audiences who attended our spring program of Up Close on Hope had the opportunity to experience the FBP choreographic debut of Thomas Vacanti. His ballet – Enroulement – was a challenging and intricate task for the dancers, but was an immediate success in the black-box theatre performances.

Photo by A. Cemal Ekin
(Left to right) Harry Yamakawa, Beth Mochizuki, Emily Loscocco, and Ian Matysiak in “Enroulement” in the spring program of Up Close on Hope. Photo by A. Cemal Ekin

Now, Thomas is packing his bags for Paris, where he will present a video of Enroulement at the CORPS de Ballet International Conference. Company dancers Emily Loscocco, Ian Matysiak, Beth Mochizuki, and Harry Yamakawa spent four days rehearsing and filming the ballet in May, and you can see the entire piece here:

Bon Voyage, Thomas. We hope Paris loves Enroulement as much as we did!


Last look at Little Red Riding Hood

In case you missed the Little Red Riding Hood performances (in Feb. and March) OR the RISD Fashion Show (where the dancers performed a runway adaptation of the ballet in May), here is one last look at the most cheerful production of our season:

Video courtesy of Rhode Island Monthly, Jen McCaffery, and RISD.


Meet the Dancers: Vilia Putrius

We have come to the final video in our “Meet the Dancers” series, and – appropriately – this one features company dancer Vilia Putrius, who created, organized, filmed, and edited all of these fantastic videos. Thank You, Vilia, for all of your hard work on this series. What a joy it was to see the diverse talents and personalities of FBP showcased in this way over the past four months! 

Vilia Putrius
Vilia Putrius

Born in Lithuania, Ms. Putrius received her early training at the Vilnius Ballet School. In 1995, following graduation, she joined the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in 1995 where she was a soloist for five years. In 2001, Ms. Putrius joined Ballet Arlington in Texas as a principal dancer where she performed for three years before joining Boston Ballet in 2004. Favorite roles include Terpsichore inApollo, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Coppelia in Coppelia, Dark Angel in Coma, Odette and Odile in Swan Lake, Giselle and Myrtha in Giselle and Nurida in Eldar Aliev’s A Thousand and One Nights with principal roles in Allegro BrillanteDonizetti Variations, Paquita and Les Sylphides. She also performed the pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, Esmeralda, Grande Pas Classique and the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. She is married to company dancer Mindaugas Bauzys. This is Ms. Putrius’ seventh season with FBP.


A Culmination THANK YOU from Friends of FBP

145 student dancers +
30 pieces of choreography +
272 costumes +
300 roses +
more than 800 audience members =


The Friends of Festival Ballet Providence would like to thank all of our amazing staff, teachers and volunteers who made this production possible.

The studio is quiet, costumes are being cleaned and returned to storage, and the company and school are taking a well-deserved rest. We look forward to seeing everyone when the summer programs start up!

-Friends of Festival Ballet Providence