First-Ever Summer Performance for Aspen’s Local Dance Company
Aspen, CO (May. 17, 2023) DanceAspen’s first-ever summer program, ‘Solstice’, will premiere on Friday, August 25 & Saturday, August 26 at 7:30 PM at the Wheeler Opera House. ” ‘Solstice’ will be DanceAspen’s most exciting program yet. It is an honor and privilege for the company to welcome the level of creative brilliance that Cayetano Soto and Matthew Neenan bring to the stage. I also look forward to bringing back one of our all-time favorite works by the iconic Danielle Rowe,” exclaims Laurel Jenny Winton, Executive Director of DanceAspen.
DanceAspen is established as a fresh new voice in the next generation of contemporary dance, known internationally in the dance world, and locally in the Roaring Fork Valley. The summer 2023 premiere will feature new creations from two notable, world-renowned choreographers, award-winning Matthew Neenan, and internationally esteemed creator Cayetano Soto. In addition to the piece by Neenan, and the two American premieres by Soto, DanceAspen will welcome back a return, exhilarating production of ‘Everyone’s in St. Barth’s,’ by Choreographer, Danielle Rowe. Audiences will be transported through the lens of these three visionaries in an exciting evening of contemporary dance.
Matthew Neenan: Nationally acclaimed and award-winning choreographer, Neenan will debut a brand new work for the company’s artists. Described as “one of America’s best dance poets” by The New York Times, Neenan began his dance training at the Boston Ballet School and later attended the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York. From 1994-2007, Neenan danced numerous principal roles in the classical, contemporary, and Balanchine repertoire with the Philadelphia Ballet. From 2007 – 2020, Neenan was the Choreographer in Residence at the Philadelphia Ballet where he created 20 original ballets. In 2005, Matthew co-founded BalletX with fellow dancer Christine Cox. BalletX has toured and performed Neenan’s choreography in New York City at The Joyce Theater, NY City Center, The Skirball Center, Symphony Space, Central Park Summerstage, The Kennedy Center, Vail International Dance Festival (where he has created 5 world premieres), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Segerstrom Center, Laguna Dance Festival, Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis, as well as several venues internationally. His ballet ‘The Last Glass’ was listed in The New York Times’ Top 10 in 2013.
Cayetano Soto: DanceAspen will be the first American company to premiere two works by internationally esteemed creator Soto, who brings his iconic choreographed pieces from Barcelona, Spain. Soto began his dance education in Barcelona at the Institut del Teatre and then continued his studies at the Koninklijke Conservatorium in The Hague. After receiving his degree in Classical Dance, Soto danced with IT Dansa Barcelona in 1997, before joining Ballet Theater Munich a year later. In 2000, the German magazine Tanz Aktuell awarded him the “Best Young Choreographer to Watch” for his first choreography for Ballet Theater Munich, Plenilunio. Since 2005, Soto has worked as a freelance choreographer receiving commissions from Nederlands Dans Theater, Stuttgarter Ballett, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Ballett Zürich, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Ballet du Capitole, Czech National Ballet, Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, Gauthier Dance Company, Companhia Nacional de Bailado, Perm Opera Ballet Theater, Národní Divadlo Brno, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Tanz Luzern Theater, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Ballet BC, BJM Montréal, Maggio Danza Opera di Firenze, BalletX, Introdans, and Györi Ballet. Soto also created several ballets with German companies such as Staatstheater Braunschweig, Hessisches Staats Ballett Wiesbaden, Staatstheater Nürnberg, Ballett Theater München, Staatstheater Augsburg. He created a new full evening version of Carmen for Ballett Dortmund, which was then staged by Národní Divadlo Brno in the Czech Republic, and has served as Resident Choreographer for Ballet BC from September 2015 for three seasons.
While most dance companies completely outsource their choreography, DanceAspen turns inward towards a talented pool of dancers to help build out their performing repertoire. A great example of this is their recent winter pop-up series in different venues around the Valley. All the DanceAspen artists had a hand in bringing the holiday-themed event to life, from the initial concept to the costume design and choreography. In addition, three of DanceAspen’s dancers choreographed pieces for their Winter Performance held in March 2023. Stay tuned for the reveal of new in-house works for the ‘Solstice’ performance.
About DanceAspen Choreographers & Dancers
DanceAspen was founded to keep dance alive in Aspen after the global pandemic tore through the dance community worldwide. It was established to create space for the artists to continue honing their craft and share their passion with the community. Since the formation of DanceAspen in 2021, the company has made great strides in becoming an integral part of the arts community in Aspen and the greater dance community abroad. DanceAspen’s repertoire includes works by esteemed choreographers from around the globe including Danielle Rowe, Penny Saunders, Yue Yin, Sebastian Kloborg, and more. The company also provides opportunities for its artists to grow through choreography and collaboration, fostering the next generation of choreographers and creators. For more information, visit danceaspen.org