Right in the heart of downtown Torrington, in a building of brick and steel and glass, amazing things are happening.
The 50,000 square foot building that houses The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory is not only an extraordinary example of downtown revitalization at its finest, but it also presents a seamless merging of traditional and modern architecture. The contrast and symmetry of the old and new aptly tell the story of what is happening inside those walls as well.
The building that is now home to The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory on North Main Street was not always the cultural icon it is today. James Mallette built the original three-story brick neoclassical building for the Torrington Chamber of Commerce back in 1916. Little did Malette know that one day the building would grow up to be the home of a leading professional ballet training organization founded by Torrington’s Sharon E. Dante and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory is the oldest continuously operating performing arts organization in town providing professional level ballet training to aspiring local, national, and international artists who come from far and wide to share in The Nutmeg Ballet’s rich history, exciting present, and promising future.
This careful melding of the original architecture with the soaring glass and steel dance studios is the perfect setting for a ballet training program that not only trains classical ballet dancers well-versed in traditional technique, but who can also communicate a newer, freer quality of movement required in more modern choreography. The Nutmeg’s upcoming Graduation Performances set for May 10-13 will allow audiences to experience the graceful beauty of classical pieces from Giselle and Coppelia in addition to original choreography by Kinsun Chan, Brian Reeder, and Kate St. Amand that is as powerful as it is mesmerizing.
As with the contrast and dynamic melding of ideas that make the architecture of this building so compelling, the students of The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory reach beyond the structure of their training in technique and their ability to shine on stage to bring depth and character to the organization. Not only do these students excel in their ballet training, academics, and outside interests, but so many of them go on to endeavors inspired by the long hours spent within these walls training their bodies to tell beautiful stories.
These are the tales of The Nutmeg Ballet. These are the stories now embedded in the walls of that beautiful building on North Main Street with its neoclassical architecture made up of bricks and steel and glass. It is a story built on Sharon Dante’s dream, nurtured by a talented staff, and supported by selfless volunteers and donors. It is a story being told today within those very walls every time a little Torrington School of Ballet dancer puts on her first pair of pointe shoes, each time a Nutmeg ballerina steps out onto that stage in a sparkly tutu, and when boys trade in their sports gear for dance shoes to transform into what Einstein believed to be “the athletes of God.”
Give where your heart is…. GIVE LOCAL 2017