by Jack Sheedy
Litchfield County Times

TORRINGTON — Spring is in the air — and it’s in the dance steps of the talented students at Nutmeg Ballet and Torrington School of Ballet. The Spring Studio Series of dance and music performances begins March 20, the first day of spring.

Formerly called Impact, the new name emphasizes the season as well as the venue, which is the Premiere Studio of the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts at 58 Main Street. Every year it features excerpts from a wide assortment of traditional and modern works, as well as original choreography and staging by Nutmeg’s and TSOB’s accomplished faculty.

This year’s show starts with excerpts from “Paquita,” a mid-19th century ballet by French composer Édouard Deldevez and Paris Opéra ballet master Joseph Mazilier. It tells the story of a girl who is abducted by gypsies and later learns she is of noble birth and therefore eligible to marry the French officer whose life she saved.

“We have done ‘Paquita,’ but it’s been a while,” said Nutmeg’s artistic director Victoria Mazzarelli. “We did it in the summer some years ago and I love it. I love to have the Nutmeg and TSOB students get an understanding of classical ballet. It is so important for them as well as doing contemporary work.”

Excerpts from “Paquita,” staged by Eleanor D’Antuono, Denise Limoli and Victoria Mazzarelli will comprise the first act in performances on March 20, 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and March 23 at 2 p.m. Also appearing will be students of the Torrington School of Ballet as coached by children’s ballet mistress Cassie Sprance.

“It’s great to have Denise here in residence,” said Victoria. “She is a great help with staging, and her work with our students complements everything we are doing. Kate St. Amand will be back as a choreographer in the second act, as well as Kirk Peterson.” Kate will choreograph “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” with music by Christopher Berg. Kirk will choreograph “La Source,” with music by Leo Delibes and Ludwig Minkus; and “Laurencia,” to music by Alexander Krein.

In addition, ballet master Tim Melady will stage “Solar Flares” (music by Brent Lewis) and “Hornets” (music by Eastern Dub Tactik), popular creations of MOMIX, choreographed by its founder Moses Pendleton.

Victoria will also choreograph Gabriel Fauré’s meditative piece “After a Dream,” as well as a reprise of last year’s popular “Jazz with Charlie,” live music of Thelonius Monk as arranged by Charlie Patterson and performed by the local quintet JINQS.

“We managed to have a combination of classical and modern pieces because when students go to a ballet company, they have to be very versatile,” Victoria said. “This year’s Spring Studio Series promises to be very exciting.”

Tickets can be purchased online at www.warnertheatre.org or by calling the Warner Theatre at 860-489-7180.

“It’s great to have Denise here in residence,” said Victoria. “She is a great help with staging, and her work with our students complements everything we are doing. Kate St. Amand will be back as a choreographer in the second act, as well as Kirk Peterson.” Kate will choreograph “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” with music by Christopher Berg. Kirk will choreograph “La Source,” with music by Leo Delibes and Ludwig Minkus; and “Laurencia,” to music by Alexander Krein.

In addition, ballet master Tim Melady will stage “Solar Flares” (music by Brent Lewis) and “Hornets” (music by Eastern Dub Tactik), popular creations of MOMIX, choreographed by its founder Moses Pendleton.

Victoria will also choreograph Gabriel Fauré’s meditative piece “After a Dream,” as well as a reprise of last year’s popular “Jazz with Charlie,” live music of Thelonius Monk as arranged by Charlie Patterson and performed by the local quintet JINQS.
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