Dancers Dancing: And now for something totally different … |

Dancers Dancing: And now for something totally different …

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff

It wouldn’t seem that a Harley rider ” usually big, bearded, brawling ” would know a whole lot about the prim, proper, bleached-white world of classical ballet.

But not all Harley Davidson riders are DeAnna Anderson.

“I’m a Harley chick,” she says.

But Anderson is also a ballet chick. In fact she’s a really good ballet chick. She started dancing when she was 2 at the San Francisco Ballet School, then studied at the well-known Stuttgart Ballet in Germany, then at the New York City Ballet School.

She performed for seven years at the American Ballet Theater in New York, danced in Cats’ opening night, then went on to choreograph at the Atlanta Ballet Company, and teach at Florida State University and at Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania.

“I thought I was going to retire,” she says of her plans upon arriving in Glenwood Springs three years ago.

But then she started to teach part-time at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, “and it snowballed.”

Now Anderson teaches 26 classes a week, and is one of the artistic directors of this weekend’s 12th annual performance of Dancers Dancing.

Anderson’s influence (ballet, not Harleys) on the show is evident.

“This year is entirely different from what it’s always been,” said Anderson outside the Glenwood Springs High School auditorium during a break in rehearsal.

“Before it was a recital-type show … now it’s a performance.”

The difference between past Dancers Dancing and this year’s performance hasn’t escaped the performers either.

“The show has evolved,” said Anne-Marie Kelley, a dancer who plays Sleeping Beauty this weekend.

“She’s just breathed this whole new life into this program,” Kelley said of Anderson.

One of the changes audiences will notice is that in the three acts of Dancers Dancing, which runs Friday and Saturday night, two are ballet only.

Act One is the children’s ballet the “Enchanted Birthday Party,” a “Nutcracker”-like piece, which takes place at a birthday party rather than Christmas. Act Three is also ballet-based, and featured pieces from “Sleeping Beauty.”

Another change from years past is that this year professional dancers will join the many talented amateur dancers from the valley.

Alexandra and Anthony Jerkunica, professionals who danced with Ballet Pacifica in California before moving to Carbondale, will dance in “Enchanted Birthday” and “Sleeping Beauty.”

Though ballet will be more prominent in this year’s Dancers Dancing, audiences will still get plenty of variety.

The second act of the show is a showcase of tap, jazz, break dancing, and a bit of country.

Audiences will see pieces of “Saturday Night at the Lone Star Cafe” with songs by Lyle Lovett and Stevie Ray Vaughan, choreography from the musical “Chicago,” and head spins, windmills and flares from a group of local break dancers.

Saturday will also feature a matinee performance with a recital by the youngest dancers in the Center for the Arts dance program, and the “Enchanted Birthday.”

“There’s a lot of good stuff,” said Claire Evans, the director of the dance department at the Center for the Arts, who directed the showcase pieces. “I think the audience is really going to like it.”

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520

What: Dancers Dancing

Where: The Glenwood Springs High School Auditorium

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a matinee performance by the youngest dancers at 1 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $15 adults, $8 students

Information: 945-2414

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