Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is such a small company, and there has been so much turnover of dancers recently — Craig Black, Sadie Brown, Paul Busch, and Peter Franc are all relative newbies, with longtime company members Sam Chittenden, Katie Dehler, and Seth Del Grasso now gone — that part of the interest in watching an ASFB performance is seeing how the new crew dances and how the choreographers choose to employ their talents.
All three pieces presented last weekend at the Lensic Performing Arts Center were commissioned by ASFB and developed on company dancers. Many other regional groups are forced by economic factors to basically serve as recycling companies. That a 10-person dance troupe based in two small cities has the ability to attract and pay up-and-coming and established European and American choreographers is a testament to the directors, Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty, whose taste in dancers as well as choreographers is a brilliant balance between practicality (budget and scale) and vision.
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