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Spring 2012

Non-Profit Org. US Postage


Toledo, Ohio Permit 1143

Westfield Franklin Park 5001 Monroe St., Suite R20 Toledo, OH 43623 419.471.0049 FAX 419.471.9005

Marie Bollinger Vogt, Founder, Founder Artistic Director Emerita

Westfield Franklin Park 5001 Monroe St., Suite R20 Toledo, OH 43623

If you have a disability which requires


an accommodation, please advise the business office, 419-471-0049. TTY/ TTD 1-800-750-0750



MICHAEL LANG Toledo Ballet cordially invites you to a reception in the Valentine Theatre’s Grand Lobby Friday, March 23,

Friday, June 1, 7 p.m.

6 – 7 p.m. Entertainment, light grazing and a cash bar

Franciscan Center at Lourdes University


Toledo Club

Michael Lang

Artistic Director, Spring Production

Geiger mural, and enjoy a discussion with Michael Lang

Kelby Sodeman

who will share artistic insights into his creative process

Condessa Croninger

$25 per couple. Call the Valentine Theatre box office at 419-242-2787 to make reservations by March 16. There is a limit of 150 guests so make your reservations early.

School Director

Elizabeth White

to the performance. Tickets are $15 per person and

Olander Park, Sylvania

Executive Director

Lisa Mayer

will be provided as you chat with friends, examine the

and answer any questions you might have going in

6 – 10 p.m.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Staff Mari Davies



Steven Brown Kristin Del Verne Frances Fu Bradley Hashim Jeanie Bugert-Hayward Ann Heckler Sean Howe Caitlin Hudson Kathy Humphrey Barbara Kandalski Michael Lang Lisa Mayer Armon Miller Beverly Robinson Chardae Snowden Cheryl Walter Ariel Warrick Michael Warrick

Business Coordinator Grants Coordinator Educational Outreach Coordinator

Anthony Piercefield

Administrative Assistant

Jessica Prchlik

Administrative Assistant

Heidi Schmidt

Administrative Assistant

Dawn Trumbull

Administrative Assistant

Megan Kettinger Webmaster

Last year at the cast party following the smashing success of MUSEUM OF DREAMS, the Grand Lobby of the Valentine Theatre was roaring with excitement about the production. And for months following that production, the community begged us to stage an encore performance. But Toledo Ballet was eager to move ever onward and Artistic Director Michael Lang’s whirlwind ARCH brain was already processing ideas for Spring 2012. Michael left that cast party with a unique vision of how to bring the dancers to life from Paul Geiger’s Mural that graces the Valentine’s Grand Lobby. And like MUSEUM OF DREAMS, his newest production is, quite simply, out of this world.


23 & 24, 2012

The 20th century Valentine Walls are brought to life in this production with silhouettes of Al Jolson singing “Swanee”, Enrico Caruso singing “La Donna E Moblie”, and the classical piano sounds of Ignace Jan Paderewski, all representing the many entertainers from Geiger’s mural who graced the original Valentine stage. The melodic call of Paderewski awakens four dancing ghosts whose artistic spirits have been held within the Valentine backstage walls. Mr. Lang has selected four past dancers around which to build his newest production – Vaslav Nijinksy, Anna Pavlova, Ruth St. Denis, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. The result, due to the widely varied dance genres that each of these performers embodied, is a wildly eclectic theatrical dance concert that manages to combine a mix of classical ballet of Pavlova, contemporary ballet as initiated by Nijinsky, Middle Eastern exoticism and the birth of American Modern Dance inspired by St. Denis, and a sultry blues and New York jazz representation of Robinson’s Vaudevillian/Broadway life. As we watch Nijinsky go (Continued on page 2.)


Robert A. Koenig President James Hill President-Elect Judith Leb Secretary Damian Rodgers Treasurer

Trustees Stephanie Cihon Carleen Cincala Dawn Coleman Stephanie Dames John Gorun Jeanette Grzeszczak Kathleen S. Hanley Stephen L. Hanley Mike Hennig Anne Izzi Kathleen Jones Darren LaShelle Gail Mirrow Yolanda Mora-Calderon David Saygers Deann R. Gorun-Trobaugh Marie Bollinger Vogt Bruce Works




ALUMNA KRISTEN STEVENS What first drew you to dance? My mother was a dancer; from a young age I begged her for lessons. She was afraid I would get bored and so made me wait until I was eight before I could start. When I finally did start, within a few months, I was bored. Each time I complained, my mom would say I had to finish the classes she’d paid for, and by the end of each month I’d changed my mind. But by my second year, I was begging for lessons, and by age 14, my monthly colored punch cards were so full they had to start a third column up the right side.

“I am very thankful to Toledo Ballet for how much support and help they have given me that my family could not.” ~Toledo Ballet scholarship recipient Taylor Ramos Toledo Ballet is proud to announce its new “Chance to Dance” scholarship campaign. This program allows anyone at anytime to contribute towards the annual tuition of a student who is very deserving and has demonstrated a commitment to ballet. Consider underwriting the tuition of a scholarship student. Any amount you pledge helps dancers like Taylor come closer to realizing their passion. In return, you will have the opportunity to meet recipients, to come back stage after a performance to congratulate them personally, and to enjoy occasional notes from them on

(Continued from page 1) insane, Pavlova fret over the perfect pointe shoe, St. Denis’ exotic interpretation of the East, and Robinson’s carelessness with an abundant fortune, we learn that there is as much of a show going on backstage as there is onstage. When asked about the inspiration for his latest production, Lang said, “When you start investigating the lives of these past greats on Geiger’s mural, the history is amazing! I love watching my visions come to life, but I love even more that my dancers will have something to say when they hear the names Nijinsky, Pavlova, St. Denis, Robinson, Graham, Humphrey, Weidman, Shawn, and many more. We are not just a pre-professional company, we are an educational institution. What better way for a dancer to learn history than to literally move through it?”

what’s new and exciting in their dance lives.


■ $1,000

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■ other $________

■ I would like to make monthly installments (for pledges of $250 or more) Name: ___________________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________ City: ________________________________ State: ________________ Zip: _________ Please charge my:

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Account # __________________________________________ Exp. Date ___________ Name on Card ________________________ Signature _________________________ ■ Check payable to Toledo Ballet enclosed. Please return this form with payment to:

Toledo Ballet 5001 Monroe Street, Suite R20 Toledo, OH 43623

What are some of your fondest TB memories? Friday afternoon pointe classes with Mrs. Cernonok. Mrs. Cernonok would create a dance to an orchestrated piece of music. She kept adding steps week by week, and we’d practice the dance over and over. “The music is here, here, and here,” she’d say, pointing to her tummy, elbows, and wrists. She taught us to listen to the music, and to dance with feminine elegance and with joy. When you think of Madame Velta, what are three words that come to mind? Beautiful, pragmatic, present. I called Mrs. Cernonok on the phone occasionally when I lived in Norway. In my third year with the Norwegian National Ballet, I was having a hard time, and I cried to her that I was tired and didn’t know what to do. She said, “Darling, eat something.” I visited her in Georgia one year before she died. She gave me a hard time because I was studying and not performing. I will think of her when I perform again with the Met Opera this spring. In what ways did Madame Vogt influence you? Growing up in an environment created, managed, and run by a woman was a huge, if subconscious, influence. As a young girl, I took it for granted, not knowing or understanding the history of Toledo Ballet and the fact that for a woman to start a business of any kind in the 1930s was a big deal—let alone an artistic endeavor in a small industrial Midwestern city. I think that seeing a woman in charge—a woman who had envisioned and realized her professional dream—established a normative model for me, later reinforced by my teachers at Notre Dame.

Kristen Stevens as Clara in Norwegian National Ballet's NUTCRACKER.

of 9/11 occurred several weeks into the contract; my memories of dancing for her are linked to that. Several years later, when I returned to the U.S. from Norway, I chose a university in New York City, where I could once again train with the teachers I love in the style I love in the city I love.

Throughout your dancing career, what was a significant challenge you faced and how did you resolve it? Taking care of myself: getting proper nourishment, finding a healthy weight, coping with aches, dealing with injury, and preparing myself mentally for rehearsals and performances and constant critique. It can be hard to reveal your weaknesses in a company when you are trying to prove yourself and do your best all the time, but dancing on an injury or feeling confused about what foods your body needs of course holds you back much more in the big picture.

What advice would you give young TB dancers who are weighing the merits of a professional dancing career versus pursuing a degree immediately following high school? It is definitely important to take advantage of your youth; and especially now, there are many university options for non-traditional students, so returning to school later is increasingly common. If you want to dance professionally, go for it—it’s wonderful. That said, university too is a very important experience, in particular for women, I believe—so don’t ever be intimidated to return to studying, regardless of your age.

Would you share a dance experience that brought you great joy and fulfillment? Joining the Suzanne Farrell Ballet Company and moving to New York City when I was 24. I had always dreamed of living and dancing in New York; to finally get the opportunity under the circumstance of working for Suzanne was an amazing opportunity. She was extremely inspiring and generous in the way she taught us the ballets she had danced. The tragedy

What would you like to be doing ten years from now? Living in New York and working in a meaningful second career. I also hope I’m still turning and jumping.

Which TB dancers did you emulate, and why? I remember Heather Powers dancing the Sleeping Beauty variation and the Crystal Maiden dance in the Nutcracker. She was gorgeous, dynamic, flirtatious, and joyful onstage. I also remember Evelyn Cisneros of San Francisco Ballet, who returned each year to dance Sugar Plum Fairy. She was radiant and generous onstage and off, warmly signing our pointe shoes.

Spring 2012 Newsletter  

Spring 2012 Newsletter for the Toledo Ballet Spring season.