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ITHACA, NY – Ithaca Ballet has a long history of fostering creative and innovative choreography. In the 1980’s, resident choreographers Lavinia Reid, Liz Van Vleck and Larry Brantley, all attended Craft of Choreography Conferences to hone their talents. At that time we began hosting our own annual Choreography Workshops to encourage young talent and give them a venue in which to develop pieces.

WinterDance 2016 will showcase the absolute best in contemporary dance, presenting both brand new choreography as well as innovative pieces from the extensive Ithaca Ballet repertoire, some of which go back 25 years.

WinterDance falls shortly after the 10 year anniversary of Larry Brantley’s death (February 14, 2006).  Larry was a champion of young choreographers and was one of the main creators of the  Choreographic Workshops.  To honor this important anniversary and to celebrate this amazing man, we will feature his very last ballet Trip-Tic (2002).  It is quintessentially Larry –very entertaining, sometimes laugh-out loud funny and always interesting ballet in three movements with music by Art of Noise, Hypnotic Clambake and Johnny Mathis.

(Provided photo.)

Mayhem’s Flight by Carrie Houser, has not been performed since 1999.  It will be staged by  Ithaca Ballet alumnus Kevin Olmstead, on whom it was originally staged when he was 17 .  Carrie was an extremely talented choreographer who died in 2004.  Her vernacular was very modern and unique.  This piece is set to two Chopin Etudes.

Blues in Pieces by Meggin Rose features music by Billy Holiday and Otis Redding.  This Ithaca Ballet favorite (by alumni who have danced it!)  has not been performed in ten years and features Rachel Myers,  Robin Karlin, Keara Soloway and Ayla Naghsh.  The bluesy music and choreography evoke a sultry, sensuous, summery feeling (always welcomed in the deep of Winter!). The ballet was first staged on a choreography workshop in 1990 and subsequently was chosen for performance at Regional Dance America, as well as at the Grass Roots Festival.

Ithaca Ballet Alumnus, Lena Rose (Magee) Polzonetti is coming to stage the Ithaca premiere of her recent ballet, Lost Memory. Lena was one of the Ithaca Ballet dancers who choreographed the very popular Reaching Moksha, last enjoyed at our 50th anniversary Gala.  Lena danced with the Alban Elved Dance Company and currently teaches in South Bend, Indiana.

Also featured is a new ballet by longtime Ballet Center and Ithaca Ballet teacher Amanda Moretti called Social Dance. This new piece will feature a large cast to a score by Stephane Wrembel.  And finally, there will be a sensational new duet by Tucker Davis with Ithaca Ballet alumnus Samantha Sprague Iddings which premiered at IC in October to choral music.

Contact:  Amy Opperman Cash (607-351-1073)

Tickets are $15 at

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.