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Isabella Boylston Says ‘Expect the Unexpected’ in her Collaboration with Rozzi
Monday, February 4, 2019


You don’t normally put ‘ballet’ and ‘pop music’ in the same sentence.

But prima ballerina Isabella Boylston and pop recording star Rozzi have never let themselves be defined by convention.

And Saturday and Sunday the two virtuosos will present the world premiere of an original one-of-a-kind dance-music performance at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum.

“When I Think of You” will take the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and at 6:30 pm. Sunday, Feb. 10.

Rozzi will perform original songs with her four-piece band while Boylston brings to life the music and lyrics with original choreography. She will be joined on stage by her good friends Calvin Royal III and James Whiteside, both dancers with American Ballet Theatre who have taken part in Boylston’s Ballet Sun Valley Festival.

“I think the second people hear Rozzi’s voice, they’re going to be transported to another place,” said Boylston. “Most of the songs are taken off her new album, ‘When I think of You.’ They tell the story of a relationship, of love and heartbreak. The last song, ‘Rest in Peace’ is almost like saying goodbye to the old you and moving on with renewed strength and wisdom.”

Boylston and Rozzi met last summer during a video shoot for “Mad Man,” a soon-to-be-released girl power anthem. They hit it off immediately.

“I was totally blown away by her voice even before meeting her,” said Boylston. “And, when we met in person, it felt like we had a ton of chemistry. It felt like we were kindred spirits.”

Rozzi felt the same way about Boylston.

“I’m a big fan of hers,” she said. “When I saw her dancing, I was struck by her incredible athleticism. I’m a huge fan of ballet now.”

When the Argyros approached Boylston about doing a performance for one of its first “The Argyros Presents” series, Boylston immediately thought of Rozzi.

Boylston and Rizzo live on opposite ends of the country—Boylston in New York, where she has been a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, since 2014 and Rozzi in San Francisco.

But it was easy enough for Rozzi to send Boylston her songs. And Boylston set them to dance.

“I choreographed dances all the time when I was a child, but this is my first attempt as an adult,” she said. “I was already familiar with a lot of Rozzi’s music and the songs on her new album felt like they were telling a story, a story of a relationship. So it was pretty easy to choreograph into a dance. And James (Whiteside) choreographed a couple, as well.”

The dance will feature classical elements mixed with pop touches.

“It’s beautiful, romantic with a different style,” promised Boylston. “Expect the unexpected—this is something that’s never been done before.”

“I think this will be an incredibly unique experience,” added Rozzi.

Born in Sun Valley, Boylston began dancing with Footlight Dance Centre at 3. In fact, she remembers making her first public dance appearances performing on the stage of the nexStage Theatre where the Argyros now sits.

“I think I was a frog that first time. So I guess you could say this brings me full circle,” she said.”Especially since I’m coming back as an adult, having creative control over what I’m doing.”

Boylston has performed around the world from China to Australia, and last year she performed in the movie “Red Sparrow.”

But she’s never forgotten forgot where she came from.

Three years ago, she founded the Ballet Sun Valley—two days of dance performances and a day of teaching--after seeing the Sun Valley Pavilion and imagining the possibilities of bringing together a dozen of the world’s greatest ballet dancers under Sun Valley’s stars.

“Now I’m excited again to bring something new to Sun Valley,” she said.

Top-charting artist Rozzi, originally known as Rosalind Elizabeth Crane, achieved her big break at 19 when Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine heard a song she wrote and signed her to his record label. Soon, she was sharing the stage with Maroon 5 and touring with such artists as Kelly Clarkson. And she sang with Levine on “Come Away to the Water” for the “Hunger Games” soundtrack.

She’s been featured in Rolling Stone, Time Magazine and Teen Vogue and has performed on The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Talk.

She released her debut album “Bad Together” in late 2018 with the single “Never Over You” hitting the top 20 on Hot AC radio.

Her lyrics, many of which reflect her own journey, contain meaty morsels that have spoken to hundreds, if not thousands, of listeners.

“Joshua Tree,” for instance, offers: “I’m selfish. I always made your problem about me…I wish I had a little empathy for ya but that night that you told me that I don’t work hard enough, Told me I cracked too much, Ripped me to pieces and then called it love…”

“Bad Together” laments “This love is no good, and it was never getting better. But, my love if I could, oh I would stay with you forever. I wanna be bad together.”

“The songs are very personal about my life. And to see the stories expressed in incredibly unique way in which Isabella is presenting them…It’s kind of crazy because she’s expressing my songs in a way I could never have imagined doing myself,” Rozzi said.

While Ketchum is the first stop for Boylston and Rozzi’s unique performance, it won’t be the last.

“I really want to take it beyond my hometown,” said Boylston. “Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle….”

Tickets for this weekend’s performances range from $35 to $150 and are available at

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