Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Proletariat Supper Launches Dance Club, Film School and More
Alayia Norton and Railey pause on the fashion runway.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Cindy Forgeon has not had much opportunity to eat Russian food living in the Sun Valley area.

But she needs to learn as she’s headed for a Russian river cruise with her family this coming summer.

She got a small taste this past week as Sun Valley Ballet presented a Russian dinner in conjunction with a Proletariat Fashion Show.

Aimee Durand and Lyn Crandall say cheers with forks full of radish and beet salads.

The ballet school’s artistic director Alexander Tressor, who grew up in Moscow, made an eggplant dish flavored with crunchy walnuts, a bright red beat salad and a radish salad—all dishes of working-class Russians--to accompany other fare.

“It’s an impromptu party celebration—a little bit of humor, a fashion show, a way to address cabin fever!” he said.

The Russians didn’t originate ballet. The dance form started in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th century, spreading from there to France under Catherine de’ Medici.

But Russian ballet has made its mark on the dance since the Imperial Ballet of the Russian Empire was founded in the 1740s, bringing Russian folklore to life with pieces like Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” and Prokofiev’s “Cinderella.” And the unforgettable artistry of Mikhail Baryshnikov only cemented the connection.

Jessica Miller, whose daughter is a student at Sun Valley Ballet, shows off some evening wear.

Tressor, whose stepfather was a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, has brought a bit of Russian flavor to Sun Valley Ballet.

And now he and others are shaking up things at Sun Valley Ballet in other ways.

  • For instance, Sun Valley Ballet is offering a Boy’s Athletic Ballet Training class designed to build strength, confidence and flexibility while enhancing athletic skills for other sports. The hour-long program offered at 5 p.m. Tuesdays at 111 N. 1st Ave. at the Meriwether Building in Hailey.
  • Sun Valley Ballet is also expanding into the Sun Valley Ballet & Arts Center as it offers classes for kids who are interested in theater and film.

    Tressor has been known to make some fun YouTube videos. His tongue-in-cheek video “How to Wash a Schnauzer” has caught the eyes of thousands of viewers. And he has created an instructional video of his fight with Parkinson’s called “Shaken, Not Stirred.”

    Brenann O’Leary and Maite Finegan walk the runway.

    While working with ballet students he noticed that many of the kids have a yen for documenting their every move, in addition to dancing and acting.

    So, the school has started a Children’s Theater and Film School bent on making some determined youngster the next Oscar winner.

    Alexander Tressor quipped that the fashion show was an opportunity to see the variety of lingerie available in a remote place like Idaho.

    “We have dance. We have film. We have theater. All sorts of things for kids to learn,” he said.

    The arts center teacher Mat Durand says he plans to teach youngsters how to act, dance, sing, design sets and create costumes. He will also show them how to work with sound engineering, cinematography, editing and lighting. In addition, they will learn scriptwriting and choreography, musical instruments and composing.

    “We want to teach them how to ignite their creative potential. And, above all, we will educate them how to work together to create projects as a team,” he said. “If they ultimately choose a path that has nothing to do with arts or cinema, that’s okay. The skills they learn will make them stand out from the crowd and enhance their lives in countless ways.”

    For more information, email SVBartsdirector@gmail.com. Or, call 208-366-4008.

  • Additionally, Sun Valley Ballet kicked off a new Sun Valley Dance Club Saturday series on March 23.

The first class doted on the waltz. March 30 will be dedicated to the Cha Cha and a review of the waltz; April 6, the Viennese Waltz and Cha Cha with a waltz review; April 12, Salsa; April 20, Bachata taught by an Argentinean man, along with a Salsa review, and April 27, Merengue with a review of the bachata and salsa.

Lessons take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Sun Valley Ballet dance floor, followed by a chance to practice steps from 7 to 8 p.m.

“At the end of the month we’re thinking of having a party during which we’ll include a variety of dances,” said Lyn Crandall, who enjoyed a robust lineup of ballroom dancing in Arkansas where she lived before moving to the Wood River Valley.  “We also hope to do some East Coast and West Coast swing, maybe some country dancing.”

Cost is $25 a couple or $15 per single and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Lyn Crandall at 501-944-2448 or Aimee Durand at 208-490-0199.

Of course, none of these things will take away from the ballet, which Sun Valley Ballet was formed for 40-plus years ago. It will still be front and center.

“Ballet gave me a lot of self-confidence and it helps participants do better with grades and school,” said Cindy Forgeon. “And you gain so many friends dancing. When I danced, it was like my second home.”

Jessica Miller, whose daughter dances, agreed: "It's helped her with her skiing and so much more."

Sun Valley Ballet offers some full or partial scholarships.  Call 208-366-4008 or visit www.sunvalleyballet.com for more information.


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