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Tiler Peck’s ‘Point of Departure’ to Feature Boston Ballet
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Tuesday, June 21, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck loves to perform at the Sun Valley Pavilion.

“The Sun Valley Pavilion feels very dreamy. It is an outdoor venue and it feels incredible to dance under the stars,” said Peck. “I remember feeling the breeze on my face while dancing and it moving my skirt in a special way that doesn’t happen in an indoor venue. It’s a magical place and you can tell the audience truly appreciates the art they are witnessing.”

Peck has choreographed a piece called “Point of Departure” for the Boston Ballet’s two performances Friday and Saturday in the Pavilion. The dance, based on music by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw, will lead off the Friday, June 24, program.

“My inspiration always comes from the music,” she said. “ ’Point of Departure’ is composed by the ever so talented Caroline Shaw and has many different levels that I try to bring out in my choreography. There is a sort of theme that is built upon and I like to highlight it in the beginning and ending with a sort of tableau. I call it my orange tree and it is the foundation and point of departure for the entire ballet. I like to think of the tableau as having some sort of gravity that keeps pulling the dancers back together.”

The 7 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, constitute the first Sun Valley appearance for Boston Ballet, which is being brought here by Ballet Sun Valley. The dancers are led by Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, who has danced with The Finish National Ballet School, Dutch National Ballet, Basel Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

Each night will showcase different works spanning a range of styles from contemporary to classic.

Peck was introduced to ballet at an early age by her mother, who owned a dance studio in Bakersfield, Calif., that encompassed various styles of dance.

“I grew up doing them all,” said Peck. “Ballet was my least favorite in the beginning, but my mom made sure I always stuck with it because she said: You have to have the ballet technique as a foundation no matter what style of dance you end up pursuing. After a few years, she wanted to just be my mom and not my teacher and so she found the best ballet teacher in California at the time—the Bolshoi Ballet’s principal dancer Alla Khaniashvili.

“She was strict and worked on perfecting the basics with me. It felt tedious at the time, but I am so grateful now that she gave me the strong foundation!”

As a dancer, Tiler Peck has danced for the President twice at The Kennedy Center Honors. She curated and starred in the Hulu documentary “Ballet Now.” She performed in Broadway’s “On the Town” and “The Music Man,” in the New York Philharmonic’s Live from Lincoln Center production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel,” for ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

She also starred as the title character Little Dancer in five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman’s newest Broadway-bound musical and has made cameo appearances in such films and TV series as “Tiny Pretty Things.”

“As a choreographer, the biggest challenge has been finding time and balance,” said Peck who loves to cuddle with her doggy Cali and enjoy a nice pasta dish during rare down times. “Being a principal dancer in itself is a full-time job, and time is unfortunately finite! I wish I could clone myself and be both dancing and choreographing all of the time.” 

Peck is a member of ChoreograpHER, a female-led program celebrating innovative women in choreography, music, design and visual arts. Boston Ballet Principal Dancer and choreographer Lia Cirio,  another member of that group, has also choreographed a piece for this weekend’s programs.

“To be surrounded by all women felt like an important step and something I was extremely proud to be a part of,” said Peck. “We need to uplift women’s choreographic voices and I am so grateful that Mikko asked me to be a part of the program.”

IF YOU GO…

Tyler Peck’s “Point of Departure will kick off the 7 p.m. Friday, June 24, performance at the Sun Valley Pavilion. Her piece will be followed by “Chaconne pas de deux” choreographed by George Balanchine, and Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake choregraphed by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa. William Forsythe’s “Blake Works I” will finish out the evening.

The Saturday, June 25 program, will feature Lia Cirio’s “Chaptered in Fragments, featuring music by Handel, Shostakovitch, Dvorak and Brahms. The Saturday program will also feature “Tukoyo,” Balanchine ‘s “Chaconne pas de deux” and Stephen Alloway’s DEVIL’S/eye performed to The Rolling Stones.

Tickets are $35, available at https://balletsunvalley.org/ or at 208-622-2135.

Boston Ballet was formed in 1963 and is comprised of 69 dancers of 11 nationalities.

Ballet Sun Valley is offering free dance instruction to area dancers taught by teachers from Sun Francisco Ballet in conjunction with the Boston Ballet performances.

A FUNDRAISER FOR BALLET SUN VALLEY

J. McLaughlin dress shop will hold a Sip & Shop from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, June 24, to benefit Ballet Sun Valley. Fifteen percent of the sales that afternoon will go to the nonprofit organization. The shop is located at 520 E. 4th St. in Ketchum.

 

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