Lake Tahoe Dance Collective taking over ballet productions in 2015 | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe Dance Collective taking over ballet productions in 2015

Special to the Sun
Bryan Arias and Rachel Fallon perform at last year's Lake Tahoe Dance Festival.
Courtesy Ambera Dodson |

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Beginning in early 2015, performances traditionally presented by Tahoe Youth Ballet will be absorbed by the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective.

Well-known for its world-class training of youth dancers, Tahoe Youth Ballet is excited for a collaborative that will enhance its existing performances with the finest classical, modern and contemporary dance ever showcased in Lake Tahoe.

In its first performance in 2009, Tahoe Youth Ballet set the standard for the dance in the region. Five years later, this still holds true as the group combines performances by guest artists from around the world with professional training of local youth dancers.

“The last six years have effectively been startup mode,” said Christin Hanna, the company’s founding artistic director.

Hanna, who returned to Tahoe after a professional career in New York City added: “We’ve proven that our community can support quality performing arts performances and education. The Lake Tahoe Dance Collective is the exciting next step.”

That step means Tahoe Youth Ballet’s instruction will remain an entity that guides young Tahoe dancers from the early stages of dance into the professional realm.

This will primarily be accomplished by the collaboration of local teachers certified in the American Ballet Theater’s National Training Curriculum.

“We feel the word ‘collective’ truly represents the mindset of our diverse range of visiting artists. These artists feel that they’re a part of something bigger when they work with Tahoe Youth Ballet — they see the fostering of the art form and creative process,” said Hanna. “It’s common that rural areas have little to offer in the arts, so bucking that trend has been very rewarding.”

The new company has big ambitions: It’s raising $75,000 for its own infrastructure that includes staging, sound and lighting.

This will be used in the newly renovated Tahoe Art Haus Cinema in downtown Tahoe City, as well as Tahoe Youth Ballet’s traditional outdoor performances during the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival at Gatekeeper’s Museum.

“The new venue has enabled us to program a whole season, which has always been a long-term goal,” said Hanna.

The annual Winter Season in March and the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival in July will remain, with two added presentations by guest companies — San Francisco’s Kinetech in February and New Chamber Ballet, from New York, in October.

The 2015 season has received resounding support from local organizations. The company has received generous support from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association for event marketing as well as the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation to assist with fees for visiting artists.

This article was submitted by the Lake Tahoe Dance Collective. Visit laketahoedancecollective.org to learn more.