South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center and Culture Shock Miami Present Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Performing Newly Commissioned and Recent Choreography

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Fabled Ensemble of the American West celebrates start of third decade of innovative dance

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center and Culture Shock Miami present the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB), now in its 21st year, on the Main Stage of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM. The company performs a program of 21st Century choreography that includes two recent ASFB commissioned works.

The company was founded in 1996 by well-known dancer and dance educator, Bebe Schweppe. Originally known as the Aspen Ballet Company and based in Colorado, Schweppe, along with co-founders Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty, soon expanded the reach of the company from Colorado to New Mexico giving the ensemble its identity and the name by which it is known today. Its 2016-17 season and tour marks its 21st season.

ASFB has been credited for its commitment to supporting choreographers and commissioning original works for its dancers. The program prepared for South Florida audiences features ASFB commissions by two Spanish choreographers. Silent Ghost, by Madrid-born Alejandro Cerrudo, was premiered in 2015. Barcelonian Cayetano Soto created Huma Roto, first performed by the company this past February. Also on the program is a piece by the well-known Finnish choreographer, Jorma Elo titled 1st Flash, originally performed by Nederland Dans Theater in 2003.

Watch video interview of Alejandro Cerrudo on his work, Silent Ghost

Full price tickets are $25 to $45. These tickets are available online at or through the SMDCAC box office by calling 786-573-5300. $10 student ticket for ages 12 and under are available only through the SMDCAC box office with student ID.

$5 tickets are available to 13-22 year olds and one accompanying guest, exclusively through $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets are not sold through the SMDCAC Box Office or through Culture Shock Miami ticket sales for this performance end on Friday, January 27, 2017 at 11:59 PM.

1st Flash

Choreography: Jorma Elo
Music: Jean Sibelius*
Set Design: Jorma Elo
Lighting Design: Jordan Tuinman
Costume Design: Joke Visser
Assistant to the Choreographer: Urtzi Aranburu
Costume Construction: Nete Joseph

Silent Ghost
ASFB Commissioned Work

Choreography: Alejandro Cerrudo
Music: Dustin Hamman, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm
Lighting Design: Michael Korsch
Costume Design: Branimira Ivanova

Huma Rojo
ASFB Commissioned Work

Choreography: Cayetano Soto
Music: Ray Barretto, Nat “King” Cole, Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra,
Abbe Lane, Pérez Prado and His Orchestra,
Lighting Design: Seah Johnson
Costume Design: Kim Laursen for Maison Ullens*

In 1996 Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Founder Bebe Schweppe invited Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty to create a ballet company in Aspen. A unique multidimensional arts organization developed rapidly from the ballet school Schweppe had established in the Rocky Mountains.

“Bebe’s vision for Aspen to have its own ballet company was the project of a lifetime,” says Malaty, ASFB’s executive director. “We embarked together on a serendipitous adventure. Twenty years later, the connection between the dancers and our two communities is deep and inextricable.”

Forging a new frontier
The company began modestly with six dancers. Growth was organic. Friends in the field – Gerald Arpino, Trey McIntyre, Septime Webre, Dwight Rhoden – offered start-up repertoire. Moses Pendleton’s highly popular Noir Blanc was a seminal event for the young ASFB. It launched a tradition of commissioning new works. An open, exploratory style emerged as Mossbrucker and Malaty tapped the creative scene in Europe where classical ballet was breaking from its boundaries. The athletic and adventurous American dancers found themselves at a crossroads of dance history. The divide between ballet and modern dance was dissolving.

Innovative business model
In 2000 the Aspen, Colorado-based ballet company forged a dual-city relationship with Santa Fe, New Mexico, broadening its scope and lending crucial revenue diversification. Under this hybrid business model, a roster of arts activities takes wing, year-round, in both cities. Performance, education, presentation and community outreach all join in the mix. Within this innovative structure, ASFB completed its 20th anniversary season in 2015-16.

New commissions
ASFB’s mission places highest priority on developing new choreography and nurturing relationships with emerging choreographers. The company fostered the early careers of now in-demand global dance makers like Nicolo Fonte (nine commissioned Fonte works in the ASFB repertoire), Jorma Elo (three commissioned Elo works), Edwaard Liang, Jacopo Godani, Helen Pickett, Cayetano Soto, Alejandro Cerrudo and others. Works by late 20th century masters – William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Twyla Tharp – round out the repertoire.

“We value building relationships with choreographers who become integral to the company. The natural beauty of our surroundings has a profound impact on creativity and our choreographers find it inspiring to create here,” says Mossbrucker, ASFB’s artistic director.

National reputation
Based for twenty years in the American West, ASFB now sits at the vanguard of its field, brandishing a strong national reputation. Repeat engagements at the American Dance Festival, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Wolf Trap testify to the company’s popularity and ability to please audiences. Overseas invitations arrived and ASFB embarked on international tours to Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Guatemala, Israel, Italy and Russia. Premier funders – National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts / National Dance Project, Joyce Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Wolf Trap Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation and Princess Grace Foundation – have supported ASFB’s growth.


Bebe Schweppe, Founder, grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and started dancing at the Georgia Dance Theatre, under Frankie Levy at the age of seven. She was invited by Robert Joffrey to study at his school in New York on a full scholarship at age eleven. Bebe moved to Aspen in 1975 and fifteen years later founded the Aspen Ballet School. Her presence was a catalyst in the region. In 1996, she invited Jean-Philippe Malaty and Tom Mossbrucker to develop a small professional company in Aspen. Through their combined energies, the Aspen Ballet Company was born a year later. Shortly after, new performing opportunities beckoned in Santa Fe, upon which the company was renamed Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Bebe speaks with pride when she considers the changes that have occurred over the years to her “baby”. “The Company has evolved to having earned a name of its own - ASFB. What a treat! It is recognized by other artists and respected by all. This is of course due in large part to Jean-Philippe and Tom.” She cites that “their strength has been in their unique ability to perceive and design a repertoire that entertains all parts, whether it’s the audience or the dancer.” Tom and Jean-Philippe have “greatly succeeded” in realizing her dreams for the company, she says.

Jean-Philippe Malaty, Executive Director, was born in the Basque region of France. After receiving his baccalaureate in dance, he accepted scholarships to study at Mudra, Maurice Béjart's school in Brussels, and at John Cranko's ballet academy in Stuttgart. Invited by acclaimed instructor David Howard to study in New York, Jean-Philippe traveled to America under Howard's tutelage. Jean-Philippe's performance career began with Joffrey II. He also danced as a guest artist with Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Jean-Philippe segued from the stage to an administrator role while still in his twenties. A key member of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's start-up team, Jean-Philippe has been central to developing the company's unique dual-city-based hybrid business model. He directs operations in two locations, overseeing a $4 million budget that he allocates to the company, two schools, an esteemed presenting series, and an award-winning folkloric outreach program. Jean-Philippe's first love is teaching and when his schedule permits, he conducts master classes at schools and universities. In 2013, Jean-Philippe shared an honor with Artistic Director Tom Mossbrucker when the Santa Fe Community Foundation bestowed its Piñon Award on the company. In 2012, the Denver Bonfils-Stanton Foundation granted Jean-Philippe a Livingston Fellowship in recognition of his significant leadership role in Colorado’s non-profit sector. In 2010, in recognition of ASFB’s contribution to the field of dance, Jean-Philippe and Tom were honored with the Joyce Theater Foundation Award. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Jean-Philippe is proud to have forged a company alive with American energy, invention, and eclecticism.

Tom Mossbrucker, Artistic Director, has been artistic director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet since 1996. For the past seventeen years Tom has built a prestigious arts organization sharing two homes in Aspen and Santa Fe. In his role as artistic director, Tom cultivates highly sophisticated and challenging works of contemporary ballet. His shining achievement is ASFB’s roster of 27 ballets created on commission by leading global choreographers. Tom began to dance at age four, studying tap in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. He pursued classical ballet training at the School of American Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School. His twenty years as a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, performing in over 70 ballets under the direct coaching of founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, coincided with a period of high artistic achievement for the company. Tom danced in ballets by great twentieth century choreographers: Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Laura Dean, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylián, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp. Signature roles included Iago in Jose Limon's The Moor's Pavane; Champion Roper in Agnes DeMille's Rodeo; Billy in Eugene Loring's Billy the Kid; and Romeo in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet. This rich dance background Tom brings to coaching dancers today. In 2013, Tom shard and honor with Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty when the Santa Fe Community Foundation bestowed its Piñon Award on the company. In 2010, in recognition of ASFB’s contribution to the field of dance, Tom and Jean-Philippe Malaty were honored with the Joyce Theater Foundation Award. A former board member of Dance USA, Tom currently serves on the board of The Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation.

Alejandro Cerrudo. Born in Madrid, Spain and trained at the Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid. His professional career began in 1998 and includes work with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater 2. Cerrudo joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2005, was named Choreographic Fellow in 2008, and became the company’s first Resident Choreographer in 2009. Thirteen works choreographed to date for Hubbard Street include collaborations with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Nederlands Dans Theater. These pieces and additional commissions are in repertory at companies around the U.S. as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands; touring engagements have brought his work still further abroad, to audiences in Algeria, Canada, Morocco and Spain. In March 2012, Pacific Northwest Ballet invited Cerrudo to choreograph his first work for the company, Memory Glow, upon receiving the Joyce Theater Foundation’s second Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance. Additional honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011), and a Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed, first evening-length work, One Thousand Pieces. Cerrudo is one of four choreographers invited by New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan to create and perform original duets for “Restless Creature,” and he was recently announced the 2014 USA Donnelley Fellow by United States Artists.

Jorma Elo is one of the most sought-after choreographers in the world. He has created works for companies including American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theater, and Finnish National Ballet, among others. Elo trained with the Finnish National Ballet School and the Kirov Ballet School in Leningrad. He danced with Finnish National Ballet and Cullberg Ballet until joining Netherlands Dance Theater in 1990, where he enjoyed a 15 year career. Elo was appointed Resident Choreographer of Boston Ballet in 2005, where he has created many world premieres, including Sharp Side of Dark (2002), Plan to B (2004), Carmen/Illusions (2006 & 2009), Brake the Eyes (2007), In on Blue (2008), Le Sacre du Printemps (2009), Sharper Side of Dark (2012), and Awake Only (2012). Boston Ballet premiered a full length performance titled "Elo Experience" in 2011. Elo was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for best choreography in 2010, for his production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, commissioned by Vienna State Opera Ballet, and Slice to Sharp for the Stanislavsky Music Theatre.

Cayetano Soto. Born and based in Barcelona, Cayetano Soto has created work for major companies worldwide. His technical, high-pitched and unpredictable choreography can be seen at international festivals in Europe, USA and Canada. Soto started his dance education in Barcelona at the Institut del Teatre and continued his studies at the Koninklijke Conservatorium in The Hague. After receiving his degree in Classical Dance, Soto danced with IT Dansa Barcelona in 1997, before joining Ballet Theater Munich a year later where he created several successful ballets and one of his first signature pieces, Fugaz. Since 2005, Soto has worked as a freelance choreographer with Nederlands Dans Theater, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, BJM Montréal, Introdans, Introdans voor de Jeugd, Ballet BC, Gauthier Dance Company, Companhia Nacional de Bailado, Perm Opera and Ballet Theater, Národní Divadlo Brno, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Tanz Luzern Theater, Ballet Hispanico and Northwest Dance Project in Portland. He also created several ballets with German companies including Stuttgarter Ballet, Staatstheater Braunschweig, Augsburg Ballett, Ballett in Revier, Staatstheater Nürnberg and Ballett Dortmund. In 2009, he began a continuous collaboration with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Introdans voor de Jeugd, creating a number of new ballets. For Ballet Dortmund he created a new full evening version of Carmen. Due to the success in Dortmund, Národní Divadlo Brno in Czech Republic staged Carmen in 2010. Soto also choreographed Dancing Mozart’s mass in c-minor with live orchestra for 4 dancers in the Church of St. Egidean in Nürnberg. Fascinated by the German American fashion label Talbot Runhof, Soto started to collaborate with the designers in several projects. In 2011, Soto was nominated for the Golden Mask Award in Russia, for his choreography Uneven.


The SOUTH MIAMI-DADE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER, designed by an internationally-acclaimed design team that includes Arquitectonica International, Inc. (architects), Fisher Dachs Associates, Inc. (theater design), Artec Consultants, Inc. (acoustics), and AMS Planning & Research Corp. (theater management), provides, for the first time, a state-of-the-art cultural venue and community gathering place in the southern part of Miami-Dade County. Located at 10950 SW 211th Street in Cutler Bay, the Center is an integral part of the economic and cultural development of the area, offering quality artistic programming and community accessibility. The Center features prominent works of art created by Miami artist Robert Chambers who was commissioned by Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program to design a kinetic light wall and sculptures for the theater.

The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community. More information about the Center and its programs can be found at

CULTURE SHOCK MIAMI, a program of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, is designed to introduce the next generation of audience members to live arts and cultural experiences at the age when they are beginning to make their own entertainment decisions. Based on research that shows most people begin their appreciation for the arts at a young age, Culture Shock Miami is founded on the premise that when kids make the arts a regular entertainment choice, they are more likely to become full-price ticket buyers and subscribers of the future. Culture Shock Miami offers $5 tickets for students (ages 13-22) to performances provided by more than 100 organizations, including top music, theatre, dance, and performing arts presenters in Miami-Dade County. With each $5 student ticket, a second $5 ticket may be purchased for an accompanying guest of any age. Tickets are on sale now through CULTURESHOCKMIAMI.COM. In addition to performing arts, students can get two-for-$5 or free admission passes to many South Florida museums, landmarks, and cultural destinations. For more information about this exciting program, please call 305/375-1949 to contact Christina Tassy-Beauvoir or Mary-Margaret Dale.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences. The Department directs the Art in Public Places program and serves its board, the Art in Public Places Trust, commissioning, curating, maintaining and promoting the County’s art collection. The Department also manages, programs and operates the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a campus of state-of-the-art cultural facilities in Cutler Bay, as well as Miami Dade County Auditorium, Joseph Caleb Auditorium and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, all dedicated to presenting and supporting excellence in the arts for the entire community. Through staff, board and programmatic resources, the Department, the Council and the Trust promote, coordinate and support Miami-Dade County’s more than 1,000 not-for-profit cultural organizations as well as thousands of resident artists through grants, technical assistance, public information and interactive community planning. The Department receives funding through the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other support and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council.

It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request materials in accessible format, sign language interpreters, and/or any accommodation to participate in Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs sponsored programs or meetings, please contact Francine Andersen at 305-375-4634 or via email at culture(at)miamidade(dot)gov, at least five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service.)

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