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Emanuele Lucchisani - Christmas Ballet Class

music news Nov 05, 2019
~ Written by Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Outreach Coordinator at Ballegro Player, Alumni of Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program

With a creepy witch cackle, many black cat hisses, haunted house visits, and bellies filled with candy, we say R.I.P. to Halloween 2019. 

No need to fret though! Winter festivities are about to begin! 

December is just around the corner, and in homes, stores, workplaces, and, of course, dance studios around the world, it will begin to look a lot like Christmas! 

Re-downloading your favorite Christmas ballet tunes can make you lose the holiday spirit, so we have a better idea!

With the magical accompanist Emanuele Lucchisani behind the piano, Ballegro has created the perfect playlist to get you in a festive mood!  With Tendu exercises to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Grands Battements to Winter Wonderland, and Allegro to Let it Snow, you will be jolly and enjoying the Christmas cheer in no time.

November is often the time of...

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Emanuele Lucchisani - Magic Ballet Class

music news Oct 05, 2019
~ Written by Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Outreach Coordinator at Ballegro Player, Alumni of Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program

What is the only thing more thrilling than landing a triple pirouette on the left with pure ease and grace?  Doing it while being accompanied by the “Happiest Playlist on Earth!”  Yes, I am saying there is a full ballet playlist filled with every possible Disney sing-along you can think of!  :)

I have been thinking a lot lately about how much the artistry and passion of the ballet accompanist is transmitted to the dancers and teacher of the class. I become completely inspired when I am able to connect with and really FEEL the soul of the accompanist.  Another added bonus?  When you are able to sing along to the songs being played!  This allows me to take my mind off of my hyper-analytical brain and enjoy, smile, dance, and BREATHE!

This is why we at Ballegro have collaborated with Emanuele Lucchisani to offer...

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A Perspective on Perspectives

community dance tips Sep 21, 2019
~ Written by Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Outreach Coordinator at Ballegro Player, Alumni of Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program

Perspective. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and wanted to share my own thoughts (and perspective...pun intended) on.  The opportunity and ability to gain perspective is a crucial part of one’s development. Perspectives can come from acquiring knowledge from another source, but I believe the most impactful perspective stems from first hand experience.  This is something I have had the great privilege of having access to, especially over the past few months. This summer, I travelled to Montreal and Banff, and this past month, I moved to Amsterdam! I have met people from across Canada, the United States, and all over Europe and Asia.  Hearing the life stories and their unique histories of these artists is so inspiring. It has opened my eyes to the different pasts and trajectories of people.

I don’t...

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Playing on the Edge - The Incredibly Adventurous Impromptus of Robert Swerdlow

interview Sep 13, 2019
Photo (from left to right): Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Robert Swerdlow, Yawen

~ Written by Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Outreach Coordinator at Ballegro Player, Alumni of Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program

If you have ever had a live pianist accompany a ballet class, you are lucky. If your pianist was Robert Swerdlow, you would have been accompanied by a legend. Robert Swerdlow is a low-key, but highly successful pianist and a widely adored member of the artistic community.  Not only has he accompanied ballet and contemporary classes for 62 years (he is current 82 and still plays without missing a note!) for legends including Martha Graham, José Limón and Merce Cunningham, but he has also written musicals, including Justine, which played off-Broadway. He is a composer, lyricist, producer, and director. AND I found out he was the inventor of the 4-track 16mm multi-lingual film projector!

A man of talent and ease in everything he attempts, Robert has lived a life full...

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Back to School with a Magic Class with Emanuele Lucchisani

music news Sep 06, 2019
~ Written by Yawen CA, Founder & CEO at Ballegro Player, Pianist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec.

We're delighted to welcome the latest addition to the Ballegro Music Library, the young and talented jazz pianist, composer and ballet arranger Emanuele Lucchisani. You will love his creative arrangements of some of the most well-known tunes, guaranteed to lift up your ballet class with his sensitive, musical and virtuosic playing.

I met Emanuele in person in Vancouver during his cross-Canada trip in 2018.  I was the Company Pianist at Ballet BC when Emanuele contacted us and arranged to play for a class as his audition.  I was immediately mesmerized by his musicality and sensitivity right from the beginning of class with the Warm-up and the Pliés. He didn’t follow any sheet music that would block him from the dancers; he...

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Ballet Is Beautiful - Danielle Clifford’s Secret to Everlasting Joy

~ Written by Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Outreach Coordinator at Ballegro Player, Alumni of Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program

Danielle Clifford is one-of-a-kind, no one can ever replace her.  Now 77, she still teaches multiple ballet classes on a weekly basis and still demonstrates each exercise full-out!  She turns and jumps, her brain is sharp, and she never fails to bring joy to everyone she encounters!

Along with Pam Rosa, over 30 years ago, in 1985, Danielle co-founded Harbour Dance Centre, a downtown Vancouver studio at the heart of the city’s dance scene. But before this, she had a long and successful career as a performer with ballet companies across Europe including touring as a principal dancer with the Grand Theatre de Nancy and as a soloist with the Nice Opera.  Over the past 10 years, Danielle has worked as ballet mistress at Anna Wyman Dance Company, and has been an adjudicator at competitions across British Columbia. 

The founder of...

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Søren Bebe - Music for Ballet Class Vol.2

music news Aug 07, 2019
~ Written by Yawen CA, Founder & CEO at Ballegro Player, Pianist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and Former Company Pianist at Ballet BC.

This month we released a final album by Søren Bebe, a formidable pianist who is one of the shining lights of jazz and contemporary music both in his home of Copenhagen and across Europe.  Søren has mostly written for his own projects but has also been commissioned to write work for the Danish theatre "Team Teateret," as well as a large piece for the National Gallery of Denmark. In 2012, Søren Bebe even received a grant from the Danish Arts Council. 

He has recorded 4 albums for the ballet class, and all of them are now available in our curated Ballegro Music Library!

If you have missed our blogs on these 3 earlier releases of Søren's albums, you can access all these blogs here:

Søren Bebe - Music for Ballet Class...

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Want to Change Your Tempo? Here’s How You Can Get Involved!

community news Jul 27, 2019
~ Written by Antonios Bougiouris, Business Development Associate at Ballegro Player, Former Dancer at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal

Many of you probably know that Ballegro is a streaming music app specifically designed to help dancers and teachers practice anywhere, at anytime, and at any tempo! Ballegro Player works as hard and as well as a live pianist and allows you to modify the tempo of any song to optimize your teaching and practice experience. You can also search for music by exercise, length, rhythm, and genre, making it that much easier. You can upload your own music collection or if you are looking for something new, take advantage of our curated music library. 

Because it was created by an ACTUAL ballet pianist, the Ballegro Player is the most effective and efficient music app designed for dance EVER!!!!!!

Whether you have downloaded the app or not (and we recommend that you do), what you...

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How to Keep Your Curiosity and Momentum Throughout Summer

community dance tips Jul 27, 2019
~ Written by Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Outreach Coordinator at Ballegro Player, Dancer at Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program

Ahhh, Summer! A time for adventure, a time to temporarily disengage from work, a time to try new things, or a time to do nothing! No matter what you do with your time, one thing is for sure - summer is a time when you have the ability to take a much-needed break from your everyday routine and dance practice. On the flip side however, while we all want and need to take a break, how do you keep in shape both physically and mentally over the summer months? How do you stay curious and explore your training without a set schedule? This is a question on most dancers’ minds as we lose access to studio space and time, and is something I am in the process of investigating for myself.

My big question lately has been, “how do I keep my mind stimulated and curious?” Of course it is important to cross train and stay in shape. Your options for...

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Michael Slobodian - Dance Through a Lens

interview Jul 13, 2019
Photo: ‘Walking Mad’ / Ballet BC / Dancers of Ballet BC
~ Interview by Danielle Lee-Hogervorst, Outreach Coordinator at Ballegro Player, Dancer at Arts Umbrella’s Graduate Program

Michael Slobodian - a name well-known across the dance community as a highly skilled and sought-after dance photographer. Michael began his professional career in dance photography in 1984 and has since worked for companies worldwide including Nederlands Dans Theatre, Ballet British Columbia, Northwest Dance Project, Arts Umbrella, Kidd Pivot, Mascall Dance, Springboard Dans Montreal, Nacho Duato, RUBBERBANDance Group, Marie Chouinard, and TU Dance, to name a few.  

I have had the great privilege of working with Michael in one-on-one shoots, in the studio, and onstage at Arts Umbrella and Springboard.  On top of travelling across the world to photograph for companies, he has also made the time to do a shoot with Ballegro - our V3 design is inspired by, and uses, one of...

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