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Ballet Rising

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Ballet Rising

Casey Herd in The Dutch National Ballet's production of La Bayadère. Photo by Angela Sterling

Casey Herd in The Dutch National Ballet's production of La Bayadère. Photo by Angela Sterling

Years ago, it seemed most big stars in the ballet world came from places like Europe and North America with a few from other places like Japan, Cuba and Argentina. Nowadays the talent pool has expanded, and more and more big names are coming from countries like China, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea and many more. There is an expansion underway due to globalization that seems like it will only continue and fuel the exposure to, and the passion for, international arts like ballet.  More and more dancers are coming from a wider range of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. As ballet expands it is changing, and we want to take an in-depth look at what these forces are and bring their stories to global audiences. Ballet already speaks to people on a profound level, but imagine the level of engagement when people all over the world see ballet as something that represents them. How will they feel when ballet becomes something attainable? This is the beginning towards ballet becoming a truly global art form that welcomes all to take part and engage with dance and art lovers all over the world.



Come join the adventure and discover how classical ballet is rising in every corner of our planet: www.balletrising.com

 

 

Support this exciting new project at www.fundballet.com *Crowdfunding campaign begins April 18, 2019*

 

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Project In The Making

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Project In The Making

On my recent trip to India and Nepal I took a moment to remind my self and my friend Chris, who was sitting next to me on a flight from New Delhi to Kathmandu, how we were in the process of doing what we had always dreamt of doing many years before. Chris and I used to dance with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. As much as we loved our profession and the art form of ballet, there were days that seemed to drag on and not much was being accomplished. We both have had the travel bug all of our lives and had both moved to Europe around the same time. We also began to study photography as our travels started to take us on bigger and bigger adventures. There were many occasions we would be sitting in the rehearsal studio wishing we were on an amazing adventure in some far away place working on exciting projects. On that flight we realised how we were in India and Nepal to carry out a mission we had talked about years ago.

We were in South Asia to film a short documentary on a ballet project I have been planning for some time. I had come in contact with a variety of people around the world trying to build ballet communities in places far from the traditional capitals of western art and dance. I thought how interesting it is that people in places like India would fall in love with the same form of dance that I did growing up in the mountains of Utah. I wondered what drove them to fall in love with ballet so much that they would go to such great lengths to build schools and organise performances and fight so hard to see it being done the right way. Not some cheap commercialised knockoff that makes a quick buck and injures the dancers. So many things became clear to me that in these areas of the world even the simplest things can be difficult. Things like making your own sprung floor or making this weird saucer shaped dress called a tu tu. Ballet is already hard but there are many things those of us growing up in Western European and North American cities really take for granted. I felt I wanted to tell their stories and do what ever I can to help them build their communities and connect them to the global dance scene. I want to give these thriving communities a moment in the spotlight to tell the world all the amazing things they are doing and look at what we in the major centres of western art can do to help.

I traveled with my friend Chris to meet Ritiak Chandra, the director of newly formed Elan Ballet in New Delhi, India. I contacted Ritika a year ago asking about teaching and dancing opportunities in India and since then her story has been the driving inspiration for this project. She is a very intelligent and driven person who cares deeply about ballet and giving opportunities to the masses. Chris and I had an amazing time in New Delhi filming the pilot video with Ritika and were both amazed to see how articulate and powerful a woman she can be. I believe that this project and ballet around the world as a whole will benefit greatly from having such a person like her to champion its development. 

After our time in New Delhi we planned to visit Kathmandu, Nepal. Chris was meeting his awesome wife Emily to go trekking in the Himalayas after our time filming and I wanted to revisit the city that had left such an impression on me years ago. I was very interested to see how the city was developing after the devastating earth quake in 2015. It was amazing on one hand to see how much work had been done but also how much was lost. In all the city is recovering well but it was so tragic to see how much was destroyed and how many people had lost someone close to them. The recovery is coming along but there is still a tremendous amount of work left to be done. I believed from my first visit that Nepalese people are as strong and resilient as they are kind and welcoming and I believe this country has a great future. Im very much looking forward to many more trips there in the future.


Durbar Square - Kathmandu, Nepal - 2011

Durbar Square - Kathmandu, Nepal - 2018


It was a hard schedule filming, talking, planning, teaching, packing, hiking, flying, driving, getting lost and battling traffic but every second was an experience to remember. We managed to fit some sleep in where we could. Now we are getting down to editing our film and developing the project so we hope to have more material out soon. Thank you so much for staying tuned and I hope you enjoy the content.

Casey




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Time To Reflect

Time To Reflect

Photo by: Abraham Quintana

This past December I reached the milestone of 40 years old and like many people it was time to reflect on where I've been and where I’m going. Its clear to me that 40 is not what it used to be and the fact that I don’t feel or look it has aided me in keeping an optimistic outlook. The stigma attached to this age is still one that drives many people to look at them selves through an honest perspective and decide if they are happy with the path they are on or if its time to make drastic changes. For me it’s the same and reaching this age at the same time as my transition from dancer to what ever adventure is coming next, has been scary and liberating at the same time. Ive always had things to anchor me somewhat in areas of discipline but I'm a free bird at heart and I'm looking forward to continuing to work on this to achieve a more perfect balance between a structured foundation and a free roaming spirit. One thing I have learned in life so far is that dreams and ambitions are no longer things that are to be done way off in the future. I’ve spent many hours over the years thinking and planning and my ideas were alway something that would be done later on down the road. At this point I’ve accomplished a few things in my life that I am extremely proud of, and I believe that now is the time to strengthen my foundations and realise my objectives. I hope to always be my self, but I am working on being a better me and I know that that will only happen with the support of the people around me who have contributed so much in making me the person I am today. To all my friends and family, thank you so much! I look forward to the many great adventures that await us!


 
 

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

– Randy Komisar


Me and my love, Laura Rosillo. Photo by Abraham Quintana


Paris With Family

Paris With Family

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There is nothing in this world I love more than to travel to fascinating places with friends and family. What could be better than to share the experience of travel with people who you care about and who can make that trip so much more memorable? Im off to Paris to meet up with my sister Breanna and my aunt Lisa! This trip will be special even for a European adventure with family as Paris is particularly  memorable  for me. Not only is it a spectacularly wonderful city that will exceed your expectations but for me it was my first trip outside The United States. I was 18 and off to the Paris International Ballet Competition. I had always dreamt of one day visiting Paris and when I got there it was like a dream. I fell in love and I have loved every tip to that city ever since. Sadly I really don't have much photography from any of those trips. The one time I went to get photos the weather wasn't on my side and it was a fast weekend. I still had a great time but as a travel photographer who loves Paris as much as I do, to not have any decent images has been kind of a shame. Well Its time to fix that as Ill have three full days to enjoy and hopefully a bit more experience. after that we'll head up to Normandy to explore some D-Day sights and see the Bayeux Tapestry. It will be a great trip no matter what and my sister is bringing her camera and tripod along as well. I cant wait to see what I get and Ill post the images as soon as possible. 

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Florence 2016

My brother Kelly and brother-in-law Rob with my sister Breanna, when they came to visit me in Amsterdam and we all went together to Florence and Cinque Terre, Italy. 


Seville - The Golden Age of Spain

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Seville - The Golden Age of Spain

Throughout the world there are various types of capitals cities.  They can be financial capitals, centres of government, sports capitals, cultural capitals and many more.  They can be all in one but in many cases the biggest or most important cities in each country are not the most culturally representative of the countries they are at the centre of.  In The United States the biggest city is New York City and the "capital," in the traditional sense, is Washington DC.  But to many people the city that most represents the "American Culture" is Chicago.  In The UK many people will say that culturally, London is not England, and the same is said about the relationship between Paris and France.  This is very common and though these centres of economics, culture, and power share many of the national characteristics, they also have their own identity and are a culture unto them selves.  This is true in Spain as well.  Despite being one of the more divers countries on the planet and having many equally important cultures within its boarders, there is an international idea of what Spanish culture is.  To me no city represents this idea more than the iconic city of Seville.  Madrid, being the capital of government and economics, seems to be the melting pot where it all comes together and has many of its own styles as well.  Barcelona is a very different thing altogether.  Incredibly beautiful and as culturally rich as any city in the world, Barcelona is representative of Catalan culture which differs somewhat from the rest of Spain.  Even areas like Galicia can look and feel more like the British Isles than sunny Spain.  They all makeup the wonderful mosaic that is Spanish culture but the international idea of what much of Spanish culture is, is really Andalusian.  Andalusian culture is one of the more recognised around the world and the region's capital, in every sense of the word, is Seville. The kingdom of Spain has gladly taken on much of the traditions of Andalusia in it's styles of dance, art, food, and many more.  Many cultural elements of Andalusia are celebrated throughout the country as symbols of national pride.  Where some areas of Spain have a strong sense of independence, Andalusians are very proud to be Spanish. 

Seville has a history spanning 3000 years.  First settle by the Tartessians, the indigenous pre-Roman people of Iberia, it has seen Roman, Visigoth, Moorish and finally Christian periods of development.  With such a lengthy history of being an important city, it wasn't until the 1500s that the city reached its height of prosperity.  As Spain began to rise to dominance and the conquest of the Americas began, only one city was granted the rights to receive all of the wealth that was beginning to poor in.  That city was Seville and as the empire grew so did the city.  At its height, Seville was thought to have been the wealthiest and most powerful city on Earth as Spain ruled over much of Europe and almost all of the western hemisphere.  Today the city is a maze of narrow streets, lined with colourful Andalusian architecture and sprinkled with Roman artefacts around every corner.  Seville's historic centre boasts a complex of buildings, including The Cathedral, the Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias that are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city centre it's self is one of the largest historic centres in the world.  It's a cultural fiesta that fully envelopes you and takes you to another time.  The sites and sounds of a rich and fascinating culture take you on a journey, bring legendary tales like Carmen and Don Juan to life.  You can literally walk the same streets as larger than life figures such as Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, Ferdinand Magellan, Hernán Cortés and many more.  There seems to be no end to the romantic and fascinating experiences that Seville offers and even the most experienced traveler will get swept away in it's ambience. 


The best place to stay in Seville is the Barrio de Santa Cruz in the historic centre.  This neighbourhood is the old jewish quarter, or Juderia, and is steps away from most of the main sites like the Cathedral, the Alcázar, and the Casa de Pilatos.  Just a bit further out of the centre is the iconic Plaza de España.  Tucked away on a small quite street next to the church of Santa María La Blanca is a beautiful and cozy little B&B called Casa de Laura.  This little sanctuary in the middle of the city is clean, quiet, comfortable and offers all the necessary amenities both inside and out.   The traditional design of the building with rooftop terrace views offers the ultimate accessibility and is the perfect spot for all travellers to stay in comfort on their conquest of Sevilla!  The owner is extremely nice and ready to help guests make the most of their stay so if you are going on an Andalusian adventure, I recommend you contact Casa de Laura! 

Casa de Laura

T: +34 699052731

E: apartamentoarcheros@gmail.com

Abnb: Casa de Laura

 


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Italia

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Italia

Everybody who knows me knows I love Italy.  Well why not?  Everybody loves Italy and for good reason.  This country is world renowned for being the place to be for romantic getaways, history adventures, art lovers, fashionistas, adrenalin junkies and so many more.  We all have our thing and for me Italy has it in a big way!  Italy apparently has more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other country.  The iconic structures and great works of art in this country are almost on every street corner.  There are random little churches in obscure little towns in Italy that in most other countries would be national treasures.  Italy is so full of jaw dropping sights, one might get a slight case of shell-shock.  It is almost like a bonbon, the flavour is so potent and at first its amazing but it can overwhelm you quickly.  Luckily Italy has such a variety of flavours that your palette won't get over saturated very quickly.  You can go from gorgeous medieval hill-top towns to stunning beaches and then into high alpine mountains before finishing up with some Roman or Greek ruins all while enjoy the latest fashion trends.  It is no wonder I seem to keep going back.  The country that made me decide to get into photography keeps me coming back for more time and time again. 


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