First Full-length Ballet at the Ent Center for the Arts Features Colorado Ballet Principal Dancers
Colorado Youth Ballet presents the classic ballet Swan Lake, featuring principal dancers of Colorado Ballet, Dana Benton and Yosvani Ramos in the lead roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried. Tchaikovsky's beloved and first ballet is performed by the pre professional division students of Colorado Ballet Society in two performances at 2pm and 7pm, on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N Nevada Ave in Colorado Springs.
“We are thrilled to have Dana and Yosvani joining our cast for Swan Lake,” shares Ballet Society and Youth Ballet founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “Dana received rave reviews in Denver for her stunning portrayal of Odette/Odile, and we know our Colorado Springs audiences will love her too.”
“We appreciate Patty asking us to perform with Ballet Society’s Youth Ballet,” says Colorado Ballet’s principal dancer, Dana Benton. “I relate to the Swan Queen in her strong love for the Prince - I have my own Prince in real life! And I especially enjoy the opportunity to play two different characters in one ballet,” is Benton’s response to the Odette/Odile roles she’ll be performing.
Swan Lake is the first full-length ballet to be presented on the Ent Center stage. Odette is the tragically enchanted Swan Princess and Odile is the daughter of the evil sorcerer, Rothbart, who also has a spell cast on her to trick the Prince into believing she is his beloved Odette.
Benton has been with Colorado Ballet for seventeen years. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she was accepted to the National Ballet School in Toronto at the age of 9, Dana graduated from the National Ballet School with Honors in Academics and was awarded the Peter Dwyer Award for Excellence in Dance. Upon graduation, Dana received a contract with Alberta Ballet Company in Canada where she was an apprentice. In 2001, Dana joined Colorado Ballet where she has performed many soloist and principal roles with the Company including: Odette/Odile and Pas de Trois in Swan Lake; The Sylph in La Sylphide; Alice in ALICE (in Wonderland); Belle in Beauty and the Beast; Swanhilda in Coppélia; Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker. In 2015, Pointe Magazine named Dana among the top 12 "Standout Performances" of the year for her performance of Traveling Alone with Amy Seiwert's Imagery.
“I am looking forward to dancing alongside my best friend Yosvani,” shares Benton. “And watching the students of Colorado Ballet Society (who I’ve also had the privilege of teaching) grow and perform.”
“Swan Lake is one of my favorite classics from the 19th century to dance,” shares Yosvani Ramos, who is portraying Prince Siegfried. “and one that pushes my classical technique.
“It’s easy for me to relate to the character of Prince Siegfried,” declares Ramos. “He’s such a romantic and so am I. It’s always a joy to dance with my best friend, Dana.”
Also joining the cast as guest artists in Swan Lake are Yamil Maldonado and Colton West who are company members with Eugene Ballet in Oregon.
“Dancing the Pas de trois in Swan Lake is a fantastic role because it requires a lot of technicality and elegance,” explains West. “It’s definitely challenging and is a beautifully choreographed joyful moment in the ballet.”
Colton West trained with Colorado Ballet Society as well as spending a year abroad studying at L’Academie de Danse in Singapore. He has attended summer intensive programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Austin, American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet School, and The Rock School. In dance scholarship competitions, West has participated in the International Concours de Grasse, Youth America Grand Prix, and has received first prize at Denver Ballet Guild twice. He is also a competitor this June at the 2018 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. West has performed all over the United States as well as abroad in France, Vienna, Singapore, and China. He has been featured in classical roles such as Puck in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, The Bluebird from ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, and The Nutcracker Prince in Toni Pimble’s ‘The Nutcracker.’ This is Colton’s second season with Eugene Ballet.
“I am looking forward to sharing the stage with the talented students of Colorado Ballet Society and the Colorado Youth Ballet,” adds West. “As a former student of Colorado Ballet Society, it is amazing to see the next generation of dancers approach such an iconic ballet.”
“I’m excited by the fact that I get to play the villain!” says Yamil Maldonado who will be portraying Rothbart. “Honestly, I can’t say I relate to this character. He’s an evil guy. But, it’s going to be a new and exciting experience for me.”
Maldonado studied with Sarasota Ballet School and danced with Sarasota Ballet and Miami Classical Ballet and as guest artist with Brandon School of Dance Arts in the role of Basilio in Baryshinikov’s Don Quixote. In 2014 he won first place in the classical senior men’s division of the 2014 Youth American Grand Prix in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 2017 he competed in the Moscow International Ballet Competition. Yamil’s repertoire with the Eugene Ballet includes peasant pas in Giselle; Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty; Pulcinella in The Nutcracker; and he was featured in Stephanie Martínez’s Wandering On and Suzanne Haag’s Look.
“Swan Lake is one of the most loved ballets throughout history,” shares Ballet Society studio manager, Mia Otto. “Powerful themes of beauty, enchantment, betrayal and true love are woven together in an endearing tale. Our production is a feast for the eyes and satisfying to the heart. Bring someone you love - you’ll be glad you did!”
Tickets can be purchased through
the Ent Center box office
by check, cash, or credit card
and online at: http://uccspresents.org/tickets/2017-18
Figure 1: Colorado Ballet principal artists Dana Benton and Yosvani Ramos as Odette and Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake
PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 2: Yosvani Ramos and Dana Benton as Prince Siegfried and Odette in Swan Lake | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 3: Former Ballet Society student and Colorado Youth Ballet member, Colton West, who is currentlya member of the Eugene Ballet in Oregon. | PC: Francisco Estévez
Figure 4: Yamil Maldonado
Figure 5: Dancers: Dana Benton-Robertson, Yosvani Ramos, and Yamil Maldonado in Swan Lake | PC: Kayla Coburn