Dancers from Colorado Youth Ballet and Connexus Dance Collective will be performing in Illuminate at Sand Creek High School on Sunday, March 17, at 4:00pm, bringing the best in classical repertoire and contemporary dance to the Front Range region. Act 1, Spotlight, features youth ballet dancers performing variations from some of the most well known ballets, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, Le Corsaire, Les Sylphides, and Sleeping Beauty. Act 2, Connexus Collections, premieres two new contemporary dance works, Evade and The Journey, Not the Destination, along with Aaron Copeland's, original version of Appalachian Spring.

“We are eager to share both classical variations and original and powerful new choreography with our Colorado Springs audience,” says Colorado Ballet Society and Colorado Youth Ballet founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “If you missed seeing Appalachian Spring last month in the sold-out performances with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, you have another chance to see it at Illuminate.”

Appalachian Spring, originally commissioned in 1943 for Martha Graham, tells the story of a pioneer celebration of spring in Pennsylvania in the early 1800s. Choreographed by Laci Landry with Dan Prewitt and Micky Olson, the contemporary dance work is uniquely beautiful, illustrative of the music, and respectful to the heritage and history of Graham. Prominently featured are Julia Stark and Dan Brown as the Wife and Husband, Emma Michaux as the Pioneer Woman, and Ford Tackett as the Preacher.

“I am so excited to see the Connexus Collective dancers perform Appalachian Spring again,” shares co-choreographer, Laci Landry. “This has been my largest and most exciting undertaking as a choreographer, and I so enjoyed re-imagining Martha Graham's creation with Daniel and Micky. It was a unique challenge staying true to the original story yet creating new movement and visuals that would highlight and challenge our dancers. Audiences are going to love the breadth of style and variety in this portion of the show. Appalachian Spring and Evade are very different works and really show the depth and versatility of our dancers.”

CBS instructors Daniel Prewitt and Elisa Olson will perform The Journey, Not the Destination, also choreographed by Prewitt. "This abstract work depicts our lives, how we should continually grow, change and remold ourselves as we journey on. We are not creatures who are stagnant or complacent, but rather living beings who have the ability to be in motion, making choices that push us along or hold us back. We long to grow and improve ourselves, which is an inborn desire in all humans, it is up to us whether we actually improve or stay content as we are. We should always embody this attitude of growth and change as we journey through life."

Evade is a new work set by Mia Otto and Laci Landry on the Connexus junior company and Senior Company members Isabel Harris, Nicole Norman, and Veronica Masztalerz.

“I love the story we are telling in Evade,” shares Co-Choreographer, Mia Otto, who is also the studio manager at Colorado Ballet Society. “Coming out of sadness/depression through the help of those around us. Without friendship and family support, we could not walk through hard times alone. The audience will love the heart-wrenching emotional roller coaster of this piece.”