Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) is an American contemporary dance company. It comprises eleven classically trained dancers.
In addition to its domestic and international performances, the organization has a presentation program called "Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Presents", with summer and winter seasons that brings touring dance companies from around the world to both Aspen and Santa Fe. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has two official schools, one in Aspen, one in Santa Fe, and a year-round Mexican Folk Dance outreach program in both Colorado and New Mexico.
In 1995, Bebe Schweppe, founder of the Aspen Ballet Company and School invited Joffrey dancers Jean-Philippe Malaty and Tom Mossbrucker to help her create a dance company based in Aspen. Though the company started with only six dancers, growth was not a problem. The young troupe performed Moses Pendleton's Noir Blanc, which launched a tradition of commissioning new work. Soon, an exploratory style emerged. Mossbrucker and Malaty were inspired by Europe's period of creativity and breaking the boundaries of classical ballet.
In 2000 the company began a co-venture with a presenting organization in Santa Fe and now perform under the name Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet made its New York City Debut, with a performance at the Joyce Theater in 2003. They have also performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and Wolf Trap National Par for the Performing Arts. By 2004, it debuted in Canada and France and in 2013 it debuted in Moscow, Russia. They have since returned multiple times to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. See one of their performances in the video below.
Bebe Schweppe, Founder, grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and started dancing at the age of seven at Georgia Dance Theatre under Frankie Levy. At the age of eleven she was invited by Robert Joffrey to study in New York on a full scholarship. She moved to Aspen in 1975 and founded Aspen Ballet School in 1990, and Aspen Ballet Company in 1996.
Jean-Philippe Malaty grew up in the Basque region of France. He received a degree in dance and then accepted scholarships to study in a string of Europe's most prestigious schools. At the invitation of David Howard, he came to New York City to study at the David Howard Dance Center. Afterwards, he performed as a soloist around the country with companies including Joffrey II, Los Angeles Classical Ballet, Ballet Hispanico of New York, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Go behind the scenes with the full team at the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in the video below.
Tom Mossbrucker of Tacoma, Washington began his dance career at the age of four with tap dancing. His ballet studies began at the age of fourteen under Jo Emery at the Tacoma Performing Dance Company. He then went on to study at the School of American Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School. He danced with Joffrey II before joining the Joffrey. He has performed principal roles in more than seventy ballets. He has also danced with the Atlanta Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Cover image courtesy of Aspen Ballet Santa Fe.