Ballet Fantastique


Reviews

Reviews

“And none other than Ballet Fantastique will you find a goddess, a princess and a mountain wizard that you will never forget.” —Storm Kennedy, KUGN News Talk

Full Audio Clip: "Tales From the Floating World"

“From the group's unconventional size (eight company dancers) to its original, highly collaborative repertoire, this company is quietly evolving a new model for ballet performance in the Northwest. The group is Ballet Fantastique, and they are a company to watch.” —Megan Hobbs, Eugene Magazine, Winter 2013-2014

Full-text review: Beauty, Artistry and Innovation, Ballet Fantastique's performances are on Pointe »

“This ballet was big, bold and beautiful. Translating Native American, Spanish and gypsy dance styles with ballet was inspired.” —Gwen Curran, The Register-Guard, October 21, 2013

Full-text review: ‘Bold, beautiful ballet bears mark of ‘Zorro’’ »

“The legend of Zorro has been perpetuated for nearly 100 years, in books, movies, television shows, comics and live theater. But the version Ballet Fantastique brings to the stage this weekend is a first.” —Randi Bjornstad, The Register-Guard, October 17, 2013

Full-text preview: ‘Ballet hits its mark with ‘Zorro’’ »

“The way they reframed it dramatically in the story and where it comes during the ballet is really way more impactful than I imagined.” —Jean-Pierre Durand, Incendio. By Eric Allen, KLCC, October 17, 2013

Full-audio interview: ‘Zorro the Ballet’ »

“The mother-daughter team has created organic choreography, designed original costumes and handpicked professional live music for a unique exploration into the foundation of this classic legend.” —Lauren Messman, Eugene Weekly, September 26, 2013

Full-text Bravo cover story: The man, and women, behind the mask »

“Stars of Ballet Fantastique.” —Tess Freeman, The Register Guard, September 24, 2013

Full photo story: The stars of Ballet Fantastique »

“Cinderella as a rock opera? A tongue-in-cheek feminist twist on the The Misadventures of Casanova? Pride and Prejudice set in the Roaring Twenties The women behind Ballet Fantastique’s productions, mother-and-daughter team Donna and Hannah, are not afraid to push the boundaries...” —Alex Notman, Eugene Weekly, August 15, 2013

Full-text profile: Movers and Shakers »

“Original choreography, created by Donna and Hannah Bontrager, is a harmonious fusion of a formal classical style with the freshness of west American ballet, through dances and choreographies rich of 'pathos.'” —Leonardo Delle Noci, Riviera Oggi News, July 23, 2013

Full-text preview: Palariviera to the "Midsummer Festival Ballet" »

“At Ballet Fantastique, the approach is progressive and goal-oriented, with students advancing only after they’ve met specific benchmarks. They emphasize small class sizes, extensive personal attention, and intellectual engagement with the training, even for the youngest dancers.” — Luke Fannin, Create! Eugene

Full-text preview: Meet the Artist: Hannah Bontrager and Ballet Fantastique »

“Ms. Mizzoni has a desire to be a part of something larger than herself, whether it’s the great tradition of ballet or the groundbreaking, visionary movement that is Ballet Fantastique.” — Luke Fannin, Create! Eugene

Full-text preview: Meet the Artist: Leanne Mizzoni »

“A playful battle between pride and passion in a time of shifting societal expectations, especially for women. They reached their goal.” — Gwen Curran, The Register-Guard, May 6, 2013

Full-text review: Pride and Prejudice’ jazz ballet delights »

“… graceful dancing is combined with a live jazz band and a fun storyline...” — Laura Mahaffy, Oregon Newslab, KVAL, May 4, 2013

Full-text preview: Jane Austen’s original to Paris in the roaring twenties »

“Eugene’s Ballet Fantastique creates a new ballet choreographed by Donna Marisa Bontrager and Hannah Bontrager based on the Jane Austen novel but set in 1920s Jazz-Age Paris with live music by the Gerry Rempel Jazz Syndicate.” — Bob Keefer, The Register-Guard, May 2, 2013

Full-text preview: Pride & Paris »

“Venezia. Baroque. Carnivale. Amour. Casanova...ornate, stunningly danced, fiery, coquettish, magical, sensual, deliciously fun.” — Gwen Curran, The Register Guard, February 5, 2013

Full-text review: 'Casanova' comes to life with Ballet Fantastique »

“With a strong cadre of ballerinas, Ballet Fantastique always is looking for vehicles to feature its dancers’ work.” — Bob Keefer, The Register Guard, January 31, 2013

Full-text preview: The Casanova is a lover and a dancer »

“Travel. Take risks. Be a little dangerous. These are the inspirations for the upcoming 2013 season at what is arguably Eugene’s most daringly innovative ballet company, Ballet Fantastique.” — Shelley Deadmond, Eugene Weekly, January 17, 2013

Full-text preview: The adventures of Ballet Fantastique »

“Love, joy, disappointment and daring all appeared...The Bontragers' exceptional choreography was revealed in every dancer's splendid turn and step.” —Gwen Curran, The Register-Guard, October 23, 2012

Full-text review: Ballet Fantastique excels in its visit to the big top»

“The show opens what looks to be an ambitious season for Ballet Fantastique.” —Bob Keefer, The Register-Guard, October 13, 2012

Full-text preview: Troupe runs away and joins the circus»

“For the past decade, the company has quietly built up a reputation in its hometown, where it sold out a recent run at the Hults Center with a version of Cinderella set to early 1960s pop hits.” —Marty Hughley, The Oregonian, August 3, 2012

Full-text preview: For its Portland debut, Eugene's Ballet Fantastique takes Cinderella to a sock hop»

“Just when we think we know all there is to Cinderella, the imaginative geniuses at Ballet Fantastique bring their one of a kind vision of Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet.” —Portland Monthly Magazine, August 2012

Full-text short: Cinderella story»

“A cross between West Side Story and The Hard Nut, Cinderella: A Rock Opera resets the original girl-meet-prince tale at a 1960s prom.” —Heather Wisner, Willamette Week, August 2012

Full-text short: Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet»

“Imagine a version of Cinderella where the setting is 1964, the ball is prom, the dance moves are the Twist and the Mashed Potato, (It's the latest/It's the greatest).” —Sabrina Miller, Portland Stage Reviews, July 30, 2012

Full-text preview: Rock Opera Ballet version of Cinderella at Lincoln Performance Hall»

“Their fresh interpretation of dance is attracting an untraditional audience, a third of whom have never before seen a live ballet performance.” —Catherine Ryan, Oregon Quarterly, Spring 2012

Full-text article: An Oregon family takes center stage»

“Ballet Fantastique not only danced outside the box, it threw the box away.” —The Register Guard, May 14, 2012

Full-text review: 1960s 'Cinderella' is a fun, rock 'n' roll ballet»

“But the real treat everyone savored was watching the dance that was the rehearsal itself: the Bontragers guided the musicians, the musicians lead the dancers, and the dancers lit up the faces in the room. It was fantastique.” —KVAL, May 11, 2012

Full-text preview: 'Cinderella: A Rock Opera Ballet' at the Hult this weekend»

“This weekend at the ballet won’t exactly be your grandmother's 'Swan Lake.'” —The Register Guard, May 10, 2012

Full-text preview: Rock 'n' roll version of Cinderella: Original show sets the story in 1964 dancing to tunes such as 'Big Girls Don't Cry'»

“Ballet Fantastique continues to amaze audiences with creative takes on old favorites, like the Wild West version of As You Like It, or the dramatization of Van Gogh's 'Cafe Terrace at Night,' but the thriving mother-daughter-powered dance company doesn't sacrifice skill for novelty. The core of every production is classical ballet and highly trained dancers.” —Eugene Weekly, May 10, 2012

Full-text preview: Fantastique movements»

“When ballet companies do modern work, the standard equation is contemporary movements sans pointe shoes paired with classical music. Ballet Fantastique, in contrast, has kept the pointe shoes, switched up the music and added '60s dance moves in the mix.” —Oregon Daily Emerald, May 10, 2012

Full-text preview: Ballet Fantastique sticks Cinderella in the '60s»

“A handful of tales from ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ will be brought to life this weekend, when the dancers of Eugene’s Ballet Fantastique perform their interpretation of the tales in ‘Arabian Nights.” —The Register Guard, January 30, 2012

Full-text preview: One Thousand and One Steps: Dancers take on the tales of Scheherazade »

“The name Scheherazade conjures up magical mystical visions of harems, treasure caves, sensuous women, dangerous men, glittering palaces and genies. Ballet Fantastique included all of these in 'Arabian Nights,' an all-new ballet that premiered to a sold-out Soreng Theatre on Saturday night.” —The Register Guard, January 26, 2012

Full-text review: Ballet’s ‘Arabian Nights’ takes us on mystical trip »

“The choreography juxtaposes formal elements of English country dance with creative plays on balletic movements—with original choreography set to music by English composer John Lanchbery.” —The World, November 17, 2011

Full-text preview: Beatrix Potter ballet debuts »

“Brilliant...brilliant...brilliant...brilliant...dare I say it again, brilliant.” —Register-Guard, October 25, 2011

Full-text review: 'Incendio' lights up the stage at the Hult Center »

“Eugene's Ballet Fantastique has made a name for itself over the past decade by collaborating with other artistic groups, especially local musicians. When it starts off its new season this weekend at the Hult Center, the chamber ballet company will be reaching farther afield—geographically speaking—than it ever has before.” —Register-Guard, October 20, 2011

Full-text preview: Latin jazz meets ballet: Guitar trio from California will provide the music »

“For dance and music fans, Incendio is a rare treat and an exciting show to witness –the meeting of two ridiculously talented groups, igniting a multi-disciplined blaze across genres.” —Eugene Weekly, September 22, 2011

Full-text preview: Incendiaries and artistry: Latin-jazz fusion meets Eugene dance styles »

“At Opus VII, seven dancers from Ballet Fantastique will present a series of original ballet excerpts choreographed by Donna and Hannah Bontrager from their upcoming Pirates & Gypsies program. They’ll present the full show later this summer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.” —Register-Guard, June 2, 2011

Full-text preview: An art party downtown: Music, theater, and dance will augment this month's First Friday Art Walk »

“The choreography managed to meld classical ballet with the freer comedic Western style... The women had strong technique and true charisma. They work together well as a corps, and they’re also superb as soloists.” —Register-Guard, April 20, 2011

Full-text review: The Bard meets Western: A challenge well met »

“Despite the challenges, Bontrager says, turning Shakespeare into dance actually has illuminated the original story.” —Register-Guard, April 14, 2011

Full-text article: The bard, ballet, and barroom brawls »

“Wild west re-imagining of As You Like It appeals to diverse crowd.” —Oregon Daily Emerald, April 13, 2011

Full-text review: Ballet Fantastique presents Shakespeare with a twist »

“Ballet Fantastique...thrilled us with their charisma and technique...a stroke of genius.” —Register-Guard, February 2, 2011

Full-text review: Whirlwind tour of Brazil proves to be exhilarating »

“Ballet Fantastique is known for collaborating with other musicians, and this show will include performances by a number of local artists, including Northwest bossa nova singer Jessie Marquez and her band, and young Sao Paulo pianist Priscilla Dantas.” —Register-Guard, January 27, 2011

Full-text article: Ballet Fantastique brings a touch of Brazil to Eugene »

“Ballet Fantastique's City Center for Dance includes...large, centrally located studios that invite the community to watch, listen and learn more about various forms of ballet and other dance..” —Eugene Weekly, January 13, 2011

Full-text article: Room to moove »

“The creative and inspiring choreography was danced by the five ballerinas--goddesses who went where no one has gone.” —Register-Guard, November 24, 2010

Full-text article: String section »

“String Theory is a combination of dance and science...and Ballet Fantastique turns it into a ballet of its favorite string music.” —Ethos Magazine, November 22, 2010

Multi-media story with photographs: Ballet Fantastique's String Theory shines on stage »

“Eugene's Ballet Fantastique kicks off its new season...as usual, the company will be performing with live music...” —Register-Guard, November 18, 2010

Full-text article: String section »

“Ballet Fantastique's fresh artistic depiction of Potter's stories enchanted... and inspired in me a deep sense of nostalgia.” —Ethos Magazine, May 5, 2010

Full-text article: Local ballet hops onward: with a dancing Peter Rabbit and other Tales of Beatrix Potter »

“Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin and Jemima Puddle-Duck will be among the characters portrayed by dancers at the Hult Center on Saturday when Eugene's Ballet Fantastique closes its season with Tales of Beatrix Potter.” —Register Guard, April 29, 2010

Full-text article: Dancing the Tales of Beatrix Potter »

“Hannah Bontrager, executive director of Ballet Fantastique, will perform as the Snow Queen, and Russell Capps of Washington State Ballet will perform as her cavalier, in the Snow pas de deux. Also of Ballet Fantastique, Leanne Mizzoni will dance in Spanish.” —Medford Mail Tribune, December 2009

Full-text article: Ballet Rogue presents The Nutcracker »

“Smooth and romantic . . . innocent and cheeky . . . enchanting . . . haunting . . . delightful. ” —Register Guard October 2009

Full-text article: Ballet fans transported by Visions d'Amour »

“This Parisian setting fused with expressive dance sets the stage for Eugene’s Ballet Fantastique’s season premiere performance, Visions d’Amour: 10 Ballets in Paris. Each act showcases passionate Eugene talent, including University music and dance students, while tapping into the romance and elegance of French culture.” —Oregon Daily Emerald, October 2009

Full-text article: Parisian drama, Eugene dancers »

“Donna started Ballet Fantastique as an academy in 2000. 'I wanted to build the kind of academy for my daughters that I would have wanted to attend as a young dancer,' she says. The young dancers, ages 9 and up, work with ballet instructors up to five times a week, in semi-private classes. 'We work closely with each of our dancers and his or her personal goals and challenges,' Donna says."” —Eugene Weekly Bravo cover story, September 2009

Full-text article: Visions of loving the dance »

“Ashley Bontrager, Hannah Bontrager, Ya Xi Fu, and Unsicker burned up the stage...Do not miss Ballet Fantastique’s next concert.” —Register Guard February 2009

Full-text article: Ballet troupe trips the light Fantastique »

“Danse en Rouge, with its explorations of the color red, will be performed just in time for Valentine’s Day.” —Register Guard February 2009

Full-text article: More Fantastique: Ballet Fantastique will have its audience seeing red as it returns to the scene of its most successful collaboration »

“I think just people helping people is a great thing to do.” —Register Guard February 2009

Full-text article: Ballet Fantastique volunteer extraordinaire Dianna Campbell-Bressler and the art of involvement »

“It was fantastic.” —Register Guard February 2008

Full-text article: Ballet Fantastique lives up to troupe’s name »

“…by re-envisioning ballet, the company can reach people who might not have ever thought of themselves as ballet fans.” —Oregon Daily Emerald May 2008

Full-text article: Ballet with a creative twist: The always innovative Ballet Fantastique will perform its season finale at the Hult Center »

“…an upbeat interpretation of the party scene from ’Breakfast at Tiffany’s’—black dresses, white gloves and all.” —Register Guard May 2008

Full-text article: Ballet at Tiffany's: Eugene dance troupe choreographs a piece based on a classic Audrey Hepburn film »

“…Ballet Fantastique has taken collaboration to new heights with pieces for the Oregon Mozart Players and the Eugene Symphony.” —Eugene Weekly May 2008

Full-text article: Suite stuff »

“Smaller is better.” —Register Guard October 2007

Full-text article: Ballet with a twist: Small troupe joins with a Russian musical trio to stage chamber ballet »

“The Hult Center’s Soreng Theater was full with appreciative fans at Saturday’s performance by Ballet Fantastique … As one would expect, the performance was given a standing ovation.” —Register Guard October 2007

Full-text article: Ballet Fantastique transports fans »

“The [Experience Dance!] project...is designed to introduce children to ballet and explore academic subjects...through dance and movement.” —Register Guard May 2007

Feature City Region story on Ballet Fantastique’s EXPERIENCE DANCE! Pilot Project.
Full-text article: Dancing birds get a workout »

“What for me would be a one-time performance is a tangible goal for the dancers at Ballet Fantastique...” —Eugene Weekly May 2007

Full-text article: Keeping the ballet torch burning »

“Marvel as company and apprentice dancers perform…”

This and other excerpts from Ballet Fantastique’s press appearances in Fall.
Full-text article: Fall 2006 »

“As a newly-formed non-profit, Ballet Fantastique is pushing the artistic envelope to engage more of the community in local dance initiatives…” —Eugene Weekly June 2006

Full-text article: Pirou-what? Ballet Fantastique rekindles dance appreciation off stage »

Ballet Fantastique noted on the front page of the Register Guard "Arts & Books" section with Traduza Dance Company. —Register Guard June 2006

Full-text article: Dance like it’s Brazil »

“Impressive and spectacular!” —Register Guard October 2005

Full-text article: Diverse styles mingle beautifully at the Hult »

“…looks for a new rhythm that hovers between the traditionally lyrical and the rambunctiously sexy.” —Eugene Weekly October 2005

Full-text article: Mosaico de Danza at the Hult »