BBBallet Celebrates Three Years
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BBBallet Celebrates Three Years

BBBallet Celebrates Three Years

by Laura Di Orio on 01/12/16

 Benjamin Briones Ballet (BBBallet) is living proof that blessings can come in disguise. In 2007, when a severe fracture in Benjamin Briones right foot took him out of the professional performing world, he sought other ways to stay involved in the dance community. Having already dabbled in choreography, Briones decided to focus on a new path to create his own work. Before forming his own company, he worked with several ballet companies as Ballet Master, Repetiteur and Resident Choreographer. Then, in October 2012, Briones creative desire intensified, and BBBallet was born. The company has now successfully been creating and presenting original works and is embarking on its exciting third anniversary.

 

 "I wanted to create a personal space, a unique environment, where I could choose the direction of the exploration of movement, concepts and themes, having a special intention in connecting at a human level with the audience," Briones says of his decision to form his own company.

Over the past three years, BBBallet has toured in Queretaro, Mexico, and has been invited to perform in numerous dance festivals across the country, including the Dumbo Dance Festival, the Massachusetts Dance Festival, New Hampshire Dance Theatre Choreographers Festival and more. The company was also selected to collaborate with fashion designers at the StylePointe Project. In 2012, Briones started the BBBallet Choreographers Residency, during which selected choreographers are invited to create work on the company. BBBallet also presents an annual New York season that showcases the company's expansive repertoire, with works not only by Briones but also by choreographers such as Brian Norris, Royce Zackery, Megan Philipp, Vera Huff, Ursula Verduzco, Felix Aarts and Amanda Turner.

 

"The work of BBBallet is very varied in styles, themes and choreographic language," Briones explains. "But the common thread is that it strives to connect to the audience in an emotional way. We are trying to create awareness in the spectator as a way to inspire social consciousness."

Ursula Verduzco, a founding dancer with BBBallet, says, "It is a wonderful company. My favorite part is the range of styles one can experience by dancing the great work of so many different choreographers and the wonderful atmosphere that all of us dancers are able to enjoy"

Lucia Campoy, another original company member agrees. "I find that BBBallet has been a great place for me to develop as a dancer and artist," she shares. "I feel comfortable to be who I am and to do what works best for my performance."

Campoy recalls some of the early performances and events with BBBallet. "Our first performance as a company was really special," She says. "We danced outdoors at a vineyard. It rained, and the wind was terrible. Even the Marley flew away and had to be re-taped. It was very beautiful, even with the cold and rain, and it was very inspiring."

Since that first performance as a company, Briones has stayed true to his original vision: to provide a supportive forum for choreographers and performers of all cultural and stylistic backgrounds to explore the endlessly diverse concepts and feelings that symbolic movement can convey.

The BBBallet dancers, too, enjoy the opportunity to work with a number of choreographers. Verduzco, who also sometimes choreographs on the company herself, says, "In 2016, I am looking forward to getting to know and experience the movement of many more different choreographers and enjoying the different qualities of movement that each of them will bring, and enjoying the process with all the other dancers of the company and finding in myself the joy of being a dancer."

As BBBallet sets off on its fourth season, Briones says the company is working on several opportunities to be back in Mexico and looks forward to presenting its repertoire abroad. This year, BBBallet will also collaborate with composers for a new work, and the company will open applications to select and welcome new artists for its fourth BBBallet Choreographers Residency.

"In these three years, we have been able to set the foundation and path of the company, its principles and intentions," Briones reflects. "And I am very happy with how everything has developed. We are a family of artists with a common ground. Now is the time to focus on the survival of what we, with so much love, have created. Fundraising, finding sponsors, presenters and donors are paramount to the growth and longevity of who we are."

"BBBallet was built with passion and hard work, and I think that's the core of the company and the dancers who work for it," Campoy adds. "it'd be great to have more means to do bigger things and bring the art of dance to more audiences. It's for sure a unique group worth paying attention to. We are lucky we have a director who is skilled in so many ways, we have interesting and varied choreography, good conditions to work in, a great ballet class to warm up and be ready for the day, very professional costumes, presentation and great technical support backstage. All of this comes from the director, Benjamin Briones. He deserves all the support he needs to continue with the good work he is pushing to light in the New York dance community."

If you'd like to support BBBallet, consider contributing a tax-deductible donation by clicking here. One hundred percent of donations go toward rehearsal space rentals, costumes, theater rentals, advertising, transportation and other company costs.

"I am incredibly excited to have reached the three-year mark, and we are looking forward to continuing this journey in dance and life," Briones says. "Thank you to all who have been an invaluable support to me and us during this time - from the wonderful dancers who I have the pleasure to work with, who with commitment and passion give themselves to the process, to the choreographers who so generously have given us their creativity and wonderful vision. And to the donors, supporters, volunteers and friends of BBBallet who believe in what we have created. Thank you!"