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Photo: Patrick Frenette.

June 21, 2021
Dancer Diary: Leah Baylin in Green Mountain Falls, CO: Sunday, June 20, 2021

"Dancing outside, especially in these Colorado mountains I know so well, is a special experience that I’ll never forget."

By Leah Baylin

The unanimous opinion as we entered week three in Colorado was, “How has this bubble flown by so quickly?” By the end of this week, we’d be on stage for the first time. It seemed as though we’d spent months together in Green Mountain Falls but it had also flown by so quickly. That’s what happens when you’re having fun, right? We were all working so hard but having such an amazing time.

Just like in previous weeks, we started our mornings sipping coffee and eating breakfast while we laughed and talked. Then one by one we’d trickle over to the studio down the road and begin warming up for the day ahead. During this pod I have had some of the best and most rewarding rehearsal experiences. Working with Silas Farley, as well as his wife Cassia, has been an incredibly fulfilling process. Not only is the choreography a blast to dance, but he also brings such a wonderful energy to the room and is continually reminding us of how much he appreciates us and our individual work – something a dancer doesn’t always hear.

Along with rehearsing for Collage & Creed, Silas Farley’s new 32-minute ballet, Patrick Frenette and I continued to rehearse and dive into White Swan Pas de Deux. This beautiful pas de deux is something that has always intrigued me. Working on it with Director of Repertoire Carlos Lopez and former ABT dancer Valerie Madonia has been incredible. They encourage Patrick and I to create our own interpretation of the movement while also imparting on us endless knowledge from their own past experiences of dancing, watching, and coaching White Swan Pas. I couldn’t be more thankful for the amazing team guiding us through this bubble.

On our day off, a few of us, guided by corps dancer and chef Luigi Crispino yet again, cooked up an Italian dinner for everyone. The menu included Luigi grandmother’s lasagna, butternut squash risotto, a salad, and tiramisu. Our stomachs were all quite happy as we sat outside around the firepit enjoying the feast as the sun went down.

Although most of our time was consumed in rehearsals (since opening day is approaching fast!) we did find some time to return to our favorite local spot – The Blue Moose Tavern. As we sat and ate on plush couches near a woodburning fire we were serenaded by live country music and the buzz of the busy Colorado tavern.

The last day of rehearsals for this third week was spent on stage – for the first time. This beautiful outdoor stage was surrounded by aspen and pine trees as well as beautiful flowers. We spaced and tried out each part of the ballet and as we all assumed our final pose for the ballet a massive gust of wind swept the last notes of the music off into the distance. Dancing outside, especially in these Colorado mountains I know so well, is a special experience that I’ll never forget.

-Leah Baylin, apprentice