About Leslie Irwin

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So far Leslie Irwin has created 23 blog entries.

The Next Generation of Dance Makers: Smuin Ballet’s Choreography Showcase 2016

January brings a unique choreographic presentation to the Smuin stage. The 2016 Choreography Showcase, presented at the ODC Theater, invites Company members to create short pieces in a variety of styles on one another. Held in an intimate space, attendees witness engaging new works and hear the dancers and choreographers discuss their artistic processes in [...]

Happy New Year: Looking Ahead with Smuin Ballet

A very happy New Year to you from all of us at Smuin Ballet! We have had a wonderful 2015, with engaging new dance works, treasured revivals, and of course our holiday classic The Christmas Ballet. Today, we look forward to the promise of 2016 and our many exciting events in the upcoming season! 2016 [...]

Supporting Smuin Ballet: An Interview with the Chens

The holiday season is in full swing, and Saturday evening’s show of The Christmas Ballet at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts was a night to remember! This performance featured a walk-on appearance from Patti Chen, a member of the Golden State Warriors’ Jr. Jam Squad. At the end of our show, Patti [...]

Shannon Hurlburt Returns for The Christmas Ballet

Shannon Hurlburt in "Bells of Dublin." Tom Hauck, 2007. Former Company member Shannon Hurlburt is returning to the stage for select performances of The Christmas Ballet! Shannon will reprise his signature tap-dancing role in “Bells of Dublin.” “Hurlburt’s tap dance solo to The Chieftains’ ‘Bells of Dublin,’… almost stopped this show Friday, and [...]

Setting the Stage – Behind the Scenes of The Christmas Ballet

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Smuin Ballet! Following a fantastic opening in Walnut Creek, we were curious about the many details behind the scenes that make The Christmas Ballet magical. We sat down with Production Director and Stage Manager Kathryn T. Graham (KT) to learn more about what goes into this [...]

Restaging The Christmas Ballet: Q&A with Amy London

How are The Christmas Ballet pieces restaged every year? We sat down with Ballet Master Amy London to learn more about what goes into recreating this complex show each year with a new cast. Q: How do the new company members learn the whole show in just a few weeks? Amy London: Learning The Christmas [...]

Halloween Special: Smuin Costumes through the Years

What’s your favorite Halloween costume? Smuin Ballet has a long history of crazy costumes over 20 years of performances. Check out these photos--plus some stories from our Company Manager JoEllen Arntz--in the captions below! Michael Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet, 2004, Vanessa Thiessen Originally performed by Artistic Director Celia Fushille in the first Christmas [...]

An Interview with Choreographer Helen Pickett

“I’m making a premiere for California━I’m from California━and the drought is killing me.” Choreographer Helen Pickett joined Smuin Ballet in the San Francisco studio last week to create a world premiere on the dancers titled Oasis. A nearly 30-minute work in four parts, Oasis explores the concept of water in its many incarnations and implications. [...]

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