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Jul 27, 2021

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Gil Boggs, Artistic Director at Colorado Ballet. Boggs began his career with the Atlanta Ballet before joining American Ballet Theatre, where he served a remarkable 17-year tenure. Boggs has also performed with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, Baryshnikov and Company, Nureyev and Friends, and has made several guest appearances around the world. Boggs has also presented 15 world premieres and 15 Colorado Ballet premieres by renowned choreographers such as Twyla Tharp and Lar Lubovitch.

From the outset, Gil has been in love the state of Colorado. Having lived and worked in the New York City area for decades, a move to America’s heartland was a welcome change. However, from the outset, Gil had to overcome some serious hurdles — not the least of which was leading the company out of its financial struggle. But, because of some grit and determination, Gil did just that. On the podcast, he tells his whole story, including dancing with some of the world’s brightest and best, being in a single company for 17 years, and more. 


Moving Quotes:

"With my staff, we are nurturing dancers. We're not telling them what's wrong and that you have to do this and you have to do that. We are collaborating with these people and getting the best out of them."

"People ask me, 'What does it take to get into a company?' You have to be confident. You have to show confidence in yourself... And find inspiration in what you're doing, and you'll grow quickly."

[On dancing with American Ballet Theatre] "The choreographers that came through. The rep that came in. It was all so inspiring. And I was able to grow as an artist there."

"Over time, I want to see dancers maintain their integrity to the artform. There's a way you go about training yourself, learning a ballet, and performing a ballet. And I'd hate to see people deviate from that form and do it halfway."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:15: Gil discusses his current position as Artistic Director at Colorado Ballet and how he came to join the company.

8:14: Gil explains his earliest moves at the helm of Colorado Ballet and how he turned the company from financial struggle to thriving business, even during a recession.

13:02: Boggs, who took some financial risks early in his time as artistic director, discusses why he decided to “roll the dice” on performing some lesser known works.

14:20: Gil describes some of his earliest hurdles as artistic director and how he overcame.

16:38: Boggs explains why he decided to stay at American Ballet Theatre for so much of his career — a 17-year-long tenure.

20:30: Boggs shares some advice for aspiring dancers that are currently plotting their career paths.

22:59: Gil, who has danced underneath some of the world’s best, describes his experience learning from Mikhael Baryshnikov and Twyla Tharp. 

25:17: Boggs shares his perspective on how ballet is changing and why certain aspects of the art must remain intact.

26:33: Gil discusses what’s next for his company and his eagerness to return to the stage once again.

28:51: Gil shares some extremely practical advice for anyone looking to make a career inside of the world of dance.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Gil Boggs

Colorado Ballet