LOS ANGELES — Art will always find a way. If there's one thing we've learned over the past few months, it is that artists will continue to create even under the most extreme circumstances. For Kirsten Bloom Allen, Magnus Christoffersen, and Tigran Sargsyan — all three classically-trained dancers — their backyard ballet performances are taking off with audiences starving for the beauty of the human form and emotion. But keeping things going meant taking a big step.
“We all moved into my house and transformed my backyard into a stage,” Allen said.
The team has worked together before and they knew they would be able to cohabitate while still doing what they love and streaming their backyard performances online, but taking the performances outdoors was a bit different than being on stage. For one thing, lawns have bumps.
“We had to choreograph pieces around those bumps,” Sargsyan said.
Allen, the team leader, started ARC Entertainment, which has been blending classical ballet with rock music and cinema to open ballet up to a new audience.
“It feels like our purpose,” she said. “Our mission as artists is to provide a sense of community and a sense of humanity. Certainly, right now that feels even more important.”
Tigran and Magnus are principals at the Los Angeles Ballet and Kirsten, who lives in San Diego, opened her home to them creating a kind of extended artistic family.
“We are such good friends,” Allen said. “We're all very close and it just felt right."
Recently, they've been collaborating with the band Disturbed, creating choreography to their music, like their cover of the classic Simon & Garfunkel song, “The Sound of Silence.”
“[Disturbed] are so wonderful!” Allen said. “They love what we've done. We've choreographed to a couple of their songs. It's a great way to expose new audiences to ballet.”
The group’s dance performances stream live on social media and have garnered viewers from around the world, and although it's not quite the same as an in-person performance, Allen said it's the next best thing and she's hopeful for the future.
“We’ll have more appreciation for life and how fragile we are,” she said. “I think that when we can all connect and sit in a big theater again or a big arena, I think we will appreciate it more than we ever would have.”
Next up, the troupe is doing a Father's Day performance choreographed to that classic dad anthem, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.