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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JOHN SYKES JR. Michael Fothergill and his wife, Catherine Garratt Fothergill, both came to Ballet Arkansas from the Alabama Ballet. He is artistic director for the Little Rock company and she its associate artistic director. The season opens Oct. 13 with a special performance at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville.

Consider Michael Fothergill's resume, and you might make an immediate mistake. You might assume he must be ... venerable.

Fothergill trained at the Milwaukee Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre in New York.


Ballet Arkansas:


WHEN — 8 p.m. Oct. 13

WHERE — Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

COST — $10 as part of the 10x10 Arts Series

INFO — 443-5600

He's worked with the Milwaukee Ballet, City Ballet of San Diego, Ballet Contemporáneo de México, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Staatsoper Hannover and the Alabama Ballet.

And he's danced the male leads in most of the classical staples, as well as in works by Ashton, Bournonville, Balanchine, Baryshnikov, De Mille, Dow, Duato, Fokine, Fosse, Kylian, Massine, Prokovsky, Robbins, Tharp and Tudor.

Not to mention his portfolio as a choreographer.

"We both started early," the 34-year-old Fothergill says, referring to himself and wife Catherine Garratt Fothergill, both of whom say they "retired" from the Alabama Ballet. On July 1, he became artist director and his wife associate artistic director for Ballet Arkansas, and the company's season opens Oct. 13 at the Walton Arts Center with "Emergence," including "Under the Lights" by Chris Stuart, set to the music of Johnny Cash; "Valse Fantaisie" by George Balanchine; and a world premiere by 2017 Winter Visions winner Mariana Oliveira.

Fothergill answered these questions for What's Up!

Q. What is life like in a household of two dancers and choreographers? Does it look like "Singin in the Rain"? Or do you leave work at work?

A. Catherine and I have always found the right balance between work and play. We are both admitted workaholics; however, because we are passionate about what we do, we enjoy the work. We do often bring work home with us, and likewise bring "us" to work. Usually when one of us is off the clock, so is the other.

Q. What made Little Rock/Ballet Arkansas a place you wanted to call home?

A. I fell in love with this company when I was a competitor in the Visions Choreographic Competition last winter. I saw such potential in all of the dancers and truly do feel that what we've seen thus far this season is very promising. Unlike communities across much of the region, downtown Little Rock is booming, and there is a general desire throughout the city to see good art and great performances. ... Catherine and I also wanted to find a place to lay roots, somewhere friendly, outgoing and beautiful. Little Rock is all that and is a wonderful fit for us both.

Q. You've said you want to broaden Ballet Arkansas' footprint around the state. What are some of your plans, beyond this performance?

A. I would like to see BA explore tour and educational outreach programming across the entirely of the state. We plan to hit the ground running and make our performances more accessible to all residents of the state of Arkansas. I would like for BA to be a catalyst for cultural growth and creative collaboration between arts organizations and individual artists that present work across the state. As well, I would like to see BA do well by doing good for others.

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 10/06/2017

Print Headline: 3x3 Three Minutes, Three Questions Michael Fothergill, Ballet Arkansas

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