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Back To Buffalo
Flickinger Performing Arts Center
Buffalo, NY
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Online tickets to Back To Buffalo are no longer available. You may purchase your ticket in the theater lobby at the Box Office prior to the show, beginning at 6:45pm. Cash only, please.


Back To Buffalo
Choreographer Marisa f. Ballaro returns to her hometown of Buffalo, NY for a weekend of dance. The evening performances of Back To Buffalo will showcase a range of short modern dance works that are full of momentum, musicality, and emotion. Join Ballaro Dance for this exciting concert while celebrating the start of the company's fifth performance season.

Featuring Performers:
Marisa f. Ballaro, Emilee Ballaro, Lacey Birch, Marie Klaiber, Sarah Lehman, and Sasha Smith  

What can I expect to see?

Stairway To Nowhere, a quirky solo in which the dancer shifts through various characters, first becoming an amoeba-like serpent, then at times like a circus performer exploring daring physical feats.

Vivaldi, set to music composed by the pieces namesake, begins as a duet of sisters, friends, confidants. By paralleling the call and response of the vocals and strings, the call and response of movement represents the give and take of relationships. The circles created in space and in the body reflect the ongoing, and the plucking of strings, or the heartbeat, keeps time.

Reflections on Thursday, a new work by choreographer Marisa f. Ballaro, was made during weekly reflection following the 2016 Presidential Election. The piece references the sights, sounds, and images experienced in NYC and how we have been impacted by them through text, music, and a unique sound score.

Helen is a narrative work traversing several decades of one woman's life. Through five solo sections, representing the passage of time, we see her life unfold before us. A lifetime, told through movement, shows the hardships faced and celebrates the strength it took to persevere. Helen was created in memoriam for Helen Zalewski, beloved maternal grandmother of the choreographer.

And... so much more!

About the Choreographer:

An energetic resident of New York City and proud Buffalo native, Marisa f. Ballaro is a passionate choreographer, performer, and dance educator. With dual degrees in Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts for Children, she is a summa cum laude graduate of SUNY College at Brockport. Marisa is on dance faculty at The Brearley School in Manhattan, and her repertory has been staged at Bak Middle School of the Arts (FL), New York State Summer School of the Arts (NY), Nova Dance Company (DE), Artists in Motion (CT), and she has led residencies at Alfred University, Brown University, Carthage College, Glendale Community College, Montclair State University, and performing arts high schools and dance festivals across the country. Marisa served as a member of the Junior Committee for Dance/NYC for five seasons, and is on the Board of Directors for the Brockport Alumni Association. Her company, Ballaro Dance, will begin its fifth New York City season this fall. Find more at

Meet the Dancers:

Proudly hailing from Buffalo, NY Emilee Ballaro has a BA (magna cum laude) in Performing Arts Management from Mercyhurst University and an MS (summa cum laude) in Public Relations from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. Currently Vice President at Glocap Search, she joined the Administrative & Support practice in October 2011. In addition to dancing with Ballaro Dance, Emilee spends her free time long-distance running, volunteering with StreetWise Partners, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and LiveOn New York; she is a board member of the Mercyhurst University Alumni Association.

Lacey Birch hails from New Jersey. She attended Adelphi University and graduated with a BFA in dance in 2013. Lacey has been performing with Ballaro Dance for the past four seasons. She was awarded a scholarship to the Paul Taylor School in 2016.

Marie Klaiber is originally from Buffalo, NY where she received her dance training at Ballet Arts of Buffalo under the direction of Michelle Ballaro. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Akron in 2009 with a BS in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Dance, where she performed with the University of Akron Dance Company. She earned an MS in Literacy Education from the University at Albany in 2015 and currently teaches fifth grade. Marie performed with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company from 2011-2016 and was an Arts in Education Coordinator for the company. She has also performed with Claire Jacob-Zysman and Dancers, Hixon Dance, and is now excited to perform with Ballaro Dance.

After receiving her BFA from the Ohio State University in dance performance and choreography, Sarah Lehman moved from her home state of Ohio to New York City. For the past 8 years, she has performed with a number of small companies and self-producing choreographers such as Alexandra Taylor Dance, Erin Cella, and Ballaro Dance. Sarah works as an exercise physiologist and promotes exercise as medicine, movement as life.

Sasha Smith, originally from Syracuse, NY, earned her BFA in dance from Adelphi University, where she performed works by Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, and Pascal Rioult. Sasha studied at the American Dance Festival and currently trains at the Paul Taylor School. As a freelance dance artist with NYC companies including Vashti Dance Theater and Ballaro Dance, Sasha performed at Ailey Citi Group Theater, Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, and numerous community and performance festivals. Sasha shares her passion for movement as a Certified RYT Yoga, Pilates and AntiGravity Fitness instructor teaching the ANYA method and AntiGravity Fitness at the ANYA studio in Chelsea.

Photos: Stephen Delas Heras (1); Ashley Garrett (2, 3, 5); Erin Okabe-Jawdat (4)


Flickinger Performing Arts Center (View)
1250 Amherst St
Buffalo, NY 14216
United States


Arts > Dance
Arts > Performance

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


Owner: Ballaro Dance
On BPT Since: Jul 13, 2017
Marisa f. Ballaro

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