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SoCal dancers keep arts alive through virtual outdoor ballet shows

Backyard ballet dancers
Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 12:52:53-05

Live performance spaces may have gone dark during the pandemic, but three dancers in San Diego are making sure the arts stay alive.

The trio launched at the beginning of the pandemic. Magnus Christoffersen and Tigran Sargsyan were both dancing with the Los Angeles Ballet, but the company went dark when live shows stopped. They had previously worked with professional dancer Kirsten Bloom Allen, so the three decided to join forces and continue dancing.

“I said ‘hey guys how about you move into my house with my family,’” said Kirsten.

They built a stage in the backyard of Kirsten’s Rancho Santa Fe home and started choreographing dances together. They then took it a step further and began live-streaming their dances for anyone to see.

Now, almost one year later, and they’re still dancing together. The trio has choreographed 11 pieces and live-streamed close to 200 shows. They also have donated extra performances to retirement homes and charity organizations.

They say they’ve been able to perform for an even larger audience because of the online reach.

“Everyone can watch the show through the live stream, through Facebook and Instagram, so we’ve gained audiences around the world that I don’t think we would have reached prior to the pandemic,” said Kirsten.

Kirsten created an organization called Arc Entertainment, where her goal is to expose more people to the arts. She said she likes to choreograph ballet to pop music as a way to bring in audiences who would not typically be exposed to classical ballet.

“Songs that people know and then we give them a little ballet to it and they go ‘oh that’s so cool,’ they get it. They relate to it and they suddenly become fans of ballet. So that’s my mission with it, to create new fans of the art form,” she said.

They live stream their shows on the Arc Entertainment Facebook and Instagram pages every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 p.m. PST.

Both Magnus and Tigran said they’ve also been able to explore other forms of the arts while in quarantine. Both of them shot short films and have also been taking acting lessons.

“Still keeping the artistic side and the creative side and see where our minds can go,” said Tigran.