Natasha Middleton's ballet studio and company are evolving in their second decade, but she said she stays true to her main philosophy — perpetuating the tradition of the Ballet Russe while training young dancers for the professional spotlight.
Middleton is a third-generation ballet dancer. Her grandmother Elena Wortova danced with the Ballet Russe, a premier dance company that began in Paris in 1909, and her father Andrei Tremaine performed with the off-shoot company the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Both companies aimed to produce performances that showcased “total theater” — bringing stories to life through dance, pantomime and facial expression accompanied by exciting music, lavish costumes and beautiful sets.
The Ballet Russes brought magic to the stage, Tremaine said. The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo continued the tradition of performing the great ballets from Russia and the choreography was taught by the finest teachers, he said.
“All of this magic was portrayed in one night of the Ballet Russes,” he said. “There were other very good companies but the legacy and tradition — this is what Natasha has tried to keep to. When she works with these young children, the background is always there — a feeling that comes in like osmosis and penetrates, and she wants to get all of that feeling and that strength and history into all of the productions in every way she can.”