|ABOUT GAYNOR MINDEN
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Kristi Boone is that rare dancer willing to describe herself as a "jock". She goes jogging with friends several days a week and she likes to play basketball. Kristi started ballet at age 13, and within seven years was dancing lead roles in world premieres at A.B.T.
Her innate athletic talents were shaped into ballet technique by Timothy Draper at his school affiliated with the Rochester City Ballet in Kristi's hometown of Rochester, NY. From Draper's school, where the training included a mix of styles, Kristi joined the Rochester City Ballet and almost immediately danced lead roles in their productions of Firebird, Don Quixote and The Nutcracker.
At A.B.T.'s Student Summer Program, John Meehan, the Director of A.B.T.'s Studio Company and Georgina Parkinson, A.B.T's Ballet Mistress spotted Kristi. Meehan offered her a contract with the Studio Company, but in order to accept, Kristi had to complete the academic course work of both junior and senior years of high school in only one year - and keep up her dancing.
She spent a year with the Studio Company which was, she says, excellent preparation for life at the senior Company. She danced all day long, in a varied repertoire that ranged from Balanchine to Natalie Weir, and loved working with John Meehan whom she describes as her mentor. She didn't even mind sharing a tiny one-bedroom apartment with two other people.
Kristi joined the senior company in time for the Spring 2000 season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Like all corps members, she danced in just about everything but she was also given soloist roles: Zulma in Giselle (a sort of Lieutenant-Colonel in the "army" of Wilis), and when on tour, the Queen of the Driads in Don Quixote (she's the one who leads this enchanting vision scene).
The next season was even better. In October 2001, at the New York City Center season, Kristi danced leading roles in the original casts of two exciting premieres: Kirk Peretson's Amazed in Burning Dreams and Robert Hill's Marimba. Both pieces push classical ballet technique off center and require tremendous speed, athleticism and stamina from the dancers. Hill's choreography, especially, requires a fluid, bending pliability but without the familiar alignment of being right over the supporting leg. Another rewarding challenge was dancing Balanchine. Kristi dances Symphony in C and loves the neoclassical style.
These days, she enjoys taking class from and working with Wilhelm Burmann, Kirk Peterson, Georgina Parkinson and Guilliam Graffin. She likes fixing up her apartment and spending time with friends when she's in town, but loves the opportunities to travel that A.B.T. offers; her first trip out of the U.S. was a four week tour of Asia.
Kristi discovered Gaynor Minden at A.B.T.'s summer program. She has a very flexible foot and was dismayed at how quickly she had to replace her traditional shoes. She loves the durability of Gaynor Mindens, the arch support and the comfort. She has also noticed better balance and better support through releve. She advises aspiring dancers that if they have the drive, the dedication and the love of dance then, "there is no limit to your dreams, anything is possible."
Photos: (top) Rosalie O'Connor, (remaining) Eduardo Patino