Last week, the Argyros Performing Arts Center hosted concerts by French piano virtuoso Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth.
The next installment of the Argyros Presents series is set for two showings, the first on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., and the second on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 6:30 p.m.
The event, titled “When I Think of You,” brings together world-famous ballerina Isabella Boylston, founding artistic director of Ballet Sun Valley, and popular San Francisco singer-songwriter Rozzi.
Boylston will dance original choreography to music by Rozzi and her band. “When I Think of You” will make its world premiere at the Argyros on Saturday, though both Boylston and Rozzi suggested that future iterations elsewhere in the country are not out of the question.
The title, “When I Think of You,” is a recurring line from “Joshua Tree,” a hit single from Rozzi’s debut album, “Bad Together.”
The two met while shooting a music video for an upcoming release by Rozzi called “Mad Man.”
“We just hit it off immediately,” Boylston said. “I was so impressed by her intelligence and friendliness—I felt like we were kindred spirits.”
Boylston was born in Sun Valley and began dancing at the age of 3. When she was 7, her family relocated to Boulder, Colo., where she started her formal ballet education.
Since then, she has moved continuously up the ladder as a professional dancer, with performances in “The Nutcracker,” “Giselle,” “Swan Lake,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Sleeping Beauty” and other such acclaimed ballets.
Her career has taken her all over the United States, and around the world, including performances in China, Russia, Italy, France and Australia.
In 2005, Boylston joined the prestigious American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. Over the years, she worked her way up, eventually being promoted to principal dancer in 2014, a position she currently holds.
Though she has danced around the globe, Boylston says “there’s nothing like” a hometown performance.
“I was totally overwhelmed by the warmth of the reception I got the past few years with Ballet Sun Valley,” she said.
Sharing a fun tidbit of personal history, Boylston related how, when she was 6, she danced recitals at the nexStage Theatre, which used to be where the Argyros now stands. She said this performance will bring things “full circle” for her, but that’s not the only reason she’s looking forward to “When I Think of You.”
“I’m really excited to bring something completely new to Sun Valley,” she said, speaking of the innovative choreography and Rozzi’s moving new music.
Rosalind Elizabeth Crane, also known as Rozzi, has never been to Sun Valley. She grew up in San Francisco and got her big break at age 19 when Adam Levine, lead singer of the band Maroon 5, happened to hear a song of hers.
Before long, Rozzi was touring with Maroon 5. In 2016, she struck out on her own, releasing her first solo album in November 2018. The album, “Bad Together,” is now available on Spotify, iTunes and other major streaming services.
“When I Think of You” presents one of the music industry’s most promising new solo acts alongside one of ballet’s top performers in a one-of-a-kind concert.
“Most of the songs are from ‘Bad Together,’” Rozzi said. “The whole show, like the album, tells the story of a relationship, the highs and lows of love and what comes with it.”
Though classical ballet and contemporary pop music do not make the most obvious pairing, the marriage of Rozzi’s songs with Boylston’s dance could not make more sense.
A far cry from run-of-the-mill popstar output, “Bad Together” showcases uncommon lyricism, poeticism and musicality brought to soaring heights by Rozzi’s soulful voice.
In addition to those qualities, “Bad Together,” like every major ballet, tells a clear narrative, something Boylston noted, marking similarities between Rozzi’s music and the pieces to which she more often dances.
“There’s something about the way [Rozzi] approaches her craft with such discipline and respect that’s very similar to the way a ballet dancer does,” Boylston explained, citing, in particular, “the expressiveness and emotion of Rozzi’s voice.”
Boylston and Rozzi will be supported by two additional dancers and a four-piece band.
Back-to-back performances mean Sun Valley residents and visitors will have two chances to see this concert next weekend. Tickets for both shows are currently available at a range of prices, from $35-$150.
Visit theargyros.org for more information or to purchase tickets.