Blackberry Winter was premiered in 1999 by Ballet Pacifica. The colloquialism “blackberry winter” describes a late spring frost that is as unexpected as it is necessary for a rich blackberry harvest. As a metaphor for change, this idea of “unexpected but fruitful” promises us that with a little faith, we too can expect a richer harvest. The music for Blackberry Winter is American and uses the mountain dulcimer. It is the only classical concerto written for this instrument. The true heritage of its folk-melodies are mixed with a classical chamber orchestra. The composer, Conni Ellisor, had classical training at Juilliard and over 15 years in the commercial music business. Her work has graced virtually all genres of contemporary American music.
“At the end of DeAngelo’s new ballet, Blackberry Winter, the audience at South Coast Repertory sat stunned. You literally could not get up from your seat and proceed as though nothing had happened; the ballet was too beautiful.”
– LA Weekly’s Sasha Anawalt