News about Britta Lazenga

Special to the Chicago Tribune, October 26, 2008
...After growing up in Pittsburg and Minneapolis, "I moved here when I was 18 to dance with the Joffrey Ballet, so I feel like Chicago is more of a home than anywhere. My mom dropped me off with some stuff, we furnished my apartment, and then she left and I didn't know a soul in the city! So I made a life for myself here. Chicago feels more personal to me than anywhere else." During the show's run in Toronto, she says she felt homesick, especially for her favorite North Side eateries, Rose Angelis and Las Mananitas.
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wheretraveler.com
...Bergstein wouldn’t find her Penny in an actress, but in dancer Britta Lazenga, from Chicago’s own Joffrey Ballet. From the moment Lazenga entered the room during a Toronto audition, Bergstein was sold; and she had caught Lazenga at exactly the right time.

“I had been with the Joffrey for seven years and was starting to entertain the idea of doing something else—I just didn’t know what,” says Lazenga, who accepted the role of Penny for the Toronto production, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to resume the meaty part at home in Chicago. “Penny doesn’t come from a lot, but what she does have is a love for dance. She’s struggling, but she’s a fighter; she perseveres.” With constant rehearsals and performances eight nights a week, perseverance is something Lazenga herself stockpiles. “You do get tired, but once you hear the music and get the energy from the audience, you forget all about that and just enjoy what it is that you’re doing.”
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Shore Magazine, published September 19, 2008
... Penny, Johnny’s dazzling but accident-prone partner, is played by Britta Lazenga, a former ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet, who returns to Chicago after her stunning performance in the Toronto cast.

According to a Toronto music critic, “It is the sensational Lazenga, a gorgeous blonde with legs that go on forever, who steals the show.”

Britta auditioned last year in Chicago. She was to sign again with the Joffrey the following week, but really wanted to try another outlet . . . a musical. A few days before her Joffrey commitment, the casting director for the show called. “I got the part!” Britta says. “However, I never forgo ballet and still take classes . . . it’s part of me as well.”

What does she look forward to in Chicago? A quick answer: “The taco salad and margaritas at Las Mananitas . . . I love Mexican food. Then of course, I can’t wait to share the experience of this production with my Sweet Home Chicago!”
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Toronto Star, February 09, 2008
Dancers Monica West and Britta Lazenga are long and lean, have legs up to their armpits and can eat anything they want – they sweat and bump and grind it off onstage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story, playing until Aug. 31.

So, why are they sipping pristine green tea instead of sucking back venti coconut crème frappucinos?

They are being abstemious because they are in day 22 of a 30-day liver detox.

"Britta gave me The Seven Pillars of Health for Christmas, a detox book," says West during a shopping break at the hot new boutique Finn, at One Yorkville Ave.
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Chicago Magazine, May 2007
Moses Pendleton's White Widow is one of contemporary ballet's most melancholy spectacles, an athletic showstopper that requires a ballerina to twist and contort herself acrobatically on a hanging rope. Britta Lazenga recalls staring up at the daunting cable inside the Joffrey's warehouse and wondering if she was physically up to the challenge. "You want me to pull up and slide down this rope?" Lazenga remembers thinking. "Your hands get blistered and calloused. They bleed. I thought, What did I get myself into?"

After a year of extracurricular pushups, pull-ups, and Pilates, and a lengthening roster of leading roles, Lazenga will likely dance the widow's solo in the Joffrey's spring engagement. The 25-year-old features prominently in at least two other pieces, Gerald Arpino's popular Light Rain and the Pilobolus original Untitled. The Joffrey, which is generally democratic with its corps, clearly has a breakout performer; still, when asked about her increasing presence center stage, Lazenga demurs and sips from a giant bottle of water. "The last year or two, I've been realizing who I am and what I want. Becoming clearer about those things has helped me focus on my artistry," she says.
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