CriticalDance Forum

Ronn Guidi's 2006 Nutcracker Revival
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Author:  LMCtech [ Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Ronn Guidi's 2006 Nutcracker Revival

From the SF Chronicle.

Ronn Guidi revives 'Nutcracker,' sealed with a kiss

Michael Wade Simpson, Special to The Chronicle

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Truly heartwarming holiday stories are as rare as really good "Nutcracker" productions, but the Paramount Theatre in Oakland was home to both over the weekend. Impresario Ronn Guidi not only saved a 34-year tradition from the dustbin of dance history, he has put on a "Nutcracker" that packs more emotional wallop and kid-friendly charm than the megaproduction playing across the bay.

Advertised as "Ronn Guidi's Nutcracker," this is actually Oakland Ballet's "Nutcracker." Guidi and the company were one and the same until his retirement in 1998, after which things began to fall apart, for a variety of reasons, and Oakland Ballet officially died. Last year, Guidi purchased the entire treasure trove of costumes and sets from the company he founded in 1965, raised the money to hire dancers, musicians from the Oakland East Bay Symphony and rent the Paramount, and even found a corporate sponsor, Chevron, which offered to help fill the house with hundreds of local families.


Author:  LMCtech [ Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

OK, I have a questions.

Why is it that Ronn Guidi can raise the funds needed to do this production, but Oakland Ballet couldn't raise the funds to save itself? Is it the cult of personality surrounding Guidi? It sort of negates the theory that Oakland as a city is incapable of supporting ballet in general, doesn't it?

Comments, anyone?

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:13 pm ]
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Fundraising is such a funny business -- so much seems to depend upon who is asking and whether those being asked have the requisite confidence that the person doing the asking will be able to deliver the anticipated product.

Author:  shoelessjoe [ Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:41 pm ]
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Also, I think people want the holiday tradition more than the dance in The Nutcracker's case. People know what they are getting when they give. Mr. Guidi does have a strong reputation in the community. However, if he tried to fundraise to bring back the company it might be more difficult than pulling off the Nutcracker.

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

That's a very good point that I was thinking of as well. I'm not convinced Mr. Guidi is interested in reviving Oakland Ballet. It was his retirement from the company that prompted the hiring of Karen Brown. But it would be interesting to see if he COULD get it back up and running.

Thanks for your insights, joe!

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