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 Post subject: Ballet San Jose: 2005-06
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:17 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Michael Simpson reviews Ballet San Jose's "Firebird" and "Phaedra" in the San Francisco Chronicle:

SF Chronicle


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:12 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Ballet San Jose is producing "Cinema Soundtracks" by Daryl Gray as part of its November 2005 repertory program. Marianne Messina interviews Daryl Gray as a preview to the program in Metroactive Stage:

Metroactive Stage


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:49 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
More on Cinema Soundtracks from the San Jose Mercury News.

Quote:
`Cinema Soundtracks' blends film themes, ballet to toast a choreographer's love for San Jose

By Mark Whittington

Mercury News

Last year, South Bay dance fans fell in love with Gray's ``Pirates of Penzance,'' adapted from the familiar Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

Gray figures San Jose is perfect for his latest creation, ``Cinema Soundtracks.'' It's conceptually challenging, weaving together several themes, seven principal dancers and a full background cast, numerous costume changes and 18 movie themes played on two grand pianos suspended above the stage.

``I've never seen anything like this,'' Gray says of his project. ``But it's California. It's film. It's part of our culture. We're all influenced by the movies.''


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:25 pm 
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Janice Berman reviews "Cinema Soundtricks" in the San Francisco Chronicle:

SF Chronicle


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:34 pm 
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Rita Felciano reviews "Cinema Soundtracks" in the San Jose Mercury News:

SJ Mercury News


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 Post subject: New works added to program.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:52 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From the San Jose Mercury News.

Quote:
Ballet adding world premiere
PROGRAM IN APRIL GETS CHINESE WORK
By Mark Whittington
Mercury News

A world premiere and a solo work have been added to Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley's final program of this season.

The April 20-23 program now will include the world premiere of Yao Yong's ``Moon Reflection on Crystal Spring'' and a reprise of Oscar Hawkins' ``Strange Fruit.''


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:34 pm 
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Ballet San Jose opens Dennis Nahat's "Romeo and Juliet" on Thursday, March 9, 2006. Sal Pizarro reports in the San Jose Mercury News:

Mercury News


Last edited by Francis Timlin on Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: San Jose article
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:39 pm 
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Posts: 6
Location: SF Bayarea
Somehow, the above link took me over to the St. Louis paper than Mercury. But I found the article anyway (hope that is). Thanks Francis for bringing my attention to it.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/13972250.htm

In addition to "Romeo and Juliet" info in there, i found interested that San Jose principal Karen Gabay did the rehearsal assistant for the "Kings of Dance" for the roll in Flindt's "The Lesson" performance on both OCPAC and NY City Center. I saw her performance with Stephan Dale last season in SJ and thought it was superb (despite how dark and creepy the story was). San Jose ballet loarned the stage set to "Kings of Dance" (except the chest that still blongs to Bournonville), and it was credited in the program notes in Kings of Dance. Looking forward to seeing San Jose charming dancers again very soon!

edited once to fix typo ... :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:51 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Sad news from Ballet San Jose about one of their stars.

Quote:
Cancer hobbles San Jose ballerina
NEWLYWED CERTAIN SHE'LL DANCE AGAIN
By Mark Whittington
Mercury News

Dalia Rawson, a homegrown star of Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, has taken a leave of absence after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The 32-year-old ballerina, a Saratoga native, said she expects to recover and rejoin the company. She was married two weeks ago.

``I don't feel that bad,'' Rawson said, ``nothing half as bad as doing a four-act ballet on an infected corn.''

Rawson was diagnosed with the highly curable form of cancer of the lymphatic system in January, shortly after completing a run as the Tsarina in ``The Nutcracker.''


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 Post subject: Bid article about R&J in the SJ Mercury News
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:50 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Quote:
A classic romance
BALLET SAN JOSE RETURNS TO `ROMEO AND JULIET' WITH BIG NEW SET, 'DEEP EMOTION'
By Mark Whittington
Mercury News

The skeleton of Verona, complete with its famous balcony, lined one wall of a never-finished ballroom in downtown San Jose.

Again and again, the Capulets and the Montagues played out the feud that turns young love into tragedy as Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley rehearsed ``Romeo and Juliet.''

The Verona set was hoisted up the four-story stairwell at the company's headquarters at 40 N. First St. in early February. It was later lowered down the same stairwell and rebuilt on stage at the Center for the Performing Arts, where the ballet opens Thursday.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 2:09 pm 
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About R&J again. From the SJ Mercury News.

Quote:
Ballet's new Romeo rushes to learn role
CUBAN-BORN SOLAS HAS DANCED IN PERU, MEXICO
By Mark Whittington
Mercury News

Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley's newest dancer also is its newest Romeo.

Cuban-born dancer Maykel Solas arrived two weeks ago from Peru, where he was dancing with the Ballet Municipal de Lima. Visa problems, common for Cuban artists coming to the United States, delayed him an extra two weeks. He had little time to learn his role in ``Romeo and Juliet,'' which opens tonight at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts.

``We're force-feeding him,'' says Dennis Nahat, artistic director of Ballet San Jose. ``But he's a quick learner.''

Nahat gave him private instruction, and Solas shadowed the company's other Romeo, Stephane Dalle, during rehearsals.

Solas will be dancing opposite Karen Gabay, who was the original Juliet when Nahat choreographed the ballet 20 years ago. Nahat concedes part of his plan was to push Gabay out of her comfort zone.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:54 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Personally, I thought this was generally a very good production. The most disappointing thing though was the theater, which the company themselves will tell you needs improvement (or replacement), what with its poor sound accoustics and shallow stage.

Nevertheless, Dennis Nahat has managed to squeeze a lot of action into the space. There were some little touches here and there that Nahat added, some for the better and others, well, had me wondering a bit, especially the omission of Juliet, danced beautifully by Karen Gabay, taking Romeo's hand to her chest to express her beating heart, the overuse of a rag doll in Juliet's solo scene in the bedroom (yes, we know she's a kid), and the overtly sexual encounters between Lady Capulet and Tybalt which forces Tybalt's death scene to be overwrought, as there is no "revelation" left to punctuate the affair. The nice touches were the fencing and death sequences for Mercutio, with an exciting performance by Ramon Moreno, and the elimination of the divertissement by Juliet's friends after her fake death, which always seems a little macabre for me.

The dancers in the company continue to improve by leaps and bounds, especially with the introduction of a few new faces. While there are still some rough edges, there is definitely potential here for this company to move up the ballet hierarchy assuming of course that is their desire.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:44 pm 
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A review from the San Jose Mercury News.

Quote:
Pizarro: Ballet San Jose celebrates 20 years
By Sal Pizarro
Mercury News

With the news this year that the Oakland Ballet had closed down, it's no wonder that Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley threw its biggest celebration ever Saturday night to mark its 20th anniversary.

Ballet founder Karen Loewenstern and artistic director Dennis Nahat were the stars of the night, but several people throughout the evening acknowledged that without John Fry's $1 million rescue in 2004, the company might never have seen 2006.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:37 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
“Romeo and Juliet” Plays Out Its Dramatic Heritage
Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley
Friday, 10 March 2006
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

by Dean Speer

I always find it a treat to visit the exotic locale of San Jose and enjoy Ballet San Jose. It’s an attractive company with a deep array of artistic talent, led by Dennis Nahat, its Artistic and Executive Director.

I was especially enthralled to see Karen Gabay’s return to a role created for her by Nahat in 1986. Gabay’s Juliet was invigorated, energetic, and lovely. Clearly her technical breeding at SAB and her discipline have sustained and kept fresh her dancing. Her artistic maturity shows clearly in every gesture and heightened nuance.

The winner of the race to quickly learn dances goes to her Romeo, Maykel Solas who, delayed by visa troubles, ended up having to demonstrate what a quick study he is by absorbing the part in only about six days.

In his pre-performance remarks, Nahat reported that the theatre was remodeled 20 years ago to accommodate this production. The community got two benefits: a handsome ballet and a more usable theatre, suitable to more and bigger types of shows. My only observation along these lines is that even with this major remodel for large-scale ballet productions, Ballet San Jose could use a stage with more depth. While it did work nicely, the overall impression I had was that it was too flat and a bit squeezed for space.

Nahat knows how to tell a story. His handling of the material is clear and his choices each made for the elucidation of the story, with the dancing contributing to the narrative and emotional impact of this timeless and tragic love story. He also re-ordered some of the musical selections, which he felt made better sense in a different flow – and the success of the ballet shows he was right.

Nahat gave us a cast that was strong in all parts, from former ABT star Roni Mahler as a delightful and secretly man-hungry Nurse (when Romeo gives her a peck on the check, she puckers up for more), to the heads of each feuding house.

While keeping the story moving, he also gives us plenty of dancing – from townspeople and Gypsies to the nobility. I also liked his treatment of the Capulet’s ballroom scene which has probably some of the most famous music in it and one that is familiar to any ballet class-taker as grand battement – and especially appreciate that he has the nobles do more than strut about and drop pillows on the floor, as they do in the original Bolshoi production.

The Balcony scene is the emotional heart of the ballet and this pas de deux shows us the young lovers overcoming their fears and beginning to get to know each other, expressing, exploring, and deepening their love through movement. I like how Nahat give us some motifs that he returns to and develops as the couple develops. The sweeping us and out from arabesque, tilting back in sous-sus, the running and catching.

Rather than just concluding with the deaths of our “star-crossed lovers,” Nahat has the two houses come out, and while lamenting their losses, suggest that a future reconciliation may be in the offing and that hope is rising from this great tragedy.

Ballet San Jose always offers a great deal of good dancing, genuine and very admirable productions, and a fare that’s sure to, if not completely satisfy artistically, will at least give value and spicy variety to your balletic diet.

Dwight Oltman led the Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley Orchestra.

_________________
Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


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 Post subject: An article about this weekends premiere
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:16 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From the San Jose Mercury News.

Quote:
A troubadour's tale
BALLET SAN JOSE TO PRESENT STORY OF FABLED CHINESE FOLK COMPOSER
By Mark Whittington
Mercury News

Zhang Jing grew up in Shanghai but had to come to San Jose to discover the story of one of China's folk heroes.

The 22-year-old ballerina learned the tale of the blind street musician Ah Bing for ``Moon Reflection on Crystal Spring,'' which has its world premiere with Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley on Thursday.

Ah Bing composed some of China's best-known traditional folk melodies but, like Jing, many Chinese don't know his story or his real name.


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