-- Revised captions and credits.
Above photo: Ballet San Jose School students performing in the Bodies of Technology program. Photo by John Parenica.
On Friday, March 13, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley hosted a Beer and Ballet open rehearsal in their top floor studio at the Ballet's building in San Jose. They are rehearsing Cinderella for their next show series, May 8-10. Tickets are on sale. I and many other members of public and supporters of the Ballet were treated to a look at a real rehearsal with all its funny stops and starts. The dancers seemed to be having fun, but they were also doing a great deal of work, both physical and mental.
Pictured at the right are Alexsandra Meijer and Jeremy Kovitch rehearsing for Clark Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto No.1. Last time around for Cinderella, Meijer was paired with Sascha Radetsky as Cinderella and Prince. Click on the image for enlarged versions. Jeremy has since left BSJ and is now an apprentice at Sanraku Japanese Restaurant at Metreon.
For this performance of Cinderella, Meijer is paired with Joshua Seibel who is an exciting and energetic dancer. And as I watched the pair it was apparent that Josh is as masculine as Ali is feminine. It's a good pairing. You can read their bios, and about the whole company, here on Ballet San Jose's website.
Pictured at the right are Maykel Solas (pronounced Michael) who is from Cuba. He is shown here with Junna Ige rehearsing for Clark Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto No.1. Maykel and Junna will also be paired as Cinderella and Prince in this coming production.
A number of the dancers are from Cuba, which is hardly a surprise. Cuba has a long history of dance, from it's signature national Danzón, to Salsa, Bolero, Mambo, Cha-cha-cha, and Ballet. The Cuban National Ballet is the biggest ballet school in the world. I asked a few of the Cuban dancers if they expected any changes for Cuban Ballet in the USA in light of the relaxation of restrictions in travel between our two countries. They seemed perplexed by the question. Of course, it's not Cuban dance that stands to gain but rather, if anything, Ballet in the USA. But it does seem that the world of Ballet is already far ahead of the politics, having obviated political problems long ago. At least, I think so.
For this ballet, I'll be one of the wedding quests that come in at the end of the last act. Not a big part. But it's really fun to be part of a professional production. I have been a supernumerary in the past in Dennis Nahat's The Nutcracker and other productions. So, I'm familiar with backstage and rehearsals and I've got to say that this experience has been one of the most fascinating and enriching of my life.
The Ballet is about to go through a name change. They made a 'soft' announcement at their last show, pictured here. Soon they will be Silicon Valley Ballet. It was fitting that they should make this announcement at their high tech ballet presentation Bodies of Technology, their last show.
Don't get that confused with Silicone Valley, which is LA. But I've always thought of Silicon Valley as more of and idea than a place, more of a style. "Silicon Valley Ballet" sounds to me like it could be the name of a program with silver gleaming robotic dancers or something like that. Anyway, the new name is better. It's more inclusive of where the Ballet draws from and, I think, its a proud name.