I’ve blogged before about the Ballet San Jose. Tuesday night, I was elected to their Operating Board. (‘Operating Board’ is another way of sayiing ‘Board of Trustees’.) Having wanted to be more involved in a performing arts organization for a long time, I was approached by a friend who also serves on the board to check it out and see if I might be interested. One thing led to another, and now I’m on board.
It’s a wonderful group of people, led by John Fry, CEO OF Fry’s Electronics. (So if you’re an arts lover and you need electronics in the Bay Area, go to Fry’s – some of the money will inevitably end up in a dancer’s pocket.)
Rather than toot my own horn, you can read my friend, Sherri’s post. It just reitterates my bio really but she also says some nice things. Thanks Sherri!
So now that I’m hooked, I’ll be going to the remainder of the performances this year. If you want to learn more about them, check out the web site and drop me a line. The artistic director, Dennis Nahat, is incredibly talented. And he was just nominated for an Izzie award (he’s a past recipient). That’s the SF Bay Area dance equivalent of the Oscars (that unfortunately doesn’t have a web site that’s easy to find) for his production of Romeo and Juliet last year. Congratulations Dennis!
The next performance of the ballet is a Valentine Potpourri, including a four part mix of classic and modern dance. And here’s the thing about this ballet vs. others in the area – San Francisco will always have an incredible ballet company that does exquisite traditional and inspiring performances. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Berkeley performing arts communities bring in groups like the Alvin Ailey dancers and Mikhail Barishnikov’s White Oak Dance Project. These are amazing to see, but they are quite different from Ballet San Jose. I don’t consider any of these troupes competitors – they each provoke their own emotional response through their art.
BSJ excels in a unique spot that I haven’t quite figured-out how to best describe it yet, but it’s an original blend of artistry, storytelling, and risk-taking choreographically. The audience tends to be more casual and it’s a beautiful theatre, so you get this feeling like you have a private dance recital in your own home and the artistic director made it just for you. (At the Nutcracker, I wanted to snuggle up next to the fireplace they had on the stage.) Of course not all the dancers aren’t as polished as some in other dance companies, but this organization is only twenty years old. And it has been restarted in a few different incarnations in order to come to its current position in the Bay Area community. That’s part of its beauty coming from someone who’s entrepreneurial-minded.
Anyway, words can only scratch the surface in describing performing arts, so you’ll just have to come see for yourself.