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Silicon Valley Ballet Salutes US-Cuba Relations With Historic First

First American Performances of Cuban Choreographer Alicia Alonso’s Giselle

In an historic and timely move celebrating the opening of relations between the United States and Cuba, Silicon Valley Ballet (formerly Ballet San Jose) has announced that its upcoming season will begin with performances of Giselle choreographed by Cuban choreographer and dance legend Alicia Alonso. Alonso has chosen Silicon Valley Ballet Artistic Director José Manuel Carreño to lead this first re-staging of her most famous work, and the first performance by an American company of Alonso’s version of Giselle.

The performance is part of The Giselle Project, which also includes community outreach and special events. The Giselle Project honors the Latino heritage of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, founded by Alonso.

José Carreño will perform the role of Hilarion in select performances. In the role of Albrecht, Principal Dancer with The Norwegian National Ballet Yoel Carreño will perform as guest artist in select performances. Yoel (or Joel) Carreño is the brother of José Manuel Carreño.

“We are living in an historic moment," José Carreño said, "with the opening of relations between the US and Cuba after more than fifty years of embargo. Silicon Valley Ballet’s Giselle will invite engagement across the economic and cultural spectrum, as it highlights the cultural richness of my home country, Cuba. In addition, the special events hosted by the ballet company will engage the local community of Silicon Valley and beyond, and bring people together to celebrate the US and Cuba.”

José Carreño will teach a Giselle Master Class at the Company's school on September 27. A technique class followed by choreography from Alicia Alonso’s Giselle. For more information about the class, call 408.288.2820 x223 or email school@balletsj.org.

The Giselle Project special events will begin in September. Giselle runs from October 16-18 at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. For times and dates, see the BayDance.com October calendar. For more information, see the Silicon Valley Ballet web site at balletsj.org.

LINES Ballet Appoints New Executive Director

Alonzo King LINES Ballet has announced the appointment of Karim Eric Baer as new Executive Director, effective September 10, 2015. Baer succeeds Janette Gitler, who served as Executive Director from 2011 until July of this year. His most recent position was as Director of Public Programs & Performances at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), a private, non-profit institution of higher education based in San Francisco. At CIIS, Baer built expanded a small collection of workshops to a dynamic program featuring internationally known artists, intellectuals, and cultural influencers. He was also responsible for tripling the revenue of the Public Programs department.

LINES Board President Lucia Choi-Dalton stated, "His mindful approach to management and his enthusiastic embrace of LINES Ballet's mission will continue to help sustain the financial health of this multifaceted organization. The board is excited to begin working with our new leader soon."

"We are thrilled to have an innovative thinker and leader like Karim on board," said LINES Ballet Artistic Director & Choreographer Alonzo King. "His energy, enthusiasm, and vision make him a great candidate to lead LINES Ballet into the future."

Baer will remain involved with CIIS as an advisory board member to Public Programs & Performances.

Ballet Dancer Update

Lorena Feijoo, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet, will teach Silicon Valley Ballet's Winter Workshop in December.

Smuin Ballet has welcomed choreographer Ma Cong to showcase his piece French Twist for Dance Series One this fall. Ma is the Resident Choreographer of Tulsa Ballet.

Former San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Yuri Zhukov is Ballet Master for the Royal Swedish Ballet. He also directs his own contemporary dance company, Zhukov Dance Theatre.


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Last modified: Thursday, August 27, 2015 9:31 PM