Ballet San Jose and ABT: A two-way partnership?

posted by Wendy Perron on Sunday, Aug 25, 2013
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Akira Takahashi and Amy Marie Briones in Jorma Elo's Glow-Stop. Photo by Alejandro Gomez, Courtesy BSJ.

With Jose Manuel Carreño in place as artistic director, Ballet San Jose has announced a dazzling array of guest stars for its gala in November. Lucky for the BSJ audience, Carreño is bringing pals like Julie Kent, Marcelo Gomes, Misty Copeland, and Gillian Murphy from American Ballet Theatre. Other guests include New York City Ballet principals Daniel Ulbricht and Joaquin De Luz, and Boston Ballet’s Lorna Feijoo. Pile it on!

 

Misty Copeland photographed for Dance Magazine by Matthew Karas.

 

But how lucky is this for the dancers of BSJ? Might the deluge of A-list stars dampen their own ability to shine? Maybe what’s lucky for them is the coming season of seven company premieres, rather than the gala. They include exciting challenges like Tharp’s In the Upper Room, Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera, and Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16. The season also includes works aleady in the rep like Balanchine's Serenade, Jorma Elo's Glow-Stop (brought in by Wes Chapman last year), and Roland Petit's Carmen.

 

Alexsandra Meijer and Jeremy Kovitch in Petit's Carmen. Photo by Bob Shomler, Courtesy BSJ.

 

After Carreño retired from ABT in 2011, he headed his own summer intensive, the Carreño Dance Festival in Sarasota. With this announcement, he’s off to a running start in his new position at BSJ.

Even before Carreño’s appointment, an alliance was made between BSJ and ABT. Now that BSJ has several works from ABT's rep, including Upper Room and Glow-Stop, will the double Jose company become ABT West? And I'm wondering if the partnership will go both ways: Will be eventually seeing Piazzolla Caldera, or—dare I imagine it—Naharin’s amazing Minus 16 at ABT? —Wendy Perron