California Ballet’s 48th Season was a resounding success, and a turning point for the company! The year started with a ground-breaking theatrical happening - the West Coast premiere of Septime Webre’s The Great Gatsby.
Arts Reviewer Steve Shirley wrote, “The performance was at its very least, beyond stunning. Every five or so times, in a very lucky lifetime, something this entertaining comes along to sweep us off our imagination couch and drag us…standing, in applause, to our feet!”
The live music by Billy Novak’s Blue Syncopators, the athleticism of the dancers, the jazz singers, the backdrops – all contributed to the overall excellence of this production.
Gatsby was followed by CBC’s annual production of The Nutcracker. This year, gracing the stage of the San Diego Civic Theatre were, Jared Nelson and Reka Gyulai, guest artists new to the company, principal dancers Ana da Costa, Chie Kudo and Trystan Merrick, and our stellar soloists and corps de ballet.
Reviewer Rob Appel said “the absolute show stoppers are the dancers…” He concluded with, “I love this show, I love the dancing, I love the colors, and I love how this show delivers the meaning of Christmas in a very special Maxine (Director Maxine Mahon) way.”
After the holiday season, the Company moved from the San Diego Civic Theatre to the Balboa Theatre to present Charles Bennett’s Romeo & Juliet and the world premiere of Jared Nelson’s Ruled by Secrecy.
Rob Appel called the piece “a non-stop flow of poetic beauty” with a contemporary spin and “powerhouse partnering that had the audience speechless.”
Beer & Ballet was an exciting end to a successful season. The unique performance was held at the California Ballet Studios. The program was a collection of many different styles of dance and music, solidly grounded in classical ballet technique and/or a contemporary emphasis. There were new works by Jared Nelson, Trystan Merrick and Jeremy Zapanta, outstanding performances by the company dancers, and a fabulous performance by Mezzo Soprano Natalie Bancroft. The sold out crowds were on their feet after every show.
The audience also had the opportunity to meet Toe to Toe with company dancers for close up conversations. Everyone enjoyed beer donated by Stone Brewery, Green Flash Brewery and Cismontane Brewery, and wine donated by Dency Souval.