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Amy Reusch

Ballet Pacifica

22 posts in this topic

Lyon has run an event- and party-planning company since 2000. She planned her own wedding to William H. Lyon, director of corporate affairs for William Lyon Homes Inc., one of the county's leading homebuilders.

from OC Register: Ballet Pacifica Puts Lyon in First Position

Is this what one calls "damning with faint praise"? Just curious. Weddings are productions, but they don't usually make resumes, do they?

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It seems that Ms. Lyons' resume needs as much padding as possible. I would love to see more women in AD positions and other senior administrative jobs, but it doesn't seem that Ms. Lyons has quite the experience that either Martins or Baryshnikov had when they became ADs. :wink:

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Since her phenomenal final Giselle with ABT, Amanda McKerrow and her husband John Gardner, former ABT soloist, have been quietly growing Ethan Stiefel's Ballet Pacifica:

"... in the true tradition of quality ballet, their motto remains “first a school”—incidentally, the most famous quote about Balanchine ever. McKerrow and Gardner will teach full-time their first year before focusing their energy on the company.

“This year, we will raise the level of the training, take it to a higher level,” McKerrow says; already this fall, they’ve added point and technique classes to build strength and endurance—plus an emphasis on teaching a technique that reflects the range of American dance. “Today’s American dancer has to be prepared to do a diversity of styles,” McKerrow explains. Eventually, the school will act as a feeder for the company."

The full article, which includes a photo of Gardner lifting McKerrow in class:

http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/05/50/art-khuri.php

Although sights are really set on Fall, 2006, there will be a children's program in October:

"Ballet Pacifica Academy will be presenting a new program this fall for our Children's Series at the Laguna Festival Forum Theatre on October 22 and 23. The fall program will present two new premieres: a newly choreographed ballet by choreographer, Charles Maple, Why do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears?, as well as the colorful and entertaining new ballet, The Monster Boogie and Other Dances, choreographed by Lorin Johnson and set to the music of the beloved song-writer for children, Laurie Berkner"

and a Nutcracker season with some interesting guest stars.

The performance schedule is:

December 9-24, 2005

December 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, and 23 at 7:30pm

December 10, 11, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 23 at 2:00pm

December 24 at 11:00am

Guest Artist Schedule

Sascha Radetsky and Stella Abrera

(American Ballet Theatre)

12/13 @ 7:30pm

12/14 @ 7:30pm

12/22 @ 7:30pm

12/23 @ 2:00pm

Douglas Gawriljuk and Marife Gimenez

(Ballet Gamonet Maximum Dance - formerly Miami City Ballet)

12/15 @ 7:30pm

12/17 @ 7:30pm

12/18 @ 7:30pm

12/20 @ 7:30pm

12/21 @ 7:30pm

Tickets are on sale for both programs, with location and ticketing information at:

http://www.balletpacifica.org/performing.htm

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Playbill reports that Gillian Murphy may join Ethan Stiefel's Ballet Pacifica for the 2006-2007 season, requesting a year's leave of absence from ABT.

http://www.playbillarts.com/news/article/3055.html

"... Gillian Murphy, a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and also Stiefel’s girlfriend, has requested a year’s leave from ABT to perform with Ballet Pacifica full time in its inaugural season, 2006-07. She said that ABT artistic director Kevin McKenzie was supportive of her plan, but that nothing is official yet.

The company is changing financially as well, with a budget that will rise to $6.2 million, with $3.2 million yet to be raised. According to the Register, the company’s board now has New York-based members on it, which will give Ballet Pacifica a national profile and could attract wealthy donors from other parts of the county."

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Re: Ballet Pacifica's possible expansion northward --

Stiefel said, “My hope is we have a performing presence in L.A. I see it as a necessity to achieve what is our goal—to be Southern California’s resident company.”

Sounds like what Villella's Miami City Ballet has done for South Florida, with regular subscription seasons in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Naples, in addition to the Miami performances. In fact, I'm told more tickets are sold in West Palm than in Miami itself for the 4-program regular season.

It's great for audiences -- but a bit hard on smaller, already established local companies.

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I don't think that Gillian Murphy's possible leave of absence to dance with Ballet Pacifica in 2006 should be presented in an alarming fashion to ABT fans. According to the LA Times(May 15, 2005), Ballet Pacifica's 2006 season will begin with some touring in September, followed by its Nutcracker Season. Hardly a 'threat' to ABT's May-July 2006 Met season.

From their website, it seems they are first giving priority to their school, with company auditions scheduled from February on. Auditions schedule:

http://www.balletpacifica.org/company.htm

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For a fuller version of the above story - which Playbill mostly borrowed from the Orange County Register - click here:

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/enter...icle_705808.php

Not sure how I feel about Playbill's trend of reporting news stories from other papers, using only that paper's article as its primary source and frequently lifting entire quotes and sections from the original article. The paper only receives credit as "The Orange County register reports" in the first paragraph of the article, and there is no link within. Kind of takes the wind out of an article that another reporter worked hard to create...

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:yahoo:

Not sure how I feel about Playbill's trend of reporting news stories from other papers, using only that paper's article as its primary source and frequently lifting entire quotes and sections from the original article.  The paper only receives credit as "The Orange County register reports" in the first paragraph of the article, and there is no link within.  Kind of takes the wind out of an article that another reporter worked hard to create...

Good point, art, but hardly different from a tv (or radio or even other newspaper) report that "the Orange County Register today reported that . . . According to the Register, . . ." Happens all the time.

However, I'd definitely welcome a link.

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ABT's site reports that their Studio Company will join forces with Ethan Stiefel's Ballet Pacifica for their Nutcracker season. This looks like a great opportunity to see some exceptional young dancers.

Quoting Ballet Pacifica's site:

"This year’s production marks the beginning of an exciting transition for Ballet Pacifica. With new Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel at the helm, Ballet Pacifica’s “The Nutcracker” will offer new choreography, dazzling young dancers from the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, acclaimed guest artists and Ballet Pacifica’s own Academy students, who will add a new sparkle to the family Christmas favorite that has been presented to Orange County audiences by Ballet Pacifica since 1967.

This year’s Nutcracker will be choreographed by Brian Reeder. A former dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Mr. Reeder choreographs many works for the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, as well as various other companies across the United States. The production will remain true to the traditional Christmas story of Clara and her beloved nutcracker doll, providing time-honored yet exciting family entertainment for Southern California audiences."

Details:

http://www.balletpacifica.org/nutcracker.htm

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Ballet Pacifica's "Nutcracker"

December 13th at 7:30

Casting:

Fritz......Daron Pons

Sugar Plum Fairy.....Stella Abrera

Cavalier.......Sascha Radetsky

Snow Queen.....Leann Underwood

Snow King.......Eric Tamm

Doll......Belle Riley

Spanish Woman....Nicole Graniero

Spanish Man.....Tom Forster

Arabian woman...Isabella Boylston

Arabian Man...Cory Stearns

Chinese... Danielle Schulz

Russian......Roddy Doble and Gray Davis

Dew Drop....Allison Miller

Being minutes away from the Irvine Barclay Theater, I couldn't resist attending Ballet Pacifica's new "Nutcracker" under the artistic direction of Ethan Stiefel. The choreography is credited to Brian Reeder, with additional chroeography by John Gardner, Lorin Johnson and Amanda McKerrow. This was a tastefully produced production that combined both Academy students with the ABT Studio Company dancers and the guest ABT Soloists Stella Abrera and Sascha Radetsky as Sugar Plum and Cavalier. This rendition was a traditional storyline. The children and corps roles were danced by BP Academy sudents. The meatier parts were handed to a talented ABT Studio group. But it was the presence of Abrera and Radetsky that was the highlight of the evening. Stella danced with clear and beautifully phrased elegance. And her Cavalier delivered his solo with bravado and clean technique. Both have a wonderful warmth in their stage presence and the crowd of young ones in the audience cheered as they finished.

I enjoyed the performance of Isabella Boylston with her high extension in Arabian. She is a shorter dancer but that did not stop her from tantalizing us with her lovely lines and dazzling arabesques. Cory Stearns made a fine partner for her. Nicole Graniero is another one to watch. In the Spanish variation, she had great command of the stage and wonderful technique. Allison Miller gave a lovely performance of Dewdrop. However, I felt the choreography limited her from stretching out and showing her full potential. She seems to be a good turner and very musical in her phrasing.

This was a rare chance to see these East Coast Studio kids here in Southern California. It was worth the effort and the money ( a steep ticket price for a school production!) to catch a glimpse of the Studio Company members and two bright stars of ABT.

(And a glimpse of Ethan Stiefel who was in the audience!) :thanks:

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Does anyone have any information for their upcoming season (06/07) beyond Nutcracker?

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It's official: Ethan Stiefel has departed Ballet Pacifica, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.

In his statement, Stiefel offered to consult through July 30. Wolfgram said the board was likely to agree to that offer.

Stiefel told The Times last year that he planned to hire a company of 20 to 25 permanent members by this month, schedule 25 to 30 weeks of repertory performances in Southern California and on tour and present a production of George Balanchine's lavish "Nutcracker" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in December.

Auditions were held in Orange County and New York, but no dancers were contracted.

The cancellation leaves OCPAC less than eight months to find a new "Nutcracker."

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This Link continues the story. I was astonished by how little money the new administration of the company had been able to raise, despite the star power of Stiefel, McKerrow, etc.

Only $1.5 million pledged towards a $6 million goal. As a comparison, California Ballet has an $1.3 million annual budget -- quite tiny. Whereas, in Chicago, the fund-raising goal for bringing NYCB and its orchestra for a single week of performances is $1.8 million, with $1.1 already raised.

What is going on in southern California?

A note in The San Diego Union-Tribune on the departure of Ethan Stiefel from Ballet Pacifica.
The season cancellation and Stiefel's resignation come on the heels of mid-March resignations by executive director Tom Gulick and development director Lori Duperon. As to whether Ballet Pacifica will scale back and position itself as a regional rather than national company, “I think that's the question of the hour,” says Melody Wolfgram, a San Juan Capistrano business consultant who became the company's interim management director last week. “We have to take a step back and look at who we are, what we are, and how we will proceed.”

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This Link continues the story. I was astonished by how little money the new administration of the company had been able to raise, despite the star power of Stiefel, McKerrow, etc.

Only $1.5 million pledged towards a $6 million goal. As a comparison, California Ballet has an $1.3 million annual budget -- quite tiny. Whereas, in Chicago, the fund-raising goal for bringing NYCB and its orchestra for a single week of performances is $1.8 million, with $1.1 already raised.

What is going on in southern California?

Try watching the Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo. :P . You'll see where the money goes in the OC, :dry:

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What is going on in southern California?

Don't you know? Ballet is dead in southern California. Ballet Pacifica went from a mid-level ballet company with a dream of a world class ballet company to now a lowly regional ballet company all within one year. This is what ballet in southern California is like.

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Wonderful news for Ballet Pacifica ..........Evelyn Cisneros and Stephen Legate will be the new Ballet Pacifica School directors. Evelyn has been working in the education of children since retiring as an SFB principle dancer. Both are such great people and talented professionals. I wish them a healthy future in the O.C.! Welcome~ I believe this to be a wonderful replacement for Stieffel and co.

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Looking at the Playbill Article:

Evelyn Cisneros-Legate, a longtime principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, has been named director of Ballet Pacifica's school

No mention of Mr. Legate is made in regards to Ballet Pacifica.

The OC register article mentions his retirement. No mention is made that he will have anything to do with the school.

Her husband, San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Stephen Legate, is retiring from the company with a special performance tonight.

Again the Los Angeles Times article makes no mention of any connection between Mr. Legate and Ballet Pacifica.

As wonderful as it will be for the students to have Ms. Cisneros as academy director, it was also wonderful to have Ms. McKerrow. One can only wonder what is the root cause of having 3 academy directors within a 12 month period. It cannot be a very positive atmosphere for children not knowing how long this administration will last, if the past is any indicator.

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You are correct, tutumaker. No mention of Stephen Legate being involved with the BP school in the press releases. It mentions that he will be attending chiropractic school in the Fall. I would guess that when Ethan left BP, all those that he brought with him left also.

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I would guess that when Ethan left BP, all those that he brought with him left also.

From the start I always interpreted it as a packaged deal. So no surprise there.

Mrs. Cisneros-Legate is/was a wonderful artist and totally committed to the art form. With so many "career transitions" happening at SF Ballet right now and her connections in general, it will be exciting to observe what Evelyn brings to BP. :shake:

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Forgive me if this is heading off on a tangent, but it's been driving me nuts and Googling didn't yield an answer. Isn't Legate semi-famous in dancing circles for also competing in something like cycling or swimming or triathloning? I seem to recall reading somewhere that he did, but I can't find confirmation. I just always love hearing about dancers who are able to do something physical outside the dance realm.

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