Thursday, May 31, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
May 30 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
May 29 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
May 28 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
May 27 2012
Daily Stuff - Having house guests for about a week, so have to clean up the homestead today. Studios are pretty much closed today for Memorial Day weekend.
Saturday, May 26, 2012
May 26 2012
Daily Stuff - Today I had the pleasure of attending a wedding for a former SDB dancer, Laura Bauman. Lovely ceremony and event. Beautiful bride. More ex-SDB dancers as bridesmaids.
Friday, May 25, 2012
May 25 2012
Thursday, May 24, 2012
May 24 2012
Daily Stuff - Met with Steve Gunderson regarding Eternally Bad. Then went to the studio. Will have to replace yet another male dancer next season. Ah, well, thats life in the big ballet world. Then went to the San Diego SCPA for my second Zoot Suit workshop. The students seem to be excited with the difficulty of the swing dancing.
As far as Cirque du Soleil last night. The show was nice and entertaining, but I was a bit disappointed. I was told that there was one particular number by a couple on a trapeze that I would really enjoy. Unfortunately, they didn't perform last night :(
So I was anticipating it all night long... and then it didn't happen. A nice lesson to be learned.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
May 23 2012
Daily Stuff - Beginning of second rotation with the kids from Dewey. Simon says... First Position. level 5/6 tonight and then I may have snagged some "free" tickets to Cirque Du Soleil's touring show, Totem. Will let you know if it was brilliant.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
May 22 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
May 21 2012
Daily Stuff - Catching up in office. have a phone meeting on my Creative Catalyst (Eternally Bad) grant and then off to teach a swing dance workshop at the SD SCPA for Zoot Suit.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
May 20 2012
Daily Stuff - Last night, attended a party for Chelsy. She flew into town for the (now) annual celebration with her mum, Karen. Tonight, we will be going out for dinner either in La Jolla or at Baja Betty's in Hillcrest.
Labels: Chelsy Meiss
Saturday, May 19, 2012
May 19 2012
Daily Stuff - Third strategy meeting today as we work on a 5 year plan. We worked on crystalizing our future objectives and dealing with the larger picture of the outer community we will be dealing with. Heady stuff.
Friday, May 18, 2012
May 18 2012
Daily Stuff- Today we have a treat. Of sorts.
Here in San Diego, we have an organization called the Commission for Arts and Culture. The Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the city promoting, encouraging, and increasing support for the arts. The Commission is made up of... commissioners. One of their jobs is making site visits and interviewing local arts groups to get a better idea of the organizations. Today, I hosted one of the commissioners, Dea Hurston, at our offices and gave her a tour of the site.
The "official interview" is quoted below.
D - This is Dea Hurston with the San Diego Arts Commission in discussion with Javier Velasco co-founder/co-director of the San Diego Ballet. Hi Javier! Its great to be here for this visit.
J - Hi Dea! Glad to see you here in our neck of the woods.
D - Lets start with a brief history of the San Diego Ballet.
J- Well, the San Diego Ballet is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization that was founded in 1991. We did so in a close association with Robin Sheretz Morgan's San Diego Ballet School. But they are two separate and distinct entities.
The company has a large repertoire, much of it based on pieces created by me. We generally do about 2 or 3 world premieres a year. Our stuff is created with our diverse Southern California audience in mind. We feature pieces like "Mambomania" (set to the music of Perez Prado), "Opus... Swing!"(to big band music), " A Taste of Honey" (to Herb Alpert), lots of stuff to popular music. But we also do experimental pieces performed to the spoken word and classical ballets like Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night's Dream. We were the first San Diego Company to perform George Balanchine's Serenade and Rubies.
In the past, we have collaborated with the San Diego Symphony, Orchestra Nova, as well as dance organizations such as Culture Shock, San Diego Dance Theatre and others.
San Diego Ballet’s educational outreach program reaches thousands of San Diego County children every year, both through in-school outreach and educational matinees. Oh and we also tour. Every year, we take our Nutcracker and other ballets to the Mid and Southwest states.
D - The next question, Bring me up to date about your successes in the last year.
J - Well, the beginning of the year saw our re-staging of "Alice:Wonderland", which was part of a program that we do in collaboration with Young Audiences of San Diego and Culture Shock, a hip hop dance troupe. Every fall, we perform a series of 6 collaborative matinees for San Diego County School children. This is the 8th year of the highly successful collaboration. On the same program, we had two world premieres by me. One was a neoclassical piece set to a Stravinsky score and the other, in keeping with our mission, was set to new age mambo music from Cuba. It was called "Echale Salsita". Winter brought our "Nutcracker" onslaught. We toured our production to Montana. This is the 10th year, we have toured the show. In San Diego, we performed it at both the North Park Theatre (with the Grossmont Symphony and Master Chorale) and at Mandeville Auditoriium (with the San Diego Children's Choir). In February, we remounted our popular "Romeo et Juliet" as well as highlighted pas de deux from our past 20 years. March gave a sneak preivew of next year's world premiere, full-length "Don Juan". All the while, we continued presenting our educational outreach shows in schools throught the county, as far east as Alpine and as far North as Carsbad, with some trips to Imperial Beach. Oh and we also did a few industrials with the dancers where we flew out to Vegas.
D - Wow! It sounds like you have had a very exciting season.
J - Sure.
D - I am especially interested in Don Juan. Could your tell me more about that and any other plans you have for the upcoming season?
J - Ok. Well. I am not really that personally interested in story ballets. But our audiences love them. It also makes good commercial sense to build seasons around them. It doesn't hurt that I also direct and choreograph (and lately write) musicals. So I am comfortable with storytelling. And I want to make sure that we are being sensitive to our audince.
We have a large Hispanic community in San Diego. A very popular production in Mexico is called Don Juan Tenorio. They do it everywhere and it is often an annual event. My dad has often asked me, "Why doesn't anyone do it in San Diego?"
So I have been exploring different versions of the Don Juan tale (there are a few) and trying to find one that made sense for us. Both as something for our community and as something that would serve our dancers. And thanks to Lord Byron, I think I have come up with it.
We are also very fortunate in that we have the service of a very excellent, mature male dancer, Max Tchernychev. Someone that the piece can be built around. So I am am very excited about this piece. But that's not all we are doing.
Our fall show will, of course, feature a another premiere, yet to be announced, as well as returning favorites. And Nutcracker is ... Nutcrcaker. Eternal. We also have another interesting project. I will be choreographing Chopin's 24 Preludes as a web series. One prelude will be choreographed and presented online each week of our season. People can tune in every Friday night to see a new piece.
D - Did I say, "Wow that's exciting already?"
J - Kind of.
D - At this point in time, what is SDB's greatest struggle?
J - Hmmm. Hmmm. I can come up with fancy way to say it or beat around the bush... but like all non-profits, our greatest struggle is identifying and securing the funds necessary to not just survive in this economy but to grow, flourish, and best serve our community. Some of this comes from needing to increase brand awareness. Some comes from educating the public, donors, funders, and people who have lots of money that arts (in general and ballet specifically) are not just worthy of being funded, but essential to the well being of a community.
D - It seems like you have a firm grasp on the issue and that's half the battle on overcoming the struggle.
J - Yes, grasp. Such a desperate word.
D - What would the commission be surprised to learn about the San Diego Ballet?
J - Oh, I don't know. Does anything surprise anyone who has had a long association with the arts and the way they are managed and survive? But I do think the commission might be surprised by the national reputation and acknowledgement of the company and its good works. It's very difficult in these days of shrinking newspapers and magazines to get reliable articles that speak to this. However, every year, we recieve hundreds of inquires by dancers seeking employment, who want to be part of what we are doing.
D - Thank you, Javier. You have been very open and gracious.
J - My mother taught me well.
D - I have one last question for you...
J - $5,000,0000
D - No. As a commissioner, what is the most important thing you want me to take away from this visit?
J - Well, we haven't talked that much about happiness here. I know that might sound silly, but I really believe in that whole "pursuit of happiness" thing. It is one of the company's guiding principles. So the thing that I'd like you to take away is knowing that we really are happy to be doing this work. We really are happy to be working with the commisision. And we really are happy to be part of the struggle.
D - I love that Javier. Oh, I am sorry. Unfortunately we are out of time.
J - No problema.
D - Thank you so much for spending this time with me. I learned alot and I feel I know more about the San Diego Ballet. Dea Hurston signing off from Dance Place San Diego.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
May 17 2012
Daily Stuff - Well good news and bad news. Hired a new male dancer and lost a male dancer that was going to be joining the company next year. Oh well, back to the audition submissions.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
May 16 2012
Daily Stuff - Teaching Dewey kids today and then Level 5/6 at SDSB.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
May 15 2012
Daily Stuff - Counting today, 3 more Florence Elementary School classes. So have to finish up their ballet today. Next week it all goes on the stage for rehearsal. And then the week after we perform for the school.
Monday, May 14, 2012
May 14 2012
Daily Stuff - Office work and had a parent meeting for the parents and students at the SCPA involved with Zoot Suit.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
May 13 2012
Daily Stuff - Happy Mother's Day! My father and I are taking my mom and Karen out to lunch at Karen's favorite mexican lamb restaurant. Rehearsals are going on at the studio for some upcoming community perfornances. Mainly students involved but some company members will also do appearances.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
May 12 2012
Daily Stuff - Not too much to report today. Business as usual.
Friday, May 11, 2012
May 11 2012
Daily Stuff - Today I attended an all day arts summit at the San Diego County Office of Education. Sat next to Molly P. from Malashock Dance. Some interesting new viewpoints, but I would have preferred a little more concrete info to take away. The keynote speaker was a nice American Mexican artist who spoke about his experiences going to school in the Imperial Valley.
Afterwards went to a mtg at the Rep to hash out an agenda for another mtg on Monday. :)
And the allergies keep making me a miserable, drippy mess.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
May 10 2012
Daily Stuff - Weather change and allergies struck. Stayed home to decompress my stuffy head. :(
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
May 9 2012
Daily Stuff - Taught the Dewey Elementary kids today. They learned how to do a 3 step turn and a polka. Then had a nice class with Level 5 at SDSB. We learned how to do a pas de chat but entournent, which means turning.
Went to see a touring production of Chicago tonight. I wish I could say some nicer things about it but it was just so glossy and slick in a non exciting way. The revival restaging has none of the danger or seediness of the original show. Just a lot of nice bodies slinking around in moves from pretty much every Bob Fosse show.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
May 8 2012
Daily Stuff - I spoke to soon. I got a call late last night form Beverly telling me she was stranded in Texas and could I please cover her classes again today. Grrrrrrrrr. I hate having to be anywhere early in the morning. I have been a night person since junior high. I used to watch the old Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder, that came on AFTER the Tonight Show. But it was fine today. Just cleaned up their dances.
Teaching at Florence today. Counting today, I have three more classes and then a performance with the kids.
Monday, May 07, 2012
May 7 2012
Daily Stuff - Last day covering for Beverly Norriss at the SCPA. I actually had to cover for another teacher as well, as they had a rehearsal at the high school campus and that allowed her to begin that rehearsal earlier. So 6 hours of teaching.
Back in the office after a long weekend. Had a couple of nice dancers audition for the company.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
May 6 2012
Daily Stuff - Just got back from Los Angeles. Got to see an exhibition of mexican and american female surreal artists at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was entitled In Wonderland. Thought it might give me some insights into Alice:Wonderland, but I was more inspired by the Airstream trailer, Eames chairs and 60's bathing suits at the California design exhibit next door. I think that the In WOnderland show was just a bit too overwhelming. Surrealism is challenging enough when you are just dealing with one artist's inner workings. But this had 50 different artists. It was the kind of thing that you would need to spend a week dissecting.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
May 5 2012
Daily Stuff - Oops! So much going on didn't realize that I missed a day. Caught up now.
May 4 2012
Daily Stuff - Went up to LA for the weekend. Visiting a friend in the hospital. Seeing some pals whose birthdays are this weekend. Thats about it.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
May 3 2012
Daily Stuff - Busy today subbing for Bev at the middle school. Then auditioned a girl for Zoot Suit at the San Diego SCPA. And then dropped by the SCPA in Chula Vista to choreograph a little piece for an old friend.