Celebrating Paul Koverman

The ballet world was made poorer yesterday by the passing of former Principal Danseur, choreographer, instructor, Ballet Master, and friend, Paul Koverman. His loss will be felt throughout the San Diego community, and his presence will be sorely missed by all of the lives he touched during his prolific career in ballet.


Paul Koverman

Paul first joined California Ballet Company in 1978 and danced as a Principal Danseur until 1984. His impeccable technique and towering presence dazzled audiences and could be easily seen in the students he instructed and dancers he directed as our Ballet Master from 1991 to 2004.

His singular choreographic style pushed our dancers’ technical skills and artistic sensitivities, ever propelling the Company to new heights and continually pleasing audience and critic alike. The California Ballet repertoire was forever flavored and fleshed out by his artistic genius, with such beautiful works as:

  • Breathless
  • Clowns
  • Elegy
  • Without Title
  • Nuns and Angels
  • Quantic Class
  • Symphonic Dances
  • In Memory of . . . United We Stand

You will be forever in our minds and our hearts, Paul. We can never thank you enough for the art, ambition, and love you gave the dancers, the Company, and the world of ballet.


9 Responses to “Celebrating Paul Koverman”

  1. Bill Calhoun Says:

    Paul was such a good teacher. He truly understood how ballet technique worked and he helped so many of us learn “how to work.” Paul’s classes were always so much more than ballet exercises. I am fortunate to have had him as one of my teachers. …so sad to hear that he has passed away

  2. Jillana Says:

    Paul will be missed, a wonderful teacher and a good friend.

  3. Jessica Touchet Yergensen Says:

    I am so sad to hear of Paul’s passing. I agree with Bill in that Paul’s classes were so much more than ballet exercises. He always brought out the best in his students. I feel so lucky to have learned from his expertise. He will be missed.

  4. Susi Mitchell Says:

    His ability as both teacher and artist was astounding. He, like no other, enabled me to dance my very best. I’m deeply saddened to learn of Paul’s passing.

  5. Phil Shay Says:

    I knew Paul when he was in grade school. My condolences. I can still remember his great performances as he delightfully entertained his classmates with his tap dancing skills in our variety shows. Thanks for the memories Paul.

  6. Maureen Stokes Says:

    Paul was a mentor to so very many fine dancers. His artist will live on in the thousands of lives he gifted with his knowledge and support. Paul we will miss you. Rest well that your passion has been passed along and will be nurtured and continued for many years to come..

  7. Judy Sharp Says:

    Hello to all of you who are remembering Paul. We have settled on Saturday, June 12th at 4:30pm, here at CBC, for a Memorial celebrating Paul’s life and work. A more formal announcement than this will go out shortly. Keep checking here. If you want to be added to our email list for this event, send it to jsharp@californiaballet.org

  8. Kenda Newbury Says:

    Hello to all that experienced Mr. Paul Koverman. I had the utmost pleasure in gaining invaluable experiences and opportunities from Paul when he was Ballet Master of the Phoenix School of Ballet, originally founded by Mr. Kelly Brown and managed by Dr. Timona Pittman.

    I have wanted to make the short trip to San Diego to get back in touch with Paul, and alas that is too late. I know that he knows how much his work impacted my life and that of my families and many families. Thanks for posting this – although it’s only now that I’m reading it. I’m very sorry I won’t be able to attend the Celebration of his Life but do know that he touches as many lives here in Arizona as I’m sure he did in California.

    God Bless you Paul !
    Love and Kisses – Kenda Newbury and her mom, Gail Newbury (“Your” pianist for years in Phoenix).

  9. David Starry Says:

    Thank you Paul for constantly asking why! Your search for more has inspired an entire career for me lasting 27 years in dance so far. Your work in Phoenix, AZ has spread across the US. I tell stories of you still to this day to young dancers. You were both frightening and supportive at the same time. I cannot thank you enough for your education.

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