Thank you for celebrating with us!

PaulKoverman

Last Saturday, June 12, 2010, we gathered at the California Ballet Center to celebrate the life of Paul Koverman. We’d like to thank those of you that were able to join us, it was a beautiful memorial with wonderful speeches and a fantastic turnout. Friends from several generations of California Ballet family came together to share memories, share tears, and most importantly, share laughter.

To those of you who couldn’t join us, we know that you were here in spirit. We received many wonderful emails and comments on this blog as well as Facebook. It’s wonderful to see how many people Paul touched, and how much he meant to each of you. More importantly, it’s wonderful for his family to see and hear what he meant to all of us, as we plan to gather all of your comments together and send them to his family.

The memorial started with a brief introduction from Ballet Mistress Judy Sharp, welcoming everyone to the memorial and thanking them for joining us.

Paul young

After the introduction, we were treated to a wonderful speech from Don Koverman, Paul’s brother. He shared with us the sides of Paul with which we may not have been familiar. For example, did you know that Paul was a child star in a Vaudeville act with his brother Don? They would travel together performing numbers that encompassed dancing, acting, and singing. That’s right! Paul was a wonderful tenor! They also appeared on television together in The Amateur Hour. Don was kind enough to share a clip showing a young tap-dancing Paul.

 

Paul uncropped

Don then summed up his speech by reading a letter to those gathered, written by his and Paul’s father. The letter detailed how much it meant to him to hear how much his son touched those in his life, and to see just how many people he touched.

After Don, Director Maxine Mahon spoke. She shared with us Paul’s time with California Ballet, and how much strength he gave the company. She told us how Paul was always quick to laugh or make a joke, and that she would miss laughing with him more than anything.

 

1983Arabesque

Following Maxine, Judy Sharp spoke to those gathered. She shared with us what it was like to work with Paul as a colleague, and how strong was his love of the art form. She spoke of his ability to inspire dancers, and how amazing he was in his position as a ballet master.

Yvonne Montelius, former Principal with California Ballet and a close friend of Paul’s, spoke after Judy. She shared with the audience all of Paul’s strengths as a dancer, choreographer, ballet master, and friend. Her speech was emotionally charged, and left those in attendance with a stronger appreciation of the man.

 

Paul with students BW

Interspersed between the speeches throughout the evening were clips of video detailing Paul’s entire career with the California Ballet Company. The videos were wonderfully narrated by former CBC Prima Ballerina, Denise Dabrowski. From performances in which he starred to productions featuring his choreography, we were treated to a wonderful and varied selection that showed just how prolific Paul was during his twenty-odd years of working with the Company.

The formal memorial service was concluded with food and beverages in an adjoining studio, where old friends and new acquaintances were able to come together and share stories of Paul. There were tears, to be sure. More often than not, however, there were smiles and laughter because, although he was a stern taskmaster in the ballet studio, smile and laughter are what Paul engendered in his personal life.

SSCAN10060116070 We’ll miss you, Paul.

If you weren’t able to join us this past Saturday, we will be posting pieces of the memorial on YouTube in the near future. Check back in for an update.

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