California Ballet Summer Newsletter Vol. 18, No. 4



Chopin Tribute

On May 1st, a very special evening of ballet to music by Frederick Chopin was presented at the Balboa Theater as part of the Chopin Bicentennial Celebration – celebrating the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth. The entire program was a journey of choreographic inspiration; from the romantic Les Sylphides by Diaghilev era choreographer Michael Fokine, to an exciting world premiere of Concerto #1 by Director Maxine Mahon. Four other ballets graced the stage: An excerpt from Charles Bennett’s Legend of Josefa; Kathy Auten’s Deux Nocturnes; Wayne Davis’s Barcarolle and Maxine Mahon’s Impromptu, which exhibited a few younger dancers who apprentice with the company. Bringing a level of elegance to an already exciting program, company pianists Marianna Nehoda and Lilia Ulman accompanied three of the ballets.

A Toast to Chopin

Following the evening performance of the Chopin Tribute, audience members were invited onstage for a special reception with refreshments and a chance to mingle with the California Ballet dancers and staff.

With a turnout of sixty-plus patrons, the reception was a smash-hit! It was a pleasure to see dancers interacting with audience members as they related their experiences leading up to and including the performance and hear audience member’s impressions. Attendees were able to relax with a glass of wine, graciously donated by Jim Jenkins of Jenkins Winery, and a plate of gourmet food from the scrumptious Bellagio Ristorante.


And the reviews are in…

"The major premiere, Concerto #1, let California Ballet focus on pure dance, which it did with considerable artistry. …featured pretty partnering… eight men …Curry was clearly the queen… then Lund, Kudo and Torres came on together… a trio of strong princesses. Les Sylphides requires a strong corps de ballet and the 18-woman corps was a well-drilled, graceful cloud of filmy white skirts. …Bernadette Torres had gorgeous musicality… Cassandra Lund energetically met the challenge of the Mazurka… dances with heart… Chie Kudo sparkled and showed what a brilliant dancer she can be." Janice Steinberg, SD Union Tribune

“Superb female corps de ballet…(Les Sylphides) simply beautiful to behold! …The Legend of Josefa…danced by Jennifer Curry – exquisite.” Rob Appel,

Chopin Tribute was polished and refreshing …with two live pianists and two premieres. Barcarolle… The lighthearted snapshot of a dance rehearsal showcased the personalities of a darling Jenny Baron and Oscar Burciaga. …Mahon knows how to put on a big show, and everything was big in her world premiere of Concerto No. 1: A cast of 20; … and the dancers were energized.” Kris Eitland, San Diego Arts,


Spotlight on Community Sponsor

Our heartfelt thanks to US Bank,

sponsor of the 2010 Choreographer’s Concert.


Every Member Counts…Help Us Get to the Second Act.

California Ballet’s 2010-2011 membership campaign is in full swing.

We have an exciting season planned with exclusive events for members including a special DVD – see details below.

Why donate?

Ticket sales pay for only half of the cost to produce the average ballet. By donating to the California Ballet, not only are you helping us Get to the Second Act, but you are also helping us give thousands of underserved children and adults the magic of live theatre performances through our Share the Art Program and our lecture demonstration series in schools.

Membership Does Have Its Benefits

As a CBC member you will receive a variety of discounts and benefits including complimentary tickets at higher levels, complimentary parking at CBC performances, invitations to special receptions, luncheons and dinners where you can meet the dancers, exclusive backstage tours, invitations to watch rehearsals, advance notice of performances and activities, discounts to local vendors and more.

Donate – By mail Attn. Membership Secretary, 4819 Ronson Court, San Diego, CA 92111; By phone (858) 560-5676 x18, or Online through our secure website

Renew your 2010-11 membership by Aug. 15 to receive a special Season 43 Preview DVD!


Did You Know…

●…we are the largest professional ballet company in San Diego?

●…we have 110 ballets in the repertoire?

●…we perform full-length classics, and are often accompanied by the San Diego Symphony?

●…we perform original premieres with guest choreographers?

●…we present international and world-renowned guest artists?

●…we rely on contributions for 48 % of total our budget?

●…ticket sales pay for only 52% of the cost to produce the average ballet?

●…we need your support to help under write the thousands of tickets we donate thru our Sharing the Art Program?

●…we have brought 2,500 lecture demonstrations to schools, serving over 1,000,000 San Diego students?

These are a few of the reasons we ask for your support.


Going Social; New Faces, New Friends

In late March and early April of this year, California Ballet Company launched an emergency fundraiser in an effort to confidently announce our forty-third season. Even in the wake of a turbulent economic downturn the fundraiser brought in $33,996.

The event melded the traditional methods of fundraising with the addition of a new online approach. Personal letters were sent out to long-time donors and friends, while the company built an all-new online social media network. In addition to the already existing website, California Ballet staff worked hard to create a Facebook page, launch a new Twitter account, start a YouTube channel, and create a fun and informative blog.

At the forefront of online fundraising is Facebook Causes. Through Causes, friends and fans can donate money, recruit friends and family to join their Cause, view and post videos and photos, share insights, and become part of a wide-spread online community. The turnout for our Cause was astounding: it currently boasts 274 members, and continuously to brings in donations. We encourage all of our friends and family to join the Cause and spread the word in order to broaden our online community.

The online social media world is new to organizations like our own, and we are defining what it means to be an online arts entity. Our efforts have been widely noticed by local media such as Fox 5 News, San Diego News Network, and the San Diego Union Tribune.

You can find links to our online social media sites in the pages section of the California Ballet Blog at www.californiaballet.wordpress. com.

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Love, Laughter and Loyalty


On May 6, 2010, the ballet world was made poorer by the passing of former California Ballet principal danseur, resident choreographer, instructor, ballet master, and friend, Paul Koverman. His loss will be felt throughout the San Diego community, and his presence will be missed by all the lives he touched during his prolific career. Paul first joined California Ballet Company in 1978 and was 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 the beautiful works he created on them.

A memorial celebrating Paul’s life and work was held at the California Ballet Studios on June 12th. His brother Don Koverman attended, bringing family photos and memories of dancing together in their youthimage, including a film of them dancing on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour in the 1960’s. The gathering was attended by friends, company alumni, former students, and dance professionals.

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


Annual Meeting — Past, Present and Future


California Ballet Association holds an annual meeting for it’s membership. This year’s event on Sunday, August 29, 2010 will include performances by dancers in the Junior and Senior Companies. The awards ceremony honors outstanding volunteers, dedicated and influential members, as well as the coveted Dancer of the Year.

Come prepared to bid on incredible auction items: Travel Packages; Dining Certificates; Private Ballet, Hip Hop, Musical Theater and Flamenco Lessons; Pilates, Gyrotonics and Muscle Activation Technique sessions; Massage; Balboa Theatre Tickets; Ballerina Quilt; Padres Tickets; NBC Studios Tour; 24 Hr. Fitness passes, Local and National Merchant Certificates; Golf; Hotel rooms and more!

California Ballet Center

Come join us for food, fun, and dancing!

$25 Adults, $15 Children

11:30am Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony



Textiles In Motion

The California Ballet Board of Directors hosted a reception on April 26th at the Textiles in Motion exhibit on display at the West Terminal of the San Diego International Airport. The exhibit displays costumes and renderings, and honors the craft of long time costume designer Flora Jennings Small. It will remain on display into September.

Ramona Finnila, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board Member and CBC Director Maxine Mahon addressed the small but eager audience. Ms. Finnila was passionate about the arts saying, “In the airport we have legacy carriers, the airlines that have lasimageted over the years. I think that ballet can be considered a legacy art form.” Ms. Mahon spoke of her long heritage in San Diego, her mother’s contribution to dance in San Diego and the history of the California Ballet.


Summer Intensives

California Ballet School hosted three very successful Summer Workshops in June.

The Beginning workshop, directed by company member Sarah Jones, explored the themes of Coppelia and Beauty and the Beast. Students, ages 5 to 9, enjoyed learning new dance styles such as tap, jazz and musical theatre.

The Intermediate Workshop featured company Principals Jennifer Curry and Vitaliy Nechay as instructors. Students, ages 10 to 12, thoroughly enjoyed Pilates and Daniel Marshall, a popular local contemporary artist.

The Advanced program was privileged to have Jonathan Sharp and Mark and Stephanie Lanham as teachers. Mr. Sharp, an ABT certified teacher, recently joined the faculty at Idyllwild Arts Academy. The Lanhams direct Landance School of Dance in Texas. Mark was a principal dancer for many years with the California Ballet Company.


Ballet Bites – A Taste of Transylvania


Join us October 23, 2010 for a daunting dinner and costume party followed by a performance of selections from the chilling San Diego sensation, Dracula. You will also be thrilled by the vivacity of long time favorite, Romanian Rhapsody.

October 23 & 24, 2010

California Ballet Theatre West

10/23 Dinner 6:30pm

Performance 8pm

10/24 Performance 1:00 & 5:30pm




10 CBA Board Meeting 6:00pm CB Centre

The Nutcracker Auditions – ages 4-7, 8-14 1:00, 3:00pm CB Centre

The Nutcracker Auditions – ages 15 and up 7:00pm CB Centre

29 Annual Membership Meeting & Luncheon 11:30am CB Centre


CBA Executive Board Meeting 11:30am CB Centre

Membership Dance-athon tba CB Centre

Buffet Rehearsal 11:30am CB Centre


Dinner —Ballet Bites 6:30pm CB Theatre West

23 Ballet Bites—A Taste of Transylvania 8:00pm CB Theatre West

24 Ballet Bites—A Taste of Transylvania 1:00 & 5:30pm CB Theatre West


9 Director’s Luncheon 11:30am CB Centre


The Nutcracker 7:00pm Mater Dei HS

7 CBA Board Meeting 6:00pm CB Centre

The Nutcracker 2:30 & 7:00pm Poway Ctr

The Nutcracker 1:00pm Poway Ctr

The Nutcracker 2:30 & 8:00pm Civic Theatre

The Nutcracker 1:00 & 5:30pm Civic Theatre

21 The Nutcracker 2:30 & 7:00pm Civic Theatre


Our Pointe Vol. 18, No. 4
Summer 2010

Our Pointe is published quarterly as a benefit for CBA members. Please direct all inquiries or comments to:

California Ballet Association, Inc.
4819 Ronson Court
San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 560-5676
Fax: (858) 560-0072
Maxine K. Mahon – CBC Director
Brad Matthews – CBC Photographer


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