Summertime at California Ballet

SanDiegoSummerSummer’s a busy time for everyone. Traveling to far-off places, surfing on the beach, visiting family – summer has always been the season to take time for yourself. While we’re not performing at California Ballet during the summer, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t still working hard instead of hardly working. Sure, we take an occasional day off to go to our amazing San Diego beaches, or head to the nearby Cuyamaca Mountains for some much-deserved R & R. But when we get back to the studio, it’s right back to work making ballet magic and creating art.

So you may be asking, “Really? What is it that a ballet company does during its off-season?”

Well, let us tell you.

When we ended our 43rd season in May with the Choreographer’s Concert, the company’s attention went to supporting our school during the All School Concert, which took place in June. California Ballet School doesn’t just slap together a recital, they put together a full-fledged dance production which stars its students. This year it was Dancing Around the World in 80 Days. The students were phenomenal, and the show thoroughly enjoyable. asc FOR FV

Company dancers worked hard as teachers and choreographers for the production, as well as lending their support as enthusiastic audience members. Three company members even went so far as to flesh out the production as performers. Oscar Burciaga, Antonia Delgado, and Joseph Shumate filled the acting roles that pushed the show’s story. While not dancing, the three Company dancers gave gut-busting performances filled with comic antics while donning silly costumes and believable foreign accents.

See, our dancers can do more than just dance!

Beg Summer 2010

In July, things ramped up at the California Ballet Centre as the school’s summer intensive workshop began. Hundreds of students filed through the doors for two months, partaking in dance intensive workshops taught by Calvin Kitten (CBC and Joffrey Alum), Marlene Wallace (CBC’s first Ballerina), and Jonathan Sharp (ABT certified instructor and Broadway performer), to name just a few.

poway lake

Meanwhile, the Company, with the assistance of CBC alumna Talina Del Rio, hosted a California Ballet Picnic at Poway Lake. Once an annual event, the Company plans to reinstate this summer tradition. Turnout was great, and people had a wonderful time riding paddle boast, going fishing, and just enjoying each other’s company on another San Diego Summer day.

See, even ballet dancers know how to have fun!

DSCN9939Not the entire summer was dedicated to fun and games, however. Hard at work behind the scenes, the California Ballet marketing department has been tirelessly working to create a new, edgier image for the company. The 44th Season will see a revamped look and a more whimsical face for the company – staring with the California Ballet season brochure and posters.

Pulling on the talenDSCN9984ts of Company photographer, Brad Matthews, the marketing might of Marketing Director Diane Grosman, and the social media know-how of Joe Shumate, we had a lot of fun and not a few laughs during special photo sessions with our dancers. Looking to create something that hasn’t been seen before, while still communicating that we’re a ballet company, we tried some new things this year. Piles of nuts, giant playing cards, and dozens of pairs of shoes came into play. There wasDSCN9954 a lot of trial and error, and some lost time as we continually burst out into fits of laughter. The dancers were all good sports, and went along with the silly things we asked of them. In the end, we got some great photos.

Here are three examples of our work, and the official announcement of California Ballet Company’s 2011-2012 44th Season:


Follow Alice down the rabbit hole!

Alice in Wonderland

Poway Center for the Performing Arts

October 15 & 16

For more info or to buy tickets CLICK HERE!

chie edit for SB

Plenty of Nuts, Only One Nutcracker!

The Nutcracker

 With the San Diego Symphony

San Diego Civic Theatre

December 17, 18, 21-23

For more info or to purchase tickets CLICK HERE!


It’s All About the Shoes . . .


San Diego Civic Theatre

May 5 & 6, 2012

For more info CLICK HERE!

*Tickets for Cinderella are not yet on sale*

Underscoring our new Company image was the change of name for California Ballet Association members.

For those of you who don’t know, when you donate to California Ballet, you become a member. As a member you receive newsletter, specialized emails, invites to special events (like the picnic), special offers and discounts, ticket exchanges, and more.

Well they are no longer member, now they are pARTners. Why? Because the simple fact is that without your support, we couldn’t do what we do nearly as well as we do it. (Follow that?) You help us spread the word, fill the audience, your donations cover the cost of our outreach programs, your volunteered time makes our special events a reality. You are, in truth, partners.

12 days logo

In appreciation for our pARTners, and to celebrate the inauguration of the new name, we’re holding a one-of-a-kind giveaway called The Twelve Days of Nutcracker. When you donate, depending upon how much you donate, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for twelve special prizes that only California Ballet can offer. Would you like to conduct the San Diego Symphony? How about perform a walk-on role in The Nutcracker. Have you ever toured a major television news studio? These are just a few of the prizes you will be entered to win.

If you want to learn more about the giveaway or being a pARTner, CLICK HERE!



Most recently all of California Ballet’s pARTners gathered at Andiamo! Italian Ristorante in Tierra Santa, CA for the California Ballet Association’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony. The dry business of running the ballet company was quickly disposed of, and then the fun began. A silent auction with items like four tickets to the Padres, special awards given out to well-deserving pARTners, a sumptuous Italian meal, and an address given by special guest Marianne Kushi of San Diego NBC 7/39 filled an afternoon of camaraderie and merriment.

Ms. Kushi’s address was inspirational and pertinent. She urged pARTners to get involved with California Ballet Company’s social media network. She suggested that everyone start by signing up for Twitter and following the company (who’s Twitter handle is @CABalletCo). Ms. Kushi likened social media to a bullet train traveling at 170mph. It’s here to stay, and its moving, changing, and growing incredibly fast. She prompted attendees to become involved and either “. . . get onboard or be left behind.” Thank you Ms. Kushi for your remarks, and we prompt our readers to get on the train by CLICKING HERE.

As a quick nod to the special individuals whose dedication to California Ballet was recognized this year with an award, here is a list of some of the award winners:

Dancer of the Year: Vitaliy Nechay

Corporate Partner: The Mailing Group

Director’s Tribute: Jonathan Stubbs

Diane Metzler Youth Volunteer: Katie Morone

Presidential Award: San Diego Theatres, Inc. (under the leadership of Don Telford)

Student of the Year: Hannah Federman


Summer was full and frantic here at California Ballet, as you can see. Now that we’re swiftly approaching Labor Day, it’s time for us to turn our attention to the next season. Rehearsals are beginning soon for Alice in Wonderland, and auditions for The Nutcracker are this weekend! Time is moving fast, and Season 44 will be here before we know it.


Alice in Wonderland, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella are coming together for a season of sensational storytelling. Don’t miss out on a moment of the family fun!

We’ll see you at the ballet!

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