The audience at the Center for Performing Arts was moved to its feet by the San Jose Ballet’s Gala Season Opener Saturday night (11.3.12) Surprise: It opened with the Star Spangled Banner. The audience stood up and began to sing, with no prompting. The Gala proceeded with a variety of music, dance and moods. If you were there, wasn’t it great?! If you weren’t, watch for performances to come.
I found myself saying WOW, over and over. I hope I didn’t bother the people next to me. The dancers were wonderfully excellent. The choreography and costumes were outstanding and the live music, directed by George Daugherty, lived up to expectations (this, apparently, is the first year, or the first after some time, that there has been an orchestra in the pit).
The dancing was exquisite – I haven’t been moved like this since I saw Margot Fonteyn, a very long time ago. We had been wondering about the sources of the incredible talent we were enjoying. One answer came when students of the Ballet San Jose School took the stage in the Polonaise from the Sleeping Beauty. They were delightful and thoroughly professional.
The music of violin soloist Rachel Lee throbbed, wept and soared, adding a remarkable dimension to the stories on stage. Kristin Clayton, of Teatro Zinzani among other venues, both soloed and led the Golden Gate Boys Choir.
In addition to the cheers from the audience throughout the evening at particularly magical points, there was a standing ovation at the final curtain.
Watch for the Ballet’s Nutcracker December 8-23, a new version of a traditional holiday favorite. After the first of the year, beginning in February, the Ballet will be presenting 3 programs, including a World premiere and 5 Company premieres. For more information, you can check out their website at www.balletsj.org or call 408-288-2800.
By the way, Ballet San Jose students will be part of the entertainment at the Santana Row tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday, November 13 at 7 pm.