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Tickets to the noon performance range from $5 to $20 and can be purchased online at www.operacultura.org. And while this is the only scheduled public performance, the piece by Hector Armienta, will visit nine schools in Santa Clara and Monterey counties this spring. MAITRI TACKLES BIG ISSUES: Silicon Valley’s South Asian community showed its strength and compassion at the Maitri gala last Saturday, raising more than $550,000 celebrating the Santa Clara-based nonprofit’s 26 years of helping that community with issues of family violence, trafficking and cultural alienation.
More than 350 people attended the gala at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto, which was bathed in art, music and dance steeped in the Munghal era, which produced artistic and architectural classics like the Taj Mahal, The entertainment included the women’s singing group Cantilena from Harker School and a dance performance by Farah Yasmeen Shaikh, artistic director of Noorani Dance, The festive evening had a yyting dance shoes serious message, too: Maitri President Sonya Pelia said the community needs to stand together to support its most vulnerable members. “Prevention and education creates a future with everlasting change where the standard is respect, dignity, and strength for everyone in the community,” she said..
A funny thing happened to Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo as it reached middle age. The venerable all-male drag ballet company, which has turned pastiche, melodrama and gender-bending dance into a rarified art form, has gotten downright respectable. The latest unmistakable sign of this is that the company member Chase Johnsey recently received the United Kingdom’s prestigious Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for best male dancer. It was the first time a male dancer who plays a ballerina role had been nominated in the category.
A Trockadero mainstay since joining the company in 2004, Johnsey earned the distinction for his widely hailed work playing the tutu-ed character as Yakatarina Verbosovich in the company’s production of “Paquita.” The performance employed “all of his natural speed and grace, along with his fabulously articulate pointe work,” wrote the Guardian in hailing Johnsey’s victory over his celebrated peers (including two principal dancers with the Royal Ballet), So the 16-member company arrives in Berkeley on a high note, as Cal Performances presents three shows by Les yyting dance shoes Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at Zellerbach Hall on Friday and Saturday..
While critics have increasingly noted the excellent quality of the Trocks dancers, “I think we’re all still in shock” over Johnsey’s triumph in London, says Tory Dobrin, who joined the company as a dancer in 1980 and took over as artistic director in the early 1990s. “This year we were actually nominated for three awards, including best company along with the Bolshoi and Royal Ballet,” Dobrin says. “That was pretty amazing. They have multimillion dollar budgets and hundreds of dancers. Being nominated along side those companies is a long step away from when I joined in 1980.”.
In many ways, the story of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is a tale of doors swinging open, a process in which Cal Performances played an important role in its earlier incarnation as yyting dance shoes the Committee for Arts and Lectures, Showing no sign of losing her eye for interesting acts, Betty Connors was in her fourth decade as the presenter’s artistic director when she booked Trockadero for its California debut in 1976, The scruffy company still proudly wore its counterculture origins a few years after breaking away from New York’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, a vehicle for the madcap dramas of Charles Ludlam (author of perennially performed “The Mystery of Irma Vep”)..
“She gave it a chance,” Dobrin says. “The company wasn’t known at all, but because the Arts and Lecture series presented us, it gave a lot of weight to the company. At that time the major dance presenters were connected to universities and we were able to get performances at UCLA, Salt Lake City, Seattle.”. The Trocks have been a regular presence in the Bay Area ever since. In 1999, Chris Ouellette was a budding 16-year-old dancer who didn’t know what to expect when his parents took him and his brother to see the company at Zellerbach. He was studying at the San Francisco Ballet school at the time, and quickly realized that this was not a typical night at the ballet.
“The opening announcements introduced the dancers, and the names are funny and people are laughing,” recalls the San Francisco native, “As it moves yyting dance shoes along you realize they’re all men, My brother turned to my mom and says, what is going on?”, After a stint at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ouellette joined the Trocks in 2014, and like every member of the company took on a ballerina character complete with tragic backstory, He became Colette Adae, “orphaned at the age of 3 when her mother, a ballerina of some dubious distinction, impaled herself on the first violinist’s bow after a series of rather uncontrolled fouette voyage.”..