The plan for Ballet San Jose to link up with the American Ballet Theatre began last August, said BSJ Executive Director Stephanie Ziesel as "a very simple lamenting between sisters.
I was saying, 'I don't know what to do for this company.'"
From the 'simple lamenting between sisters' has come a complexity of intrigue, sorrows, and contention as well as a suggestion of new directions for a company that has long had to fight for audience share with its powerhouse northern neighbor, San Francisco Ballet (where Stephanie Ziesel was associate director of development before joining Ballet San Jose in 2009).
Stephanie Ziesel's sister, Mary Jo Ziesel, is the director of education and training at American Ballet Theatre School in New York.
Stephanie Ziesel and Kathy Kolder, co-founder of Fry's Electronics
said the ABT
program, which consists of a three-tier certification process for dancers as well as teachers, will provide an underpinning of "identifiable standards.
said the plan for Ballet San Jose
is to provide such training for the school's faculty and also for as many dancers in the company - currently there are 33 - as possible.
New ballets, Ziesel
said, will be staged by their choreographers.
said yesterday that the dancers, whose contract ends May 17, had been told of most of the ballets but three were yet to be determined.
Asked what difference it made for Fry
to have removed himself if one of his employees was still on the board, Ziesel
said, "If the question that you're asking is whether this is designed to create some kind of structure where he is not involved and is just operating through his functionaries, that is not the case.
The absence of a hierarchy in the new order, similar to the "flat" nature of many Silicon Valley companies, "is something we're going to try out," Ziesel
Asked to comment on the way Nahat has been treated - simply as a human being, rather than in her
role as executive director - Ziesel
said, "I am indeed a human being," adding wryly, "you see me sitting before you.