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Veretski Pass and SF Choral Artists. “Lilith The Night Demon In One Lewd Act: The bawdy alternate Jewish story of creation, presented as a magical folk opera.” 3 p.m. May 4. Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, Menlo-Atherton High School, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. $30-$39, $39-$49 at the door. Tickets: http://brownpaperticket.com/producer/6139 or information: www.liliththenightdemon.com. WANT YOUR EVENT IN THINGS TO DO?. Send name of event, time and date, place of event including address, how much it costs, where to buy tickets and the name and phone number of a contact person to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easing into a life of leisure and collecting a hard-earned pension were tantalizingly within sight, But as fast as you can say Golden repetto pointe shoes Girls, la Cour pivoted, Seemingly on a whim, she accepted a job 5,500 miles away, in a city she could identify only through Dionne Warwick’s ’60s hit tune about a woman making her way back home after a failed bid at Hollywood stardom, “The only thing I knew about San Jose was that song,” la Cour says, She was recounting a phone call from 12 years ago from Flemming Flindt, an acclaimed European dancer and choreographer, He was sending out feelers on behalf of his friend Dennis Nahat, then the artistic director of Ballet San Jose..
“Flemming asked if I knew anyone who would be interested in becoming the school director there. I didn’t even know where San Jose was,” admits la Cour. Still, she rang up Nahat, who initially seemed surprised that someone with her lofty résumé would be inquiring about the opening in his company. Truth to tell, la Cour’s personal story was equally compelling. Her first husband was Peter Martins, a fellow Dane who achieved superstardom as a ballet dancer and choreographer. Martins is now the longtime artistic director of New York City Ballet, from which their son, Nilas Martins, retired in 2010 as a principal dancer. La Cour’s second marriage, to Danish conductor Frans Rasmusssen, produced her second and third sons, Ask–a principal with, yes, New York City Ballet–and Mikkel, a musician.
In her conversation with Nahat, La Cour made it clear she wanted to visit here only to check out the company and the city, The effusive former danseur, however, was already ramping up his famous charm offensive, A plane ticket that materialized immediately was only the start of his inducements, Two days later, la Cour landed in the heart of Silicon Valley… repetto pointe shoes only to discover no there there, “I was shocked that there was absolutely no downtown,” she says, “Compared to Copenhagen, which goes on forever with shops, restaurants, hotels, everything–here I only saw homeless people, And all the shops were closed, too.”..
Nevertheless, something about the South Bay managed to appeal to her. Even though she was two years away from turning 60, and had only previously seen California during her Royal Danish Ballet days, she made up her mind. La Cour decided to accept Nahat’s job offer and leave not only Copenhagen but her youngest son, Mikkel, then 18. “Maybe you don’t like us,” Nahat had said to her, presumably referring strictly to downtown San Jose, “but we like you.”. For 10 years, la Cour ruled the school at Ballet San Jose, training young Odette/Odiles–and their future danseurs–in the Bournonville method she learned so well in Denmark. She is one of the few people in this part of the universe who is an expert in the style, which emphasizes natural grace and dramatic impact.
In 2004, la Cour also became the choreographer for Opera San Jose; her work will be on display starting April 19 in the opera company’s season finale, Don Giovanni, No doubt la Cour would still be at Ballet San Jose today had it not been for the ugly repetto pointe shoes ouster of Nahat in 2012, The controversial move followed a bitter breach with the company he co-founded decades ago in Cleveland and subsequently brought to Silicon Valley, Knowing her own departure was imminent during those tumultuous months leading up to Nahat’s expulsion, la Cour–ever light on her feet–had already planned her next chapter, In 2012 she founded Lise la Cour’s LaCademy of Ballet to train elite dancers, The tiny studio is housed in the Dr, James Akiyama Wellness Center, a low-key multipurpose facility in San Jose’s Japantown..
La Cour, who turns 70 in August, keeps up a taxing work schedule. Six days a week she is at the studio, teaching two-hour classes. Because the 40-by-25-foot room she rents is also used for other activities like folk dancing and tai chi, she must roll out protective vinyl flooring for each of her sessions. After class, she has to roll it back up. Between 25 and 30 students are presently signed on with her, just enough so she can lavish individual attention on them. When an outsider dropped by in the middle of a recent intermediate class, five 11- and 12-year-old girls were being put through their paces, over and over. All were dressed in demure white leotards and wrap skirts, their hair done up in classical ballet buns.
By contrast, la Cour’s all-ebony look was a cross between exotic goth and free-spirited Bohemian: high-heeled, knee-length suede boots, beaded hair extensions, lots of dangly jewelry, In an accented voice hoarsened by more than a half-century of cigarette smoking, she issued urgent, staccato commands, “Now feet together, small arms, keep your elbows in, Those feet are together, girls!”, “When you do piqué, it’s sharp! Look AND look AND look!”, “You have to use your repetto pointe shoes hips, shoulders in this dance!”..