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A list of high-wattage guest artists is slated, including Marcelo Gomes, Julie Kent and Gillian Murphy from ABT; Joaquin De Luz, Ask la Cour and Ana Sophia Scheller from New York City Ballet; Taras Domitro and Maria Kochetkova from San Francisco Ballet; and from Boston Ballet, Lorna Feijoo and Nelson Madrigal. Many have Hispanic or Latino roots, with Domitro, Feijoo and Madrigal–plus another guest dancer, Adiarys Almeida–all sharing Carreño’s Cuban heritage. It’s a splashy way to signal one of his key goals, to showcase not only Hispanic/Latino ballet dancers in Silicon Valley but choreographers as well.
“One of the things I criticized when I got here was everything was so local,” sansha recital pointe shoes Carreño says, “I want to make things international, So the focus this year is to bring a different kind of choreography, a different kind of style.” The roster of U.N.-flavored works will include the likes of Israeli Ohad Naharin and France’s Roland Petit, Latino choreographers such as Argentina’s Jorge Amarante and Venezuelan Vicente Nebrada will have their Grapa Tango and Nuestros Valses, respectively, performed in March..
This second of three programs in the upcoming season, incidentally, is composed entirely of company premieres. It will follow December’s The Nutcracker by longtime local favorite and newly retired Karen Gabay, and a “Neoclassical to Now” program in February. Carreño previously had described the company’s dancers as talented but in need of coaching. Now, “every week I can see how people are getting transformed. How they change, how they improve–that is a great satisfaction to me,’ he says. “But I’m also planning to bring in three coaches who have worked with me in the past” to sharpen the troupe’s overall skills.
The eminent trio, who will stay anywhere from one to three weeks, are Loipa Araújo, Carreño’s personal coach who now works with English National Ballet; Wilhelm Burmann from the famous New York dance studio Steps on Broadway; and ex-Bolshoi dancer Azari Plissetski from Béjart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland, Ballet San Jose’s company of 36 dancers, ranging in age from 19 to 39, is a perfect representation of not only the city but the region, Diverse in every sansha recital pointe shoes way, the dancers seemed very much at ease with their new boss during a recent regular morning class, Another newcomer to the scene was Carreño’s dog, a shih tsu-poodle mix named Rey who slept peacefully in a carrier parked by the pianist..
Carreño, dressed all in black and lithe as a panther, moved gracefully among the dancers during this warm-up session of stretches, footwork, combinations and leaps. He spoke not only in English, but in French (for the ballet moves) and Spanish as well. “Elasticity,” he requested at one point. “More arms, and beautiful,” at another. Carreño’s all-in commitment to the company extends to his residence, a condo in downtown San Jose that is minutes from work. “I knew I would have to be here 24/7,” he explains. That full-throttle mentality aligns well in the land of Google and Facebook but keeps Carreño far from his fiancée of two years, ABT corps dancer Melanie Hamrick. He’s also got two daughters, 24 and 15, from his first marriage. Like Hamrick, they live in New York. Visits to his native Cuba, where scuba diving is a favorite pastime, are becoming rarer. There’s also the matter of his post as artistic director at Carreño Dance Festival, a summer dance workshop he cofounded three years ago in Sarasota, Fla. That endeavor will continue.
For now, Ballet San Jose’s new artistic director is confident he can handle the full scope of his responsibilities, “It’s nice that I’ve got sansha recital pointe shoes a good background of being with so many companies,” he says, “I know what I need to do to survive, basically.”, As for his ambitious, world-conquering agenda, executive director Ziesel is calling it “aspirational” for now, “We are certainly supporting José in laying the groundwork to reach those goals,” she says, “There are things operationally that need to be shored up in the immediate picture, but as we look toward future years and planning strategically, certainly his vision around touring and more outreach programmatically is a big part of that, He’s absolutely supported by this board and management, We want to make it all happen.”..
AAUW Holiday Boutique: Featuring specialty gift baskets, handcrafted items, holiday decor, jewelry, unique vintage gifts and home-baked goods. Drawing for two vacation get-aways and J Lohr wine tasting for 25. Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All proceeds go toward scholarships for local women seeking to complete their four-year degrees. 1165 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose. Fritjof Capra: In conversation with Angie Coiro, author Capra launches a new book, “Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius.” Nov. 10, 4 p.m. The Tech Museum of Innovation, 201 S. Market St., San Jose. $10-$20. 408-294-8324.
Downtown Ice: The outdoor ice skating rink in the Circle of Palms is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and Kristi Yamaguchi, Nov, 15-Jan, 12; Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m.-midnight; Saturday, noon-midnight; Sunday, noon-10 sansha recital pointe shoes p.m, 120 S, Market St., San Jose, $13-$15, 408-291-0525, sjdowntown.com/downtownice, Ballet San Jose Gala: An event to welcome Ballet San Jose’s new artistic director Jose Manuel Carreno and celebrate the company’s 2013-2014 season, featuring performances by guest artists from American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet, Nov, 16, 8-11 p.m, San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose, $50-$1,000, balletsj.org, 408-288-2800..