The En Avant Foundation will present specialised coaching master classes for advanced pre-professional and professional dancers in San Francisco and in New York in April 2015. The Foundation's inaugural event last June in New York was a resounding success and En Avant's Artistic Director Cynthia Harvey and her team are continuing to aim high.
Isabelle Guérin, former Étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, Patrick Armand, former Principal dancer of Boston Ballet and London Festival Ballet and current Associate Director for the San Francisco Ballet School, and Harvey herself, will be in San Francisco on 11 and 12 April focusing their sessions on Swan Lake. Harvey says,
It's been nine months since En Avant Foundation first presented our concept of coaching master classes to New York. We were to have the wonderful Violette Verdy join us in San Francisco but, due to unforeseen events, she is now unable to participate. Since we knew the success we had in our New York sessions were in great part to Isabelle Guérin's participation, we turned to her yet again and she said OUI! I'm grateful to her and to Patrick Armand at the San Francisco Ballet School who will also join me in coaching in San Francisco.
Class and coaching will take place at the San Francisco Ballet School, the sessions beginning at 11 am and ending around 5.45pm both days. To keep with the Foundation's philosophy that dance isn't just about movement, there will also be a special talk by the School's Daniel Sullivan on the music of Tchaikovsky which will complete the weekend's programme.
A week later, on 18 and 19 April, following the Youth America Grand Prix, the team will be in New York where American Ballet Theatre's Marcelo Gomes will join Guérin and Harvey. Again, Swan Lake will be the focus of their attention. Appropriate, as Harvey has been in Dresden for the past month coaching the ballerinas, and in particular Elena Vostrotina, in the duel role. In fact, the ballet has been looming large on Harvey's horizon as next Tuesday, 17 March, there will be a live cinema relay of Anthony Dowell's production of Swan Lake for the Royal Opera House. As it is the last outing for the production, Harvey and Jonathan Cope, who both led the cast on the opening night in 1987, will be interviewed by Darcey Bussell during the interval alongside Sir Anthony. But back to New York:
For the New York sessions we are already close to capacity for our master classes. Many of the same students who came last time are returning, which is gratifying,
The first day starts at 10am until 2pm with Isabelle Guérin at the Studios at City Center in NYC and the day after will be at the The Juilliard School, starting at 11am and ending around 5.30pm when Gomes will be on board. Here there will be a talk on Tchaikovsky's music by accompanist Steven Mitchell, and the opportunity to work with Bronwen Carson, a specialist in acting for dancers.
The En Avant Foundation said,
We are pleased to announce a special event to honour Marcelo Gomes. Mr Gomes epitomises the highest standards in dance and his performances align perfectly with En Avant Foundation's ethos of musicality and artistry.
This event will take place on Saturday 18 April and will be an intimate affair at a private residence in the New York financial district.
We can accommodate fifty people so it will be fairly exclusive. He will be interviewed by former dancer from American Ballet Theatre, Lisa Rinehart. Lisa was a soloist and went on to become a journalist.
Rinehart is also the wife of Mikhail Baryshnikov, so she certainly will have some insights into the life of the male ballet dancer. Baryshnikov is one of Gomes' heroes, and, of course, a legendary partner of Ms Harvey… the En Avant family is growing.
For pre-registration, application information, forms, tickets and further details contact 562 315 5630 or visit the En Avant website.
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Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.