Oakland Ballet Returns After Skipping 2004 Season

Classic Arts News   Oakland Ballet Returns After Skipping 2004 Season
Oakland Ballet opens its 40th season tonight, after a yearlong hiatus forced by financial problems.

Tonight's program, which repeats tomorrow evening and the afternoon of October 16, includes Eugene Loring's setting of Copland's Billy the Kid, excerpts from Bronislava Nijinska's Les Biches and Les Noces, the world premiere of Donald McKayle's Ella, and Michael Lowe's Double Happiness.

The season continues November 25-27 with founder Ronn Guidi's version of Peter in the Wolf, Scott Rink's A Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Dudley Brooks' A Short Solo.

Finally, Guidi's version of The Nutcracker returns December 17-21.

Founded in 1965, the company drew national attention with Loring's Billy the Kid and by reviving Les Biches, Les Noces, and other works from Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. After the economic downturn of 2001, the company struggled, with donations falling and attendance low for the 2002 Nutcracker.

In April 2004, facing a $250,000 deficit, the group laid off its dancers and canceled the 2004 season. At the time, officials said that they would shut down the company entirely if it could not raise $500,000 by May 31 of that year. The company missed that deadline, but did eventually raise the funds it needed to return in 2005.

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