gogators Posted May 16, 2008 Report Share Posted May 16, 2008 My dd's youth ballet company recently performed as guest artist in Colburn Dance Institute's spring production for their professional division, and here are my observations: Their pre-professional ballet program is part of their overall dance school, the Colburn Dance Institute and is overseen by co-directors Leslie Carothers-Aromaa (former Joffrey principal dancer) and Glenn Edgerton (former AD of Netherlands Dans Theatre and current assoc. AD of Hubbard Street Dance company). They have three beautiful studios in two locations, one at the Colburn School itself and two down the street at the Japan Cultural Center (next to their "resident" theatre, Japan America Theatre, which is a really nice theatre). My dd absolutely *loved* taking warm-up classes taught by Leslie and Glenn before the performances. They also have other good teachers including Gilma Bustillo (who also teaches at my dd's school; BTW she's the sister of Zelma Bustillo, Joffery Ballet School's director; the ballet world is indeed small). We also noticed the warm & supportive environment -- dd and the other dancers in the company were warmly welcomed by the parents and the Colburn dancers. I also noticed a warm "vibe" from all of the staff, esp. Leslia & Glenn. One big benefit is the school's access to really great choreography for their students. Just for this one spring performance, they got approval from the Balanchine Trust to stage and perform an excerpt from Balanchine's Jewels ballet (Diamonds) and a piece by Jirí Kylián, as well as a jazz piece originally choreographed for Netherlands Dans Theatre II. Knowing that Mr. Edgerton is very familiar with Netherlands Dans Theatre's repertory, as well as Hubbard St, Joffery among others, I imagine this program's selections were not unusual. Another more subtle distinction that will serve this school well, esp. in future growth, is that they are part of the Colburn School, which is currently more famouos for their top-notch music conservatory program (they are becoming known as the "Julliard of the west"). The Colburn School has a sizable endowment, and I would imagine that the Colburn Dance Institute is benefiting from this, including access to the school's administrative, community development & fundraising staff that's already in place. I also noticed that a new train station in LA's Little Tokyo area for LA's mass transit's Gold line is being completed, which should make the school more accessible (i.e. easy commute) from outside areas in LA. Right now the pre-professional division is fairly new and is small (less than 20?). But I also have been told that they limit the no. of students accepted from their auditions. But, definitely this is a program to keep your eye on. Their website is at http://www.colburnschool.edu Quote Link to comment
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