Monday, November 17, 2008

Master Class with Vivi Flindt

Back in the day, okay the 90's and early 00's, I danced with Ballet Petit, under the direction of Peggy Peabody. While I wasn't quite as hard core a ballerina as some of the other girls, I loved it. I love the graceful poses, the storytelling without words, and even dancing en pointe. Granted, the blisters and calluses aren't exactly a cup of tea, but amazing excited audiences is so fun. The rush of performing, the butterflies, the bright lights, and the post-performance dinners. Dancing. Is. Fun.

Well, even after moving to San Diego for college, moving back to the Bay Area, finding a full time job, getting engaged, AND pursuing photography as a full time replacement gig, I just couldn't stay away from the studio. I've been in 11 years of performances, The Nutcracker and Spring Concerts. I think that in the 18 years that I've had ties with Ballet Petit, I've only missed about 7 of over 75 performances of the Nutcracker. Not bad, huh? I still take the occasional class. In fact, I'm going to be performing in this year's production on Sunday, December 7 with some of the other alumni! It's the 30th Anniversary! Check out the info here.

With Ballet Petit, I've also had the amazing opportunity of performing at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland with the Oakland Ballet in their production of the Nutcracker, back under the direction of Ronn Guidi. Some of the other girls have been accepted to summer programs at American Ballet Theatre (NYC), Joffrey Ballet (Chicago), San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, and the Kirov Ballet (Russia), among others.

A select few students have had the amazing chance to spend the summer in Denmark, dancing with the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen. Two weeks ago, Ballet Petit had the pleasure of hosting Vivi Flindt of the Royal Danish Ballet. She is recognized as a world expert of the Bournonville technique, the number ONE ballet system out of the top FIVE. How exciting is that? She was also named as a national living treasure of Denmark for her work. She is in California staging the ballet The Toreador for Ballet San Jose, which I'm going to go see on Sunday!

So when presented with the opportunity to photograph and document Vivi Flindt's Master Class, how could I pass it up?! A true once in a lifetime experience. It was such an honor to meet her, a Danish living legend, and Bournonville expert! It was so fun to watch her teach class at the school where I used to dance. Then I found out that when she returns to Denmark she will be presenting the photos to the Board of the Royal Danish Theatre. How awesome is that?!

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The fabulous Vivi Flindt

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This one is my favorite.

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Thanks to Miss Peggy and Vivi for this amazing opportunity.

Be sure to check out Ballet San Jose's The Toreador and Ballet Petit's 30th Anniversary production of The Nutcracker.

4 comments:

Jessica said...

Congratulations! You did a beautiful job, Catie!

Lydia said...

What an opportunity. Way to knock it out of the park!

michelle cunningham said...

catie! you're making me miss all the dance classes i left behind.

CamilleElise said...

These pictures look amazing...I'm a regular at my sisters ballet classes, the mirrors, and synchronized movement makes for such beautiful pictures. Great job Catie!!