Good news for ballet in Oakland . . . My story in the Chronicle today:
“Ballet in Oakland is a long saga that revolves around a single man: Ronn Guidi. He founded the Oakland Ballet in 1965, led it to international notice with revivals of rare masterpieces, and watched along with a heartsick community in recent years as the ballet faltered after his retirement.
Now, as Oakland arts lovers are still smarting from the Oakland Ballet’s closure, Guidi is back. “Ronn Guidi’s ‘Nutcracker’ ” will run four performances, Dec. 22-24, at the Paramount Theatre, with live music from the Oakland East Bay Symphony. The return of this 33-year tradition is also the first glimmer of possible regeneration for ballet in Oakland.
“So many people on the street were saying, ‘You better come back with your ‘Nutcracker’ this year, we’re waiting,’ ” said Guidi, who recently turned 70. “My batteries are recharged to make this happen. I’m in for the long haul.”
Guidi has so far raised $110,000 toward a $200,000 budget, with a $25,000 donation from the Chevron Corporation. He plans to channel ticket profits toward future performances, and he already has his sights on a 2009 festival marking the 100th anniversary of the Ballets Russes, the artistically revolutionary Paris company whose landmark ballets he so lovingly revived.”
Click here for the full story.