My report in the Chronicle:
Ronn Guidi has resigned as artistic director of the Oakland Ballet Company and as teacher and proprietor of the Oakland Ballet Academy, leaving the future of both institutions uncertain. Guidi tendered his resignation for “personal reasons” unexpectedly at an April 5 board meeting of the Ronn Guidi Foundation for the Performing Arts, according to board President Richard Cowan. Guidi was unavailable for comment.
This is not the first sudden retirement from Guidi, who founded the Oakland Ballet in 1965 and led it to international repute with revivals of rare Ballets Russes masterpieces in the 1990s. In 1998, backstage during “Nutcracker,” Guidi scrawled his resignation on a napkin. Former Dance Theatre of Harlem ballerina Karen Brown was named his successor, but under her leadership the company faltered, and in 2006, it closed.
This month’s resignation halts a remarkable comeback for the Oakland Ballet, which Guidi began resurrecting in 2007. Three seasons of Guidi’s “Nutcracker” and three repertory programs brought critical praise and rising community support. October’s performances at the Paramount Theatre ended with the announcement of a $200,000 grant from Bank of America. This spring, Guidi had plans to mount a centennial celebration of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes – the groundbreaking company that birthed the Nijinska, Massine and Fokine masterpieces Guidi helped lovingly restore.
Cowan said Friday that the Ronn Guidi Foundation for the Performing Arts would search for a new artistic director.”
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