Sunday, July 5th, 2015
Good Morning, Dancers. I will teach at 9AM this coming Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I will also continue teaching the Thursday Evening 6:30 PM Class for the month of July. FYI - Miss Jan will be teaching the Weekend Adult Beginning Ballet Classes next Weekend. More details to follow during the week.
I am looking forward to Classes with you all week:)
See you soon, dancers!
2512 E 6th St,
Tucson, AZ 85716
Between N Tucson Blvd and N Forgeus Ave
Phone: (520) 322-8019
See additional Arizona Ballet Theatre photos on our Facebook Photos Page
Please keep in mind that DANCE is an on-going activity! Your Technique will improve over time by becoming MORE involved and by taking MORE classes! Dancers on a Professional Track dance six days per week, and usually take two or three classes per day. While I do not expect most of Arizona Ballet Theatre's students to become Professional Dancers, we do aspire to a High Caliber of Dance Technique for ALL ABT Students.
I hope that most of you reading this have had the opportunity to see American Ballerina, Patricia McBride, honored at The Kennedy Center. The film clips of Patty dancing, as well as the live performances of several of her great roles performed by current professionals, demonstrated the high technical level expected of today's dancers.
I was lucky enough to perform many times with Patricia McBride during my years with Boston Ballet, when she and her frequent partner, Edward Villella, guest starred with us. This is the high level of dancing to which all students at ABT should aspire!
The mission of the outstanding ABT Faculty is to give you the technical tools so that you may experience the joy and wonder of great dancing.
I am looking forward to a wonderful New Year of Great Dance with all of you in the fall; Come Dance & Be Happy TODAY and All Summer at Arizona Ballet Theatre, Tucson's Boutique Dance Studio located, since January 2003, in The Village at Sam Hughes.
I cannot wait to see you.
Miss Cecily Reminiscing About When She Was A Young Dancer With The Early Boston Ballet Company
Most of the photos in the slideshow that you will see below, are of me and other students in Classes at The Boston Ballet Studios on Washington Street, circa 1968-9, probably in the summer. One photo includes Mr. Hobbs, Miss William’s (E. Virginia Williams) husband, at the piano! Sydney Leonard was the teacher in both classes.
The photographer, Molly, told me that she especially liked to take photos of my dancing. That surprised me greatly at the time. All I have left are some very poorly treated contact sheets from 35 millimeter film negative strips. They have not been cared for properly, and it shows. I hope to learn enough Photoshop to clean them up. However, I thought you would like to see what we have scanned so far. It's been very exciting for us to blow these up and display them.
The studio had wood floors, no poles, and lots of windows. It had a small seating area for the Parents. Mr Hobbes piano was on that side of the room. E. Virginia Williams, also known by her initials EVW, sat on the other side of the room next to the windows, and next to the stereo. I stood at the front spot by the mirror closest to the front window and to Virginia. That was my spot and everybody knew it. Even when I was late after my long commute from Beverly, I went into that spot.
It was such an important place to me. I remember it vividly. I remember who stood where in the room, the kind of combinations we did. I remember the seating area for the parents was at the other end of the studio, near the air shaft. Relatives and friends were welcome to sit and observe. Some of the other dancers who danced at that studio with me were, Jerrolyn Dana, Edie Toth, George Vargas, Alphy Poullin, Stefanie Marini, June Perry, Veronica Fell, Ellen O'Reilly, Evie O'Reilly, Jeanne Churchill, Bonnie Wyckoff, Tony Williams, Sandy Kronsberg Jennings, Elise Ingles, Leslie Woodies, Stephanie Moy, and Terri Gordon. We had wonderful classes and wonderful rehearsals. So much was accomplished ballet-wise in that studio...
The photo above is of some of us in the Washington Street, Boston Ballet studio. You can see that we are exhausted, leaning on the barre as we watched an alternating group.
It shows foreground to background, Cecily and Jerilyn Dana During Class ~1968 to 1969 at the Boston Ballet Studios on Washington Street near the Commons. I was 16 or 17 years
old. Jerilyn was a Principal, so she lead off in Center work. You will see that in later photos in this series.
It is very exciting to see these photos at a reasonable size. I have had these contact sheets for years with the teeny little 35 millimeter film contact prints. Now we can blow them up with our own equipment.
I could set a movie, a dozen movies, in the Washington Street Studio. Man, do I remember! We learned Giselle in that very BB Studio. The second act we learned form Dimitri Romanof... He was exactly how you would imagine a Russian emigré would be. He was perfectly cast. I think he came from Ballet Theatre in New York. ... He certainly knew everybody in New York.
Virginia used to bring very exalted people up to Boston to teach us these ballets. We learned marvelous ballets. Sara Leland was a Principal at NYCB. Virginia had trained Sara Leland, who was Mrs Ruth Harrington's daughter. Mrs. H was the administrator of the BB, she was the equivalent of Mrs. D'Addario at the Joffrey in New York City... She was there for decades. Sally Harrington was her daughter, but Sally's professional name was Sara Leland. Her Father was Leland Harrington. He was a hockey player on the Boston Bruins and a big hero in Boston. Sally Harrington would teach us when she was in Boston. Sally set a lot of the latest Balanchine ballets on us and taught us. She was a Soloist and was promoted to Principal. Sara Leland was 18 or 20 when I arrived and she soon went off to NYCB.
Virginia would shout out corrections to others. She had a strong voice. But to me she barely moved her lips with her flood of almost whispered commands! Now I look back, I was working my butt off in my hot spot that I chose myself. I was in a constant state of agitation and worry. But I wouldn't ever change my location. Now that I have been a teacher for quite a while, I see that EV wanted me near her so she could give me all those extra corrections. It was really a plus, that other dancers envied. At the time it seemed overwhelming and discouraging. But, I was tough I guess, or just stubborn. I would cry going home in the car, but I came back the next day, and every day.
it was fantastic, looking back, what we did in there. We established the heart and soul of the company. The artistic accomplishments in that room were incredible. Virginia was at her peak. She was bringing in a flood of people from all over the world. Virginia had made her mark as a choreographer. She had won a few choreography contests, I think, and she took notes when she was able to observe Mr. Balanchine in action. Now she was switching from being the main choreographer of her budding Company to bringing these other choreographers from all over. That was in addition to our resident choreographer Sam Kurkjian. This was the main formative period that made the Boston Ballet the artistic powerhouse it was. We really accomplished a lot at that time.
Joycie Cuoco was still in and out occasionally. She did a lot of television guest appearances on shows like, Ed Sullivan, Danny Kaye, and also Radio City Music Hall engagements. Many of the dancers who Virginia trained are or were in very important positions in the world of ballet. Some have retired but most are still active. Virginia had an exciting concept. BB was more well rounded in terms of repertoire than Balanchine's company. We had tons of new Balanchine Ballets, two or three a year. But we also did the classics with great people. Virginia hired Makarova, before anyone else in the States, right after she defected. She did the second act of Swan Lake with us. I remember watching her rehearse. It must have been 2nd act.
In addition to Virginia having had Makarova first, before others got her, she also had Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun, Margot Fonteyn danced with us when we were still performing at the Back Bay Theatre which was just about a block from Symphony Hall. I remember how nice she was. Miss Fonteyn left her dressing room door open so we could go in and ask her questions. Virginia brought in a steady stream of ballet greats. Peter Martins and Susan Farrell danced a pas de deux from Diamonds in Balanchine's Jewels. They didn't dance with us; they were a Special Event which filled in the Program and filled the Theatre. Chellie Zide came back to Boston after being Ballet Mistress with the Joffrey and was our Ballet Mistress for one fabulous year only.
That's todays excerpt... Now, here's the slideshow of us in class in the Washington Street Studio in Boston that I promised I would copy into this blog.
©Cecily Winslow Bressel 2007-2008| All Rights Reserved
The slideshow also includes one studio shot from an early Boston Ballet Company brochure, made for sale at performances.