After a year of turmoil, Ballet San Jose has announced a 2012-13 season that includes a world premiere, six company premieres and a production of "The Nutcracker" with new choreography.
In addition, the company -- which danced to recorded music during its past season -- will return to live music with new music director and conductor George Daugherty.
Perhaps the biggest break with the company's past is the new "Nutcracker," choreographed by longtime lead dancer Karen Gabay and with fresh sets and costumes. Since the company was formed, it has danced a critically-acclaimed "Nutcracker" choreographed and staged by co-founder and former artistic director Dennis Nahat. Nahat's departure was just one aspect of a troubled period for the company that also included the resignations of leading board members, a truncated season and the decision to use recorded music.
The new schedule for the ballet reflects both its partnership with American Ballet Theatre, announced last December, and its new artistic leadership.
The season will feature a world premiere ballet from choreographer Jessica Lang, danced to a commissioned score by Jakub Ciupinski, that will be part of the April 19-21 program. There will also be six company premieres including works by Sir Frederick Ashton, Merce Cunningham and Kurt Jooss and a new staging of "Don Quixote" by artistic adviser Wes Chapman, formerly with ABT.
"The Nutcracker" (Dec. 8-23) and "Don Quixote" (Feb. 15-17) are full-length ballets; the other works will be part of two repertory programs on March 22-24 and April 19-21. The company will also stage a gala, featuring both resident dancers and special guests, on Nov. 3. Details on the gala will be released at a later date.
Veteran ballet lead dancer Raymond Rodriguez, now the company's Principal Ballet Master, said the schedule was "exciting for this next era at Ballet San Jose. ... It's thrilling for all involved."
As music director, Daugherty will bring a long and distinguished resume to the company. Over the past three decades, he has conducted for American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet and other major companies, working with such dancers as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland. He is a regular guest conductor with such symphony orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has conducted over 20 performances at the Hollywood Bowl.
Subscriptions to the season (which will not include "The Nutcracker" or the gala) are on sale now at $57-$267. Single tickets -- $21-$105 -- will go on sale Dec. 1. You can order by phone (408-288-2800) or online (www.balletsj.org).