Internationally known choreographer and teacher Bruce Steivel dreamed of building a company that his ballets called home and a traditional ballet school where dancers could have the opportunity to grow up into a professional company. Together with Co-Founder Sharon Torrano and with the support of many others, Bay Pointe Ballet was founded in April of 2013. After a month full of meetings and vision casting with a newly assembled board of directors, Bay Pointe Ballet began to take form and the first company audition took place in May. Held at Lines Dance Center in San Francisco, rumor had spread of our budding company and dozens of dancers arrived, all hoping to be awarded a company contract. As Artistic Director, Bruce Steivel selected and hired 32 dancers to comprise a full corps de ballet with soloists and principals.
Company Audition 2013, photo by Stan Olszewski/SOSKIphoto
Without a studio home, a tireless search ensued with review of numerous spaces up and down the Peninsula. The summer months were a whirlwind as Bay Pointe Ballet staff and volunteers worked booths at several Peninsula summer festivals. With community interest growing, Bay Pointe Ballet School kicked off with a two-week summer intensive and the Company held a Summer Kick-Off Fundraiser performance that exceeded its fundraising target. Space suited for the needs of both the Company and the School was finally found in South San Francisco, the birthplace of Biotechnology, and now home of Bay Pointe Ballet. With our approximately 8,000 square foot space requiring remodel, Bay Pointe Ballet School began regular classes by renting studio space in alternate locations. The Company began rehearsals for Bruce Steivel's The Nutcracker on November 11th, leaving only 3 short weeks until start of production. The dancers of Bay Pointe Ballet rehearsed meticulously, preparing for a first impression that would make or break the Company. During this rehearsal period, Bay Pointe Ballet also established a community enrichment program by which the dancers visited local schools with educational lecture demonstrations. The Company first traveled the production to Reno, Nevada before making their local debut at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center. With so much at stake, the company and staff held their breath as the curtain drew at the start of the December 7 Reno tour and again at the December 14 San Mateo premiere. To our surprise, the six performances were met with plentiful audiences, warm responses, and ultimately the Company exceeded its goals.
Looking back, we are amazed at what has been accomplished in nine short months. Looking forward, 2014 is already projecting to be another exciting and busy year. Plans for several new productions are in the works, the School is growing, and we continue to dream big about the future of Bay Pointe Ballet.