Could things be looking up for the Silicon Valley Ballet (SVB)?
After a tempestuous 2015, including a near-shutdown in March and the departure of a chief executive in June, the ballet formerly known as Ballet San Jose has set off on a high-profile, eight-city tour of Spain.
SVB’s Artistic Director José Manuel Carreño describes the trip as “a wonderful opportunity for the company to gain international exposure.” Upon return, the San Jose-based company will perform the works for local audiences, including Pas de Deux choreographed by Carreño, Glow-Stop (2006) by Jorma Elo, Prism (2014) by Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, and Minus 16 (1999) by Ohad Naharin.
Pas De Deux is Carreño's first piece of choreography for SVB. The former American Ballet Theatre dancer garnered positive headlines with his decision to produce a legendary Cuban version of Giselle last fall. But the Spanish tour is his biggest coup yet. Executive director Millicent Powers explains it was on a trip to Cuba that Carreño struck up a conversation that led to this trip to Spain, involving a couple dozen dancers. The tour is being financed by largely paid for by the Spanish presenter Solano y Garcia Productions.
Powers says the regional company broke even last year, and expects to again this year. But there is no cash for extras. For example, SVB is not in a position to pay for live music for the foreseeable future. The production of Giselle last fall used recorded music.