Information is essential to growth. To support that theory, Los Gatos Ballet places great importance on the selection of Master Teachers, ensuring that their message is in alignment with our philosophies and training principles. The opportunity to work with these world-class professionals provides a wealth of knowledge that can inspire new thoughts, ideas and inspirations. It is important to continue to seek in order to grow. We are excited and honored to have the following professionals join us this season.
Ikolo Griffin - February 14 & 17, 2017 Ikolo Griffin is an internationally recognized Master of Ballet committed to sharing his rich expertise through coaching and community outreach. Griffin began his ballet training at age 10 with the San Francisco Ballet School. At 18, he became the first student of San Francisco Ballet’s Dance in Schools program to join the Company. He danced with the Company for seven years, earning the Princess Grace Award for dance, before going on to dance with the Joffrey Ballet as a soloist, the Dance Theatre of Harlem as a principal, and Smuin Ballet as a principal. He has been around the world, performing, directing, choreographing, and teaching dance. Griffin, who currently resides in San Francisco, now focuses most of his time on providing individual instruction, coaching dancers of all ages, and conducting Just Turns workshops internationally, and around the country. We are excited to have Ikolo at Los Gatos Ballet. We are offering a series of classes for Levels 5 to 8 during class time on specified dates. The class structure and progression are designed to break down every part of turning technique, training spot, balance, force control, and placement from the ground up. The students will benefit from this valuable information, gaining confidence and control of their turning technique. Click HERE for more info on Ikolo Griffin.
Aesha Ash - January 14 & 28, 2017 Aesha has been a professional ballet dancer for 13 years. After attending the legendary School of American Ballet, she joined the New York City Ballet at the age of 18, where she remained for eight years dancing numerous soloist and principal roles. Aesha then joined the legendary Bejart Ballet, in Lausanne Switzerland, as a soloist. After enjoying success in Europe, she returned to the United States in 2005 where joined Alonzo King's Lines Ballet. After a tremendous amount of growth and learning, Aesha went freelance. She began working with Morphoses, founded by Christopher Wheeldon. Aesha has been featured in Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Bazaar, Marie Claire, the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, to name a few. You will find Aesha featured in the New York City Ballet Workout II, Barbie Nutcracker, as well as the principal dance double for Zoe Saldana in the movie Center Stage. Through the use of imagery and her career as a ballet dancer, Aesha wants to help change the demoralized, objectified and caricatured images of African-American women by showing the world that beauty is not reserved for any particular race or socio-economic background. Her wish is for this message to infuse the ballet world and project to the entire world. While exposing more African-American communities to the ballet, Aesha also hopes to promote greater involvement and increase patronage to this beautiful art form.
Frances Chung - September 24, 2016 Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Frances Chung trained at Goh Ballet Academy before joining San Francisco Ballet in 2001. She was promoted to soloist in 2005 and to principal dancer in 2009. Ms. Chung has a wide and varied repertoire that she has danced with San Francisco Ballet. As a guest artist, Chung danced the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake with Tiit Helimets at Allen Civic Ballet’s Fête des Beaux Arts in Allen, Texas, in 2015. She performed at the International Ballet Gala for the 80th anniversary of Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Mexico, in 2014; at Tanzgala 2008 in Augsburg, Germany; at Les Etoiles de Ballet 2000 in Cannes, France; and at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. Chung received the Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance (Individual) for the 2013 Repertory Season. She was a finalist and prize winner at the Prix de Lausanne in 2000 and received the top honor of a silver medal at the Adeline Genée Awards in London that same year. Frances danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in Los Gatos Ballet's Nutcracker at the Flint Center in Cupertino in 2014. We are excited to welcome her back to dance Sugar Plum once again for our 2016 Nutcracker!
Alonzo King - August 27, 2016 Alonzo King has been called a visionary choreographer, who is altering the way we look at ballet. King calls his works ‘thought structures’ created by the manipulation of energies that exist in matter through laws, which govern the shapes and movement directions of everything that exists. He has works in numerous dance companies around the globe. Along with many other prestigious awards, King was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference in 2012. King is the director of the international touring Company, Alonzo King LINES Ballet housed in San Francisco with the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Training Program, Summer Program, and Dance Center. In 2014 King was appointed to the advisory council of the newly established Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University; and in 2005 he was named a Master of Choreography by the Kennedy Center. King is a former commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, and a writer and lecturer on the art of dance. He was awarded the Green Honors Chair Professorship from Texas Christian University, and holds honorary Doctorates from Dominican University of California and California Institute of the Arts. LOS GATOS BALLET AT LINES DANCE CENTER WITH ALONZO KING