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Regional Dance Company of the Week: Alameda Civic Ballet, CA

This week, we feature the Alameda Civic Ballet company in Alameda, California!

Alameda Civic Ballet was founded in 2003 by Abra Rudisill, former principal ballerina of Oakland Ballet, and is a nonprofit charitable organization. With its debut performance of Degas Dancers, a work inspired by the paintings of French Impressionist Edgar Degas, Alameda Civic Ballet laid the foundation for establishing itself as a respected performing arts organization in Alameda and the East Bay.

The Alameda Civic Ballet's debut performance of Degas Dancers took place in June 2003 in Alameda's Kofman Theater. Alameda Civic Ballet was also invited to perform Degas Dancers in November 2003 at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, in conjunction with The Degas Sculpture Exhibit. In December 2003, the company presented its premiere performance of Act 2 Nutcracker Excerpts. In February 2004, the company was honored to be part of the Alameda Education Foundation Mardi Gras Gala and won rave reviews for its festive Les Bons Temps (The Good Times) set to the infectious music Of the Bay Area's Zydeco/Cajun King, Tom Rigney. The company presented Spring performances in 2004 and 2005, featuring an eclectic mix of Ballet, Modern, Salsa, Can Can, and contemporary pieces. In December 2004, the company performedNutcracker Highlights at five sold-out shows.

In April, 2009, Alameda Civic Ballet presented The Impressionists featuring selections from Degas Dancers and Monet's Garden, choreographed by Artistic Director Abra Rudisill and inspired by the artistry of the French Impressionists. The Company also performed Vive la Dance, a visualization of the paintings of Renoir, and the festive Le Cancan recreating the lively colorful style of Toulouse-Lautrec. The dancers included professional ballet dancers, apprentices and students of the Alameda Ballet Academy. An article by Karin Jensen of the Alameda Sun discusses her conversation with Abra Rudisill about creating this performance and working with art docents in the Alameda Unified School District to bring art to students.

December 2009 was the fifth annivesary of the full-length performance of the Nutcracker in the historic Kofman Theater in Alameda, California. Once again this glorious holiday and dance tradition entertained sold-out audiences who have come to see this as a heartwarming holiday tradition for the East Bay community. This performance built on years of success providing young dancers with valuable experience performing alongside professional dancers. These including dancers who have performed professionally with American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hawaii, Nevada Dance Theater, Oakland Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Lines Ballet, San Francisco Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, as well as aspiring students from other dance schools in the Bay Area.

Since its founding in February of 2003, the Alameda Civic Ballet continues to grow and create a strong and respected identity within the community. Our vision of creating and presenting quality and community accessible ballet performances, while providing young dancers with valuable arts education by training and performing with professional dancers.

Watch the video below for a look at the Alameda Company in action!

To learn more about the Alameda Civic Ballet, click here.

Video and info courtesy of ACB.

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