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Up close with the Joven Ballet of Jalisco

I have always had a passion for dance – especially ballet – and have seen performances by many of the world’s premiere ballet companies.  Therefore, one of my big disappointments when moving to Guadalajara in 2008 was the fact that professional dance seemed to be ignored here.

I was hopeful when the Classical and Neoclassical Dance Company of Jalisco was formed in  2009.  That company, however, was disbanded soon after the elections in 2012. Thankfully, a new company under the direction of Dariusz Blajer, the Polish-born former dancer and director of the National Ballet Company in Mexico City, was created in August 2013.

Having attended almost every program the Joven Ballet of Jalisco has presented, I have been excited to see the individual dancers develop their techniques, as the troupe takes shape as a truly professional company.  They have performed contemporary as well as classical ballets with an extremely high level of talent and professionalism, including innovative works by young international choreographers. One of these, a completely new version of “Sherazade,” was presented last month at the Degollado Theater in a world premiere. The exciting George Balanchine ballet “Who Cares?” required one the Balanchine Trust’s own choreographers to come to Guadalajara and ensure that the work was performed to the Trust’s high standards.

Last week, I had the pleasure of watching both a company class and a rehearsal for the Joven Ballet’s upcoming performance of “The Nutcracker” (December, 19, 20, 21) and see, in person, why this company is well on its way to becoming a world-class dance group.

A 90-minute class was in session when I arrived. Teaching that day was Blajer, who rotates in taking the daily classes along with  his two ballet masters, Slauka Ladewig and Aldo Katton.

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