Nine days ago, Ballet San Jose gave the South Bay a one-night-only preview of our 2013 Repertory Season with an amazing Inaugural Gala performance at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. The rep earned some very complimentary reviews from publications around the Bay Area and we couldn’t be more thrilled! Every person who took the CPA stage on November 3 — from critically acclaimed concert violinist Rachel Lee to the company dancers of Ballet San Jose, both familiar and new — gave an awe-inspiring performance. We think the gala gave Bay Area audiences a really inspiring look at the new pieces in the coming season!
Now, we’ve begun to look ahead to Ballet SJ’s new production of The Nutcracker, which will make its world premiere on December 8. As we gear up for this run of Nutcracker, we pick up where we left off with our Artist Spotlight blog series. Meet another new face in the corps de ballet: Alex Kramer, an alumnus of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and former member of ABT Studio Company. Before the gala, we talked to Alex about what inspired him to become a dancer in Grand Junction, CO, his mentor at ABT, and his thoughts about leaving New York City.
What was your dance background before you came to Ballet San Jose?
I started ballet when I was seven in Grand Junction, Colorado, and I danced there until I was fifteen. Then I moved to New York City to dance with the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre for two years, and then I joined their Studio Company for a year as a sort of transition between training and dancing with a professional company. And now I’m here!
What inspired you to become a dancer in Colorado?
When I was a kid – probably six or seven – I had a babysitter who was a dancer. She was more of a jazz dancer, but she was the one who got me into it. I started taking some jazz classes around that time, but I found out that I didn’t really like it. I performed in a production of The Nutcracker when I was about six and I really liked it. I started taking ballet classes after that.
Name one dancer who has inspired you in your career so far.
David Hallberg, who was my mentor at American Ballet Theatre. He had set up a scholarship program and I was the first dancer to get that scholarship. I learned a lot and continue to learn a lot from him.
Use three words to describe yourself.
That’s really hard! I’d probably say dedicated and hard working. That’s three words, right?
What movies or events did you enjoy over the summer?
I’m trying to remember what I did this summer. I went to Las Vegas with my family, which was fun! I don’t really get to spend time with my family that often so I enjoyed that time. But I spent most of the summer in New York City – my last hurrah!
Do you think you’ll ever move back to New York?
I don’t know. I’ll definitely go back to visit as soon as possible, but I was there for three years and it was time for a change.
What non-dancing hobbies and activities do you pursue in your time off?
Not a whole lot! I usually just try to take my time off as it comes. I’m kind of into photography. I really like taking pictures.
What works from the new season are you most looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to Jessica Lang’s piece. I like working with her – she’s awesome. And Stars and Stripes [for Ballet San Jose’s Inaugural Gala on November 3] has been fun. I haven’t worked with Jorma Elo at all, so I’m all really interested in Glow-Stop as well. I’m excited to see what happens.
Say something to Ballet San Jose’s fans and supporters!
I hope you enjoy our dancing and continue to support the company!
Join Alex and the rest of the company at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts December 8 – 23 for Ballet SJ’s brand new production of The Nutcracker, featuring world premiere choreography by Karen Gabay and performed to live music by Symphony Silicon Valley. Buy tickets online at http://www.balletsj.org, or call the Box Office at (408) 288-2800. And if you attended Ballet SJ’s Inaugural Gala and want to see more of our 2013 Season, subscribe today! As a season subscriber, you’ll receive free parking, best available seating, additional discounts on single tickets, and other awesome perks.
We are so excited to share this new Nutcracker and exciting repertory season with you! See you at the CPA next month!