The San Francisco Ballet School recently interviewed School alumni Daniel Deivison-Oliveira for a short Q&A. Deivison-Oliveira is a SF Ballet Company Soloist and a SFBS Trainee Program alum. Daniel was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and trained at Cia Brasileira de Ballet, Ballet da Cidade de Niteroi, Escula de Danças Maria Olenewa, Petite Danse School, and San Francisco Ballet School. He joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2005 and was promoted to soloist in 2011.
San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Concerto Grosso. (© Erik Tomasson)
How did you find your way to San Francisco Ballet School?
In 2003 I participated in the Youth America Grand Prix competition in New York City, and I was identified by Gloria Govrin (then School Associate Director) as a candidate to come to SFBS. I did not immediately accept the offer, and in fact, I left ballet for a year. After re-examining my career objectives, I got in touch with Ms. Govrin and she extended another offer in 2004. I was excited about the new Trainee Program that she described, and I am happy that I was a part of the program in its very first year.
We sat down with Pollyana Ribeiro this month to get some insider information on her first year of teaching full time at San Francisco Ballet School. Below are some reflections on her year at the School:
Pollyana Ribeiro (© Michael J Seamans)
“I love working with Patrick again—I worked with him for a long time in Boston (we were both principal dancers and partners)—I’ve known him for 20 years. I like the atmosphere and work environment at SFBS; it’s very positive and healthy. I have a wonderful and varied class schedule— from beginners to advanced students.
“The biggest challenge—and pleasure—has been working with the Community Scholarship Program students. I have 25 little girls, and the majority had absolutely no experience with dance and ballet when they started in September. The class is very basic—teaching the girls rudimentary steps and positions. They were gangly and floppy when we first started. Now their ballet vocabulary has been greatly expanded, and they can stand up in proper positions, point their feet (most of the time!), and they are much more musical. They have improved so much since day one. I love their spirit. They are like little sponges—absorbing all of the information. The girls really want to be in class, and they show their love of ballet. Read More
We sat down with a few of the principal dancers performing in this year’s production of Romeo & Juliet to get their point-of-view on this classic ballet.
Yuan Yuan Tan
When did you first see Romeo & Juliet? What did you think?
“I first saw Romeo & Juliet on TV, it was of the Royal Ballet with Natalia Makarova was dancing Juliet. The amazing music and emotional story has stayed with me ever since.”
When did you first dance Juliet? How has the role changed for you since the first time?
“I danced my first Juliet here in San Francisco, and have danced it a number of times since, including a very memorable partnership with Yuri Possokhov for his farewell performance. I also had the pleasure of dancing alongside Roberto Bolle at a gala in Shanghai earlier this year. I feel that my character gets stronger and more developed every year I dance Juliet. I have matured quite a bit since my first year dancing the role, and find that I am able to make my character more convincing to myself. The artistic value becomes greater with age and experience.”
Can you describe your experience dancing opposite your partner, Vito Mazzeo*?
“Working on Romeo & Juliet is very unique. I really find my emotional connection with my partner onstage. We can really let go, be in the moment, and experience the characters and chemistry on a deeper level. There is so much two artists can achieve together onstage. When dancing with role with Vito, we are able to discover new emotions onstage together.”
What is your favorite part of the ballet?
“The balcony pas de deux, ballroom scene, and death scene are all very memorable scenes, especially because the music is just so amazing. I look forward to dancing these sections the most.” Read More
To celebrate the highly anticipated return of SF Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet, we will send one lucky fan and a guest to the War Memorial Opera House on a romantic date night for two. We want you to get inspired by Romeo & Juliet‘s captivating tale and share a great love story of your own. To enter into this contest, post your story on social media with the hashtag #MyEpicLoveStory by Thursday, April 30, 2015. One fan will win a romantic evening for two on May 9, 2015 at 8pm, complete with pre-performance dinner at Café at the Opera*, Dress Circle Premium seats to Romeo & Juliet, and 2 Look Books signed by dancers of the Company. (See details below for official entry rules.)
**Please note that this contest has ended.**
*Winner will receive a $100 gift card from Patina Restaurant Group, to be used for food and beverages at the War Memorial Opera House.
How to Enter
1. Write a description and share a photo that best represents your own epic love story. You can be as broad or as detailed as you like and your love story can encompass a wide range of themes. Who’s to say they haven’t fallen in love with a pet, a stranger, or city?
2. Choose a social media platform (Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) and share your story and photo (or series of stories and photos!). Be sure to post your entry by noon on May 1, 2015. Read More