Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Crystal Lake, IL

A lot of preparation went into our final week of classes at the Judith Svalander School of Ballet in Crystal Lake, IL. It is one of Valery's favorite studios for it's serious, pre-professional students. The week will feature an intense three classes a day with the same group of students. A late (5PM) start gives us a lot of time to sleep and prepare before we start. Interestingly, after spending quite a bit of time going over the music for the various combinations in the pointe class, we arrived to find a piano and accompanist. As it happens, he did not stay for the pointe class, so the preparation was not moot.

Now that we've completed the first day, a little wistfulness is starting to set in as we realize there are only three days left before we're done with the tour all together. The beginning on July 4 weekend seems like it was years ago, and it's hard to imagine it is really drawing to a close.

Incidentally, Valery always enjoys seeing pictures from classes and students. If you took any pictures and can e-mail them to us at, I can share them with him before he returns to Russia.

Looking ahead, after the Labor Day weekend Valery returns to Russia to work on a world premire production of The Snow Maiden set to debut in October with all new choreography and an original score. I'll try to keep you updated about that project as much as possible.

Meanwhile, we're going to start working on our plans for classes in January and next summer. We want to book as many of the intensives for summer as possible before the winter holidays. This will allow schools to advertise their programs in Dance Magazine's summer master class edition if they so desire. We're not sure what our route will be, but we'll most likely base it around the first schools that sign up for dates, so if you think you'll want to see Valery next summer, please send me an e-mail.

In January, Valery returns to the U.S. for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference. From there we plan to head south, so if you have a school in Virginia, North Carolina or on the East Coast and you want Valery to return this winter, please let us know.

In the meantime, we're resting up for another evening at the Judith Svalander school. Nine more classes to go...