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Diablo Ballet

Diablo Ballet dancers Hiromi Yamazaki with Derek Sakakura and Robert Dekkers perform in KT Nelson’s “The Escaping Game.” The ballet company will make its debut performance in Napa with a master class March 5 and a performance March 24 at the Napa Valley Opera House. Ashraf photo

The Diablo Ballet will make its debut at the Napa Valley Opera House in March with a schedule that also includes a dance master class at Napa Regional Dance Company in Napa. 

On March 5, Diable Ballet’s artistic director, Lauren Jonas, p will teach the master class  from 6-7:30  p.m.. This workshop is open to intermediate to advance dancers ages 12 and up and will focus on ballet technique. Jonas, who co-founded Diablo Ballet in 1993, has taught master classes at Napa Regional Dance for the last six years and for numerous ballet companies and dance schools.   

The class fee is $15.  The deadline to register is Feb. 25.

Napa Regional Dance, under the direction of Wanda McGill, was founded in 1988 in order to provide professional dance training and performance opportunities to dance students in the Napa Valley region.

The ballet will perform March 24 at 98 p.m. in a program featuring Kelly Teo’s Dancing Miles, in a dance tribute to Miles Davis, performed to live music under the musical direction of Diablo Ballet’s Musical Director Greg Sudmeier.  

Sudmeier has worked with such greats as Sammy Davis, Jr., Bobby McFerrin, Rosemary Clooney as well as serving as the musical director for the Skywalker Symphony.  

Also on the program is “Fluctuating Hemlines” by Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre. Hemlines is a perennial favorite in Diablo’s repertoire. Set to a live percussion score, the entire ballet is an exciting staccato attack of the space with a two-fold concept. The men begin in dapper suits and the women in dresses and wigs. The rest of the work finds the cast having shed their armor in favor of plain, yet revealing white tank-tops and shorts.  Second, the technique itself fluctuates between various styles and genres. Though the women remain on pointe for the duration of the work, there are instances of classical ballet, modern dance and even some good old-fashioned jazz.  

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