Up close at the ballet

I’ve written about Company C Ballet twice a year for since I started Totally Unauthorized. They have provided quality modern dance with an innovative approach and never failed to entertain and enthrall us.

But art is a business, too, and Company C just wasn’t able to get enough backing and/or sell enough tickets.  They are going to have to restructure, remodel and redesign their business model. There will be no more performances at the Lesher, at least in the foreseeable  future. Not dead, but not in good shape, either.

Last Saturday, they put on a show for suckers people on their mailing list, held in their practice space, the Contra Costa Ballet Academy next to the Post Office on Broadway in Walnut Creek. It was an extraordinary experience.

Charles Anderson, Artistic Director of the company

Charles Anderson, Artistic Director of the company


Charles Anderson is the artistic director, founder, choreographer, chief, cook, and bottle washer  This is his baby, and he’s going to fight to keep it going.  For this event, he rounded up dancers and choreographers to provide an hour of very short pieces, some of which he had not seen himself, to be presented without sets or lighting within inches of the small, attentive crowd.

The sound system was a series of iPhones with the various musical pieces on them, plugged into a stereo.  Costuming was whatever could be found.

And it was fantastic. Many short pieces, too short for the stage, thrilled us all.

Sometimes, nothing is more expensive than “free”.  There was no charge for this event, but there was a strong pitch for donations.  One wealthy backer offered to match all donations up to $20,000, or so they said.  I always think this is just a scam to increase donations, and the donor is going to cough up the 20 grand in any case, but I may be too cynical.  In any event, checks were forthcoming; tickets would have been cheaper.

I’m including a slideshow of photos–I hope to have captured some of their grace and beauty, if not the motion.

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I hope Company C will be back, and I trust you will go see them when they are.  The Diablo Valley is made better by their grace and beauty.



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