Oakland Ballet Announces 2019 Spring Repertory Season


Jazz Vistas features new and recent works by Bay Area choreographers

Oakland, CA, March 6, 2019—Oakland Ballet Company has announced its 2019 Spring Repertory Season, titled Jazz Vistas. Billed as a concert of intimate ballet featuring new and recent works by Bay Area choreographers and live music, the performance celebrates Oakland's cultural heritage as a center of jazz and blues. 

Jazmine Quezada in Oakland Ballet's Jazz Vistas. Photo by John Hefti
Jazmine Quezada in Oakland Ballet's Jazz Vistas. Photo by John Hefti

A new piece, The Oaktown Blues, features the work multiple choreo Lustig has challenged the choreographers to create different sections of The Oaktown Blues to draw out contemporary meaning from classic tunes to infuse the decades-old standard repertoire with fresh energy and relevance. "The most special thing about Oakland Ballet Company is the city of Oakland-where it has been, and where it is going," said Lustig. "Music and dance are part of the fabric of this town. Jazz Vistas looks back to honor Oakland's rich cultural heritage, while also looking forward to support the creation of new work by artists living and working in the city today."

Live music is by a combo musicians from the Oaktown Jazz Workshop. Directed by Ravi Abcarian with special guest Oakland-based vocalist Tiffany Austin, the music is inspired by West Oakland's history "as an African American cultural mecca and incubator of jazz and blues following World War II." Also on the program is Lustig's 2011 VISTA, set to the "swanky, charmingly quirky" music of John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards. Musical selections include West Coast blues, swing and boogie woogie classics made famous by Sugar Pie Desanto, Ivory Joe Hunter, Saunders King, Big Mama Thornton, Etta James and Lowell Fulson.

On Saturday April 13 Oakland Ballet Company presents its annual Spring Gala fundraiser from 6-10pm at the Bellevue Club on Lake Merritt in Oakland. The evening is hosted by ABC7 news reporter Cheryl Jennings and includes a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception; an informal performance featuring highlights from the company's spring season, Jazz Vistas; a three-course dinner catered by the Bellevue Club; and a silent auction offering items such as vacation packages, tickets to local sporting and cultural events, luxury goods, and local services. Following dinner, guests are invited to dance with members of Oakland Ballet to live music by Little Jonny and the Giants.

Performances are Friday April 5 at 8pm and Saturday April 6 at 3pm and 8pm in the Florence Schwimley Little Theater, Berkeley High School. For more information contact Oakland Ballet.