August 22, 2007
I am thrilled and honored to announce a new strategic partnership between the Maple Conservatory of Dance and South Bay Ballet and its resident ballet school, the Lauridsen Ballet Centre in Torrance, California!
I have had the privilege of working with South Bay Ballet's Artistic Director, Diane Lauridsen, for over 12 years as a teacher and as South Bay Ballet's Associate Director and Resident Choreographer. It was during that time that I had the honor of creating over 40 ballets, including full-length productions of the Nutcracker, Cinderella, Coppélia, and Alice in Wonderland, as well as a multitude of shorter choreographed pieces.
For over 20 years, South Bay Ballet and the Lauridsen Ballet Centre have been a place of excellence in Southern California. That excellence is directly related to their dedicated and wonderful people that run the organization. Through Diane's vision and guidance, South Bay Ballet's faculty and board of directors have made their organization a compelling force in the Southern California dance community.
Diane has been incredibly supportive of my efforts here at the Maple Conservatory and has given me valuable advice. South Bay Ballet was my home for many happy years and it was very difficult for me to leave this superb company of beautifully trained dancers under the tutelage of Diane.
However, because of our new partnership, I am thrilled that I don't have to leave my friends at South Bay Ballet!
The Maple Conservatory and South Bay Ballet have formed a mutually beneficial partnership that will include the exchange and sharing of costumes, sets, props, choreography and possible shared performances between our two organizations.
Diane always talks about "raising the barre for dance" in Southern California. In keeping with the Maple Conservatory's mission to open our school and dance resources to the entire Southern California dance community, our collaboration with South Bay Ballet will surely help "raise the barre."
Bravo! This is truly a great day for the dance in Southern California!
Charles A. Maple
Maple Conservatory of Dance Director