An Interview with founder, Francesca Stern
Well, I would like to say I always dreamt of one…but in truth, it was such a wild dream that I wouldn’t even let myself dream it! Then we started our performing Co and I allowed the dream to creep into my consciousness. I spoke it out loud one day to Laurie, who was writing our newsletter at the time, and then thought nothing more of it. She sent me the newsletter with The Redondo Ballet auditions announcement listed…I called and said “oh no, you have to pull that! I’m not ready”. As the day progressed I realized it could happen, and if it didn’t happen now then I would have to wait for at least another year (because of scheduling shows and auditioning dancers etc). So, I called back and said print it!
I adore ballet, but I find many ballets to be out of reach for many people, for a number of reasons; the price, the length of the ballets, getting to the theaters, the thought that they won’t understand it or it will be boring etc. I wanted to have a company where everyone was invited, including children. I felt that this would be a great way to introduce young people to the art. At the same time, I didn’t want to dumb down the work – children deserve to see great works as well. I like to think of our company as a Pixar production. Our productions engage and entertain all ages.
Fantastic! Donna Perkins joined me from the very start and we have created something we are both very proud of. We both work very hard, but enjoy every minute of it…and we haven’t finnished yet!
Gosh, we are so far ahead. We founded Redondo Ballet 3 years ago…we have won a multitude of awards…we have even traveled internationally. The Company has grown rapidly. Our first production, Snow Queen had 10 dancers playing all of the roles – this past year we had over 50 dancers taking the stage!
Working with Donna. Having my husband coordinating the production details. We have created a great team energy, where everything and anything is possible. Traveling to Belize, taking the company non profit, working with our dedicated board of directors. Watching productions grow from meetings in our office to seeing them on stage. From…what about this…to seeing it come to fruition.
That there were so many opportunities for the company to perform. I love to watch parents, watch their dancers. I love to see them see their dancers succeed. I love to see how sometimes, the parents are tentative, can my child do this? are they ready? can they handle the work load?…and then they shine on stage. The parents watch and witness their dancer’s growth.
We are accessible to people. We bring the dance to the people. Our Ballet in a Box program. We truly believe we are helping our dancers be not only the best dancers they can be, but also compassionate citizens of the world.
More travel, both in the US and abroad. Maybe having a school component (maybe I shouldn’t say that – it tends to happen!)
More dreams…some we have thought of…some we don’t even know about yet! The sky’s the limit!
Next up…an interview with President and Co-Artistic Director, Donna Perkins.
Watch this space…