A touch of America comes to NZ School of Dance
15 May 2006
For immediate release
A touch of America comes to the New Zealand School of Dance
Betsy Erickson (Ballet Mistress for San Francisco Ballet) and Val Caniparoli (one of America’s foremost classical choreographers) will be in New Zealand from 22 May – 3 June to teach and rehearse students from the New Zealand School of Dance, two of Val Caniparoli’s chamber works Aria and Already Dusk for presentation within the November Graduation Season.
Born in Oakland, California, Betsy Erickson began her training with Winifred Gilmore in Orinda. She furthered her study with Raoul Pause and later continued her work with the San Francisco Ballet School on a Ford Foundation Scholarship; here, she studied with Lew and Harold Christensen and Anatole Vilzak. She entered San Francisco Ballet in 1964, dancing there for three years before joining American Ballet Theatre. As a soloist with ABT from 1967 – 1972, Ms Erickson performed such roles as Myrtha in Giselle and Lizzie’s mother in Agnes de Mille’s Fall River Legend. She returned to San Francisco Ballet in 1972, there performing principal and soloist roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Michael Smuin.
Following her retirement from dance performance in 1984, Ms Erickson joined Oakland Ballet as Ballet Mistress.
In 1986, Ms Erickson was artistic director of the National Ballet of Colombia in Bogotá. Ms Erickson travelled to Hong Kong in 1990 to set Sfumato and Val Caniparoli’s Connotations on the Hong Kong Ballet.
In 1992, Ms Erickson returned to San Francisco Ballet and was appointed Ballet Mistress. She is currently responsible for rehearsing and staging ballets from the San Francisco Ballet repertoire, including works by Lew Christensen, Helgi Tomasson, Val Caniparoli and Mark Morris.
Since 1973, Val Caniparoli has been hailed as a choreographer of uncommon ability and rare dramatic vision. Val Caniparoli has been praised for the implicit theatricality in his movement. His style and sensibility are uniquely his own. Over the years, Caniparoli’s ballets have earned him national and international praise from critics and audiences alike.
A technique class taken by Betsy Erickson and a rehearsal by Val Caniparoli of his two works Aria and Already Dusk will be presented from 9.00am to 12.00pm on Friday 2 June, 2006.