For nearly 70 years, the Sacramento Ballet has drawn upwards of 80,000 attendees each season.
To celebrate its upcoming 68th season, the company is partnering up with Bike Dog Brewing and local food truck vendors for “Beer and Ballet” series on weekends through Oct. 16.
But the event series isn’t the only thing the company is planning to celebrate the launch of the season — Sacramento Ballet is also announcing their Second Company program that aims to foster growth opportunities for dancers.
CapRadio’s Insight Host Vicki Gonzalez spoke with Artistic and Executive Director Anthony Krutzkamp about the upcoming season and the details of the second company.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
On what the vision is for the second company
When you think about what dancers have to go through in order to get a job — they have to fly, they have to go sometimes to other countries. What we wanted to do is create a space where we could bring 16 to 20 people [together] and make them just as good as professionals.
Also, help them write resumes, help them contact different artists and directors that we may know, and have the easiest way to get a job not only in just our company but at any company.
… We’ve expanded, so we have 20 [dancers] right now. I believe last year we had 13.
On what guests can expect from this ballet season
We’re revisiting our brand new Nutcracker and adding elements to it, and more children’s roles and more second company roles.
After that is Swan Lake, which I’m very excited about, and it’s probably the ballet that I performed the most when I was dancing.
So taking what I learned from pieces, [which] I did in Japan to parts of America, and splicing them together for one great Swan Lake — I’m really excited about that.
…So in Sacramento, you can come to the Sofia Theater, and you can see visions from different choreographers from everywhere.
On what the second company hopes to do for dancers
Well, especially with the pandemic, some of these dancers lost a whole year or two dancing in their kitchens on Zoom.
… [We] absolutely bring them in. We actually have the ability to polish their technique, and they know this. There’s an immediacy that they need in order to receive a job.
… Finding talent is number one. Number two, we have to make sure that we have a repertoire that makes everyone well-rounded.
And we’re going to wash, rinse, repeat all the way until May to make sure [they’re] the most well-rounded individuals that will audition for a company.
On how last season’s first performance since the pandemic closed theaters
I think we all collectively had tears of joy opening night of Nutcracker — just because we didn’t have anything to show [during the pandemic], I mean, ballet dance, in general, can’t live in a void, you know?
So that was the most amazing experience. I was very worried about the dancers coming back and injuries, so that’s where I was walking on eggshells.
I think for them, it was just like walking on clouds.
Reflecting back on that, it seems so long to get to that season. Every day we would go in, and there’d be three of us in a building that’s 27,000 square feet, and it just seemed like we were waiting forever [for performances to return].
And then it was just the most joyous thing to come back to. I think we all forgot what it was like to sweat that much.
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