Lise La Cour, Director, Ballet San Jose School

1 Jan

For balletomanes who have been following the Ballet San Jose situation and the planned introduction of American Ballet Theatre’s training syllabus at the Ballet San Jose School, one is told nothing of the future of Lise La Cour, current director of the school.

La Cour is scarcely a lightweight amongst ballet teachers or ignorant of ballet technique and training.  Danish born, and Royal Danish Ballet trained, she clearly knows her Bournonville technique.  After dancing with the Royal Danish Ballet she service as the Artistic Director’s assistant for almost forty years, according to Dennis Nahat, and also ran the school producing students and school programs.

Like Nahat with the company, La Cour has been the soul of the school since her arrival in 2002.  Nahat cannot praise her enough for the devotion she brings to her directorship, embracing household duties, student support, hospitality as well as producing remarkable story ballets each spring at San Jose’s California Theatre. Having seen at least two of the productions, what her training has fostered in the students is remarkable; a gentle, lively approach, classical but free of  a hard edge.  Her offerings are something to look forward to.

From her former marriage to Peter Martins, Lise La Cour has a son, Nilas, and from her life as La Cour, Ask; both men are prominent in the ranks of New York City Ballet dancers.

Clearly, Lise La Cour has demonstrated she knows how something works and proceeds to produce it. Ballet San Jose has been extremely fortunate to have enjoyed this remarkable individual raising future dancers since 2002. When something works, why try to change it?


3 Responses to “Lise La Cour, Director, Ballet San Jose School”

  1. larry haganey January 9, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    She is the best of the best. Her yearly students perfomances are second to no one! She is unreplacable! Ballet san jose would never be as good without her.

    • woollywesterneye January 9, 2012 at 7:19 am #

      1. Thank you for reading me.
      2. Thank you for agreeing with me.
      3. Lise La Cour has a rare gift and I do hope Ballet San Jose’s management, whatever it currently is and/or may become, is aware of what a treasure it possesses in her leadership.
      4. What American Ballet Theatre is attempting in its syllabus is admirable. We have no Vaganova system; we have no Royal Danish training outside of what teachers like Stanley Williams and Lise
      La Cour have given to American aspirants; the R.A.D. training has given English dancers a cohesion which is admirable. The French system has undergone many sea changes, including the stimulus of
      Serge Lifar and more recently Rudoph Nureyev. Good systems can absorb good values, but there needs to be a system strong enough to absorb new values, and I do believe that is what American Ballet Theatre
      syllabus is attempting. I do hope the syllabus and its advocates will recognize what a resource Lise La Cour unquestionably is.
      And in the name of history I should also mention the influence of
      the Italian dance master Enrico Cecchetti, whose training influenced
      the very Russians who spread the art of ballet to this country.

  2. woollywesterneye February 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    February 21, 2012

    Lee Kopp, Publicity for Ballet San Jose, has just announced that Lise La Cour has been
    released from her position as Director of Ballet San Jose’s School, a move feared likely
    because she was engaged by former artistic director Dennis Nahat.

    One can only hope that some discerning School Director will engage this discarded
    Danish jewel.

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