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Nevertheless, something about the South Bay managed to appeal to her. Even though she was two years away from turning 60, and had only previously seen California during her Royal Danish Ballet days, she made up her mind. La Cour decided to accept Nahat’s job offer and leave not only Copenhagen but her youngest son, Mikkel, then 18. “Maybe you don’t like us,” Nahat had said to her, presumably referring strictly to downtown San Jose, “but we like you.”. For 10 years, la Cour ruled the school at Ballet San Jose, training young Odette/Odiles–and their future danseurs–in the Bournonville method she learned so well in Denmark capezio pointe shoes. She is one of the few people in this part of the universe who is an expert in the style, which emphasizes natural grace and dramatic impact..
In 2004, la Cour also became the choreographer for Opera San Jose; her work will be on display starting April 19 in the opera company’s season finale, Don Giovanni capezio pointe shoes. No doubt la Cour would still be at Ballet San Jose today had it not been for the ugly ouster of Nahat in 2012. The controversial move followed a bitter breach with the company he co-founded decades ago in Cleveland and subsequently brought to Silicon Valley. Knowing her own departure was imminent during those tumultuous months leading up to Nahat’s expulsion, la Cour–ever light on her feet–had already planned her next chapter. In 2012 she founded Lise la Cour’s LaCademy of Ballet to train elite dancers. The tiny studio is housed in the Dr. James Akiyama Wellness Center, a low-key multipurpose facility in San Jose’s Japantown..
La Cour, who turns 70 in August, keeps up a taxing work schedule. Six days a week she is at the studio, teaching two-hour classes. Because the 40-by-25-foot room she rents is also used for other activities like folk dancing and tai chi, she must roll out protective vinyl flooring for each of her sessions. After class, she has to roll it back up. Between 25 and 30 students are presently signed on with her, just enough so she can lavish individual attention on them capezio pointe shoes. When an outsider dropped by in the middle of a recent intermediate class, five 11- and 12-year-old girls were being put through their paces, over and over. All were dressed in demure white leotards and wrap skirts, their hair done up in classical ballet buns..
By contrast, la Cour’s all-ebony look was a cross between exotic goth and free-spirited Bohemian: high-heeled, knee-length suede boots, beaded hair extensions, lots of dangly jewelry. In an accented voice hoarsened by more than a half-century of cigarette smoking, she issued urgent, staccato commands. “Now feet together, small arms, keep your elbows in. Those feet are together, girls!”. “When you do piqué, it’s sharp! Look AND look AND look!”. “You have to use your hips, shoulders in this dance!” capezio pointe shoes.
The pace was nonstop, but the girls, all of whom are longtime pupils, never lost their concentration or stamina capezio pointe shoes. They clearly admire their instructor, who revealed afterward that many of her students–including one in today’s class–followed her from Ballet San Jose School. On the topic of her most recent employer, la Cour is unequivocal. “I was so close to Dennis that I knew if they weren’t going to keep him, they weren’t going to keep me,” she says. Still, “They could have [handled his exit] in a very beautiful way, with a big gala at the end of the season. He deserved it after so many years; it was his company, for Chrissakes!”..