So, the dancers have been on a break since Don Quixote, which was a big success. The audience seemed to really love the show. The feedback I received from patrons and commenters on the blog was extremely complimentary (thanks!).
Now that Don Q is behind us, we’re all looking forward to the next program. At two different times during Don Quixote rehearsals, Sandra Jennings came to Salt Lake City to set most of the principal steps from Emeralds (George Balanchine) on the dancers. She will be back this month to complete the work. I may have mentioned in the past that we are typically never just working on one program. We learn different ballets throughout the year based on the most convenient times choreographers or guests can come.
Sandra Jennings was born in Boston and began her dance training with June Paxman of the Washington Ballet and later with E. Virginia Williams at Boston Ballet. At the age of 13, she received a Ford Foundation scholarship to the School of American Ballet in New York. At the age of 15, Jennings performed George Balanchine’s Tarantella at New York’s City Center.
In spring 1974, Jennings was asked by George Balanchine to join New York City Ballet where she worked with him for the next nine years. During her tenure, she danced an enormous repertoire that included principal and soloist roles in many Balanchine and Jerome Robbins ballets. In addition, Jennings danced works by John Taras, Jacques d’Amboise, Sir Fredrick Ashton, and Peter Martins. She also performed in concerts with Jean Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Melissa Hayden, Helgi Tomasson, Violette Verdy, and Edward Villella. She performed on television in Dance in America, Live from Lincoln Center, Live from Studio 8H, and Canadian Broadcast.
Jennings has taught at schools and companies in the United States and abroad. She was ballet mistress and company teacher for The Pennsylvania Ballet for nine years and San Francisco Ballet for four years. Jennings is now a full time repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust and also on staff as a teacher and repetiteur at Marin Ballet.