FAR AND NEAR

AIMEE GRUMBACH (Dance 2016) has been living in Istanbul for the past few weeks. Earlier this summer, she sampled cultural slices of Frankfurt, Monte Carlo, Manhattan, Hong Kong, and Chicago. This month, as the start of the new school term draws closer, she will take a quick tour through parts of Italy, France and Russia. 

All without ever leaving San Francisco. 

Aimee appreciates the changing scenery of her summer, whether its losing herself in the story about a 17th century Italian scholar taken prisoner by the Ottoman Empire (required reading for her sophomore Honors English class this Fall “The White Castle” by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk), taking the summer session at Alonzo King Lines Ballet, or training in classes at the Academy of Ballet. 

Alonzo King has been a guest ballet master for dance companies around the globe, leaving his enduring artistic legacy in each place he visits. When he returns to San Francisco, pieces of these artistic collaborations travel with him, infusing his educational and professional programs with a broader world view of his global dance experiences.

The Academy of Ballet in San Francisco offers more traditional dance instruction, with roots in the Italian Renaissance from which the currently performed Italian, French and Russian concert dance evolved. The most widely known ballet style is Ballet Blanc or Late Romantic Ballet, a classical style featuring pointe work and flowing, precise acrobatic movements. 

Aimee recognizes and embraces these diverse contributions to her life as a dancer and high school student at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. Inspired by all types of dance, her favorite styles are modern, contemporary ballet, and modern jazz. She is a big fan of the work of the late great Alvin Ailey, an African-American choreographer and activist and founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Ailey is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in 20th century concert dance.

“At the academy we study very classical ballet, which I use to better my technique and bring it into my work at SOTA. At Alonzo King it is "contemporary ballet" which is ballet but bigger arms and torso. At the King summer program they also offered other kinds of dance like modern, partnering, hip hop, afro, and Alonzo King's Lines Ballet repertoire.”

This summer, Aimee has been the student and the teacher, sharing her knowledge at a local Dance Camp for children, where she taught the kids ballet, modern and pop.

What goes around comes around. Absolutely.