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The Ronn Guidi Foundation (RGF) was founded in 2001. Its mission is (1) to administer the operation of the Oakland Ballet Company, and (2) to offer ballet training for young dancers while preserving and presenting historically significant Ballet, including works from the Diaghilev Ballet Russes era.
Ronn Guidi was the founder and Artistic Director for the Oakland Ballet Company from 1968 to 1999. After his retirement in 1999, the company changed its name to Oakland Ballet Association and shifted its artistic focus. However, it was unable to sustain its subscriber base and in early 2006, it closed.
Mr. Guidi decided to return the professional Oakland Ballet Company through the Foundation. After a successful performance of The Nutcracker in December 2006, the Foundation announced the Company's return with Ronn Guidi as Founder and Artistic Director on July 28, 2007.
The Foundation will award full and partial scholarships to assist especially promising young women and men to obtain advanced training and private tutelage. Scholarships will be provided solely on the basis of artistic talent and awarded without regard to the dancers' race, nationality, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
The Oakland Ballet Youth Company, formerly the Western Festival Ballet, is a youth company comprised of unpaid pre-professional dancers supplemented by paid professional dancers in lead roles. The Foundation promotes this endeavor through a nurturing and professional ballet staff led by Mr. Ronn Guidi. Eventually the Oakland Ballet Youth Company will feature talented young dancers from age 8 to 18; however, auditions are currently open to all students in the community between the ages of 14 and 18. Information about specific Oakland Ballet Youth Company auditions is distributed to the directors of ballet academies in the greater Bay Area, and students outside of the Oakland Ballet Academy are encouraged to continue their training with their current schools. The Oakland Ballet Youth Company thus serves as an extracurricular rehearsal and performance opportunity that will provide a unique experience to those students seeking a professional career in the performing arts or endeavoring to test the limits of their dancing ability in a supportive and creative environment.Preserving the Ballet Russe Tradition
The Ronn Guidi Foundation for the Performing Arts intends to help preserve the Ballet Russe era works of art and other dance masterpieces by:
- Encouraging and underwriting presentations of these ballets by The Oakland Ballet Youth Company
- Training a select group of dancers in the Ballet Russe repertoire
- Establishing a library collection of videotapes and related material for research and education of future generations
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