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Memory Book - 2013: Karen Gabay Retirement Tribute (April 21, 2013)


Photos (unless otherwise noted) by Robert Shomler

Click on images to see larger versions

"…she stood alone at the center of the stage as each of the dancers and other members of Ballet SJ walked toward her and handed her a single red rose. Holding her flowers in her arms as rose petals rained on her head from [above] and in the auditorium the audience stood in her honor, Karen remained standing at the center of the stage. The audience applauded louder, cheering her as they waited for her to talk. But ballerinas do not speak; they dance, and Karen was no exception. Before her final curtain, without uttering a single word, Karen Gabay smiled, waving her hand as the curtains closed."
Iride Aparicio
Cultural World Bilingual
Photo by Chris Hardy Thank you to Prima ballerina Karen Gabay for "lighting up" our stage and lives for the past 34 years. Your artistic brilliance has touched me profoundly, as well as thousands of others over the years. Brava!
-Raymond Rodriguez, Ballet San Jose Principal Ballet Master
Amour Gitan

Choreography: Karen Gabay
Music: Maurice Ravel

Karen Gabay and Maykel Solas
The Nutcracker

Choreography: Karen Gabay
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Music: Adagio from the Grand Pas de Deux
Ramon Moreno and Karen Gabay Maykel Solas and Karen Gabay
Gabay's seven parnters, left to right:
Ramon Moreno, Rudy Candia, Maximo Califano, Raymond Rodriguez, Jeremy Kovitch, Anton Pankevitch, and Maykel Solas.
2-2 Tango

Choreography: Karen Gabay
Music: Various (See cast/playbill for credits)
Beth Ann Namey and Rudy Candia Karen Gabay and Raymond Rodriguez
Rudy Candia and Amy Marie Briones Maximo Califano
Maykel Solas, Rudy Candia, and Ramon Moreno Mirai Noda, Akira Takahashi, and Maria Jacobs-Yu
The Final Bow

"[Karen Gabay] retired last week, and her parting gift, Amour Gitan, a duet she devised in 1998 to Ravel’s 'Tzigane,' allowed her and Maykel Solas to cavort like gypsies under the spell of Eros. They raised the temperature in the hall a few degrees."
Allan Ulrich
San Francisco Chronicle

"Amour Gitan became a lovely interlude of romance a la gypsy. A splendid Maykel Solas partners her. [Gabay] truly came alive as a lover who was teasing and flirtatious one moment and temperamental and sexually demanding the next. At the end, she generously shared a bouquet of red roses with Maykel and the fine musicians, pianist [George Lopez] and violinist Lev Polyakin."

"Ballerina is still splendid…" "How do you say farewell to a beloved ballerina? On stage, of course. So, for one last time, Karen Gabay joined her colleagues at a Ballet San Jose season closer."
Rita Felciano
San Jose Mercury News

"The Nutcracker grand pas de deux provided Gabay in white classical tutu with seven cavaliers dressed in black. As arranged by Gabay, each partner supported her for a phrase or two of that swelling hymn to the pas de deux. The swains were: Maximo Califano, Rudy Candia, Jeremy Kovitch, Ramon Moreno, Anton Pankevitch, Raymond Rodriguez, Maykel Solas. Bright eyes gleaming, her smile radiant, Gabay looked sensational."

"…the program finished with another Gabay creation, 2-2 Tango, featuring many of the company dancers. Gabay has the ability to create light-hearted, sometimes cheeky, unexpectedly punctuated dances…It’s a genuine talent."
Renee Renouf Hall

The Nutcracker        The Nutcracker : Karen Gabay

Program 1        Don Quixote : After Marius Petipa and
               Alexander Gorsky

Program 2        Les Rendezvous : Sir Frederick Ashton
       Méditation from Thaïs : Sir Frederick Ashton
       Clear : Stanton Welch
       Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 : Clark Tippet

Program 3        Duets : Merce Cunningham
       Glow-Stop : Jorma Elo
       Eighty One : Jessica Lang