Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brookline Ballet School opening Monday

By Brock Parker, Globe Correspondent

They've performed everywhere from Germany to Spain, London and the United States and now retired dancers Trinidad Vives and Parren Ballard are hoping to guide some of Brookline's children into the world of professional ballet.

Vives and Ballard have teamed with fellow Brookline couple John and Renée Randle to found the Brookline Ballet School, which is set to open Monday, Jan. 11, at 1431 Beacon St. just outside of Coolidge Corner.

"Our aim is to really become a serious training school," said Vives the artistic director for the school, and former artistic associate of the Boston Ballet. "With kids, you really see it happen from zero. You really see the fruit of your work."

The Brookline Ballet School will have two dance studios and will offer dance courses to children and adults of all ages. In addition to ballet, the school will also offer modern dance, jazz, Spanish, African and ballroom dance. Yoga, Pilates and stretching classes will also be offered at the school.

**Flamenco/Spanish Dance will be taught by Eve Agush on Thursdays (

Construction is still being completed at the school, located in the former home of "The Wild Goose Chase" store, but one studio will be operational by Monday when the doors open, said John Randle. The second studio will be completed a week later.

With backgrounds in business and management, the Randles decided to start the ballet school with Vives and Ballard in June and are hoping their school could eventually house about 150 students.

Ballard, who met and married Vives while dancing professionally in Europe, said he's hoping to get as many boys interested in ballet as he can.

"I was a very, very good jumper, and that is what boys find exciting," Ballard said. "In a way it's almost like gymnastics."

Vives, whose professional career began in Hamburg, Germany, and continued with stints with the Basel Ballet in Switzerland, the Düsseldorf Ballet in Germany, and the English National Ballet in London, said that most students at the school will not go onto careers in professional ballet.

But she said the school is hoping to teach an appreciation for the art of dancing that will continue with children, even if they never dance professionally.

Ballard said he is looking forward to working with children and the opportunity to help shape their lives.

"I just enjoy the impact I make on them as people, too," he said. "We work hard, but we also have fun."

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