Three's Company's co-artistic director Betzi Roe recently returned from 2 1/2 weeks in the Soviet Union with a lot more than memories.
The modern dancer and choreographer was invited to become the first permanent modern dance teacher for the Leningrad Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory of Arts School of Choreography.
"I was asked to teach master classes there," she said, "and they were so hungry and so willing to learn everything I could teach them, that they said, 'You must make a commitment to come back here every year.' "
The offer involves an annual visit as guest artist for a month. Included in the package is an opportunity to choreograph for a 35-member professional dance company (part of the prestigious Kirov organization), and a showcase for her own solo concert.
"It's just incredibly wonderful," Roe said. "When things are so difficult here (eliciting audience support), it gives you a new perspective on your own skills and the significance of your art.
Will Roe take the Soviets up on their offer?
"How can you refuse something like this?" she asked. "But still I don't know whether it will all work out."
Nevertheless, Roe has enrolled in Russian language lessons since her return--just in case.
Whatever happened to California Ballet dancer Anne Dabrowski? The former Cal Ballet soloist (and sister of the company's prima ballerina, Denise Dabrowski) has been gainfully employed as a dancer with the Hartford Ballet for the last two years. If negotiations go as planned, Dabrowski is slated to tour China with the Connecticut-based troupe in the near future.
California Ballet-trained Linnette Hitchin is a scholarship student at Pacific Northwest Ballet this year, getting a taste of life as a professional dancer. The aspiring ballerina is touring with the troupe and holding her own alongside the regulars in the company ranks, company officials said.