Gary Masters, sjDANCEco Co-Artistic Director announces his retirement

Gary Masters, sjDANCEco Co-Artistic Director announces his retirement

After twenty years as the founder and artistic director of sjDANCEco, Gary Masters has formally announced his retirement. Masters founded the San Jose based modern dance company in March of 2003 and has led the organization through two decades of artistic growth and expanded reach. sjDANCEco now presents a series of performances and programs including summer and fall programs of premieres and revivals, a two-day long spring festival for professional and community dance companies, and DanceINSPIRE, a free elementary school field trip program for Santa Clara County elementary school children featuring live music, dance, and lesson plans for their classrooms.

Gary Masters is passing the reins to his long-time Co-Artistic Director, Maria BasileThe two have worked together since the company’s inception when they were both part of Limón West Dance Project. Masters had this to say about her leadership, “As I step down from the artistic and administrative responsibilities of sjDANCEco, I feel confident in the future development and growth of the company under Maria’s artistic excellence and forward thinking. She has been, since the beginning, the company’s symbol of excellence through her extraordinary performances and stellar choreography. She believes in the power of dance to enhance, inspire, and change our world. I look forward to the next 20 years and beyond with her passionate leadership, keen eye, and devotion to Dance, the company and the community.”

Masters plans to continue to guide the Mentoring Program at Independence High School for sjDANCEco, and to support the Company, dance in the Bay Area, and especially in the South Bay.

Maria Basile has assumed the duties as sole Artistic Director of sjDANCEco at the start of the new fiscal year, July 1st. “I am very excited to continue sjDANCEco’s artistic excellence in the years to come”, says Basile. “I am grateful for the guidance and mentorship that Gary has graciously provided over the past 20 years and I am enthusiastic about what our future holds. I hope to reinstate our “On The Edge” performances, formerly called ChoreoProject, where our professional dancers get a chance to hone their own choreographic skills in performances that they can truly call their own. Since the start of sjD, we have dreamt about employing our dancers full time, building a theater for dance in the South Bay, and broadening our youth program as far and wide as possible… introducing children to the creative mind-body connection of dance, and building their confidence. That is my favorite goal.”

sjDANCEco presents ABLAZE with the San José Chamber Orchestra, Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7 at 8pm in San Jose’s California Theatre. sjDANCEco is “Blazing” forward into the next 20 years with company choreographers Maria Basile and Nhan Ho and guest choreographers Fred Mathews, Kara Davis, Rogelio Lopez and Cathleen McCarthy.

Tickets can be found here