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Silicon Valley Ballet, Former Ballet San Jose Closing After 30 Years

SAN JOSE (CBS/AP) -- Silicon Valley Ballet has ceased operations after a 30-year-run as the primary Bay Area dance company south of San Francisco, officials said Wednesday.

The ballet company changed its name last year from Ballet San Jose and recapitalized in hopes of drawing more backers.

"This is a tremendous loss to the Bay Area dance scene," said Celia Fushille, artistic director of Smuin Ballet. "The dance world is very small, and this impacts many people we know and respect, so it's a sad day indeed."

Following a series of performances in February, 30 union dancers were let go and the remaining two programs of the season were canceled, board member Millicent Powers said.

About a dozen full- and part-time staffers have been let go and operations at the company's 20,000-square-foot building in downtown San Jose are winding down, the newspaper reported.

The company's annual budget was around $5.5 million, with about half philanthropy, Powers said. But donations would decrease and when fundraising ceased, so did the company.

Donations that we thought were a `yes' turned into a `no,"' Powers said.

Silicon Valley Ballet was founded in 1986 by Dennis Nahat as San Jose Cleveland Ballet, a unique two-city troupe. In 2000, the Cleveland schedule was discontinued. Ballet San Jose went on to earn critical acclaim. Nahat left in 2012.

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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