Performing Artist: Choreographer, Dancer; term
Karen Denise Gabay was born in San Diego, California and began her ballet training at the age of eight at the California Ballet School, and later studied at the School of American Ballet in New York City. A principal dancer with Ballet San Jose, Miss Gabay’s diverse repertoire includes Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the title role in Giselle, Swanhilda in Coppelia, the pupil in Fleming Flindt’s The Lesson, the title role in Roland Petit’s Carmen, the principal female in George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Tarantella, and Serenade, the Cowgirl in Agnes DeMille’s Rodeo, and is most recognized for the ballets created for her by choreographer, Dennis Nahat. Always an audience favorite, Miss Gabay has been a guest artist with North Carolina Dance Theater, Ballet Tucson, Ballet Nuevo Mundo, The Eglevsky Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Los Angeles Classical Ballet and has toured with Cynthia Gregory’s Dance Galaxy throughout South America. She has performed at various galas and festivals that include the Vail International Dance Festival, the Career Transitions for Dancers Gala in New York City, and the Spoleto and Edinburgh Festivals with Rudolph Nureyev. In 2006, she assisted the late Fleming Flindt in rehearsing The Lesson, for the Kings of the Dance with Angel Corella, Johann Kobberg, and Nikolay Tsiskaridze, and later that year performed in the Hungarian Festival of Freedom Tribute with members of the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2011, Miss Gabay was honored by the Arts Council Silicon Valley and was given the Artist Fellowship Award for Choreography. She has created over forty ballets, twenty of those for Pointe of Departure. Miss Gabay has created world premieres for Ballet San Jose,the International Ballet Competition and Gala in Jackson, Mississippi, the Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Ballet, Chautauqua Dance Company, Cuyahoga Youth Ballet, Dancing Wheels, and the Cleveland Composer’s Guild. Miss Gabay enjoys her role as rehearsal assistant for Ballet San Jose, staging and rehearsing the repertoire of the company and teaches company class. She is frequently invited as a guest teacher for many ballet schools across the nation, and is brought in as a guest instructor for master classes in the Bay Area and in the nation. Miss Gabay has worked for the Ford Model Agency branch in Cleveland, Ohio and her film and television credits include the feature film, RENT, The Drew Carey Show, the PBS Emmy-nominated Blue Suede Shoes, the independent film, “Twisted”, the Queen of Denmark’s silver anniversary gala for Scandinavian television and the KTEH show, This is US! , that profiles her career of thirty years as a Prima Ballerina. The summer of 2012 brings delight to Miss Gabay as Pointe of Departure embarks on their annual tour to Northeast Ohio and their presence in the Bay Area.