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San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
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Author:  art076 [ Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Woah - has anyone received their very slick, holographic, uber-fancy looking brochure/souvenir gizmo from San Francisco Ballet for the 2004 Nutcracker production?

Author:  DavidH [ Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Yeah Art, that's quite the marketing budget they're showing off huh?

I still have one of their Nut brochures from a few years ago - a pop-up card - very expensive.

DGH

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Yes -- both the original (with Drosselmeyer) and now a follow-up, with a ballerina in the holograph. Dollar signs flashed before my eyes on both occasions. Definitely for the permanent retention file.

Author:  Diana [ Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Quote:
'44 'Nutcracker' staged on a shoestring

By Mary Ellen Hunt

Contra Costa Times

Helgi Tomasson's grand new "Nutcracker" will be the fifth in an illustrious line of "Nutcrackers" for the San Francisco Ballet.
Click for more

Author:  Diana [ Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Quote:
A bright, shiny 'Nutcracker'

By Mary Ellen Hunt

Contra Costa Times

On a cold stage in late November, an air of mystery and magic prevails as Tchaikovsky's music for the "Nutcracker" swells from a rehearsal piano. Clad in a sweeping cape, Drosselmeyer looms ominously in the background, as if casting a spell on his sleeping niece, Clara.

Click for more

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Casting is now available:

http://www.sfballet.org/performances/casting.aspx

Author:  mehunt [ Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Thanks, Francis! It's so exciting -- there's not a cast I don't want to see!!

ME:)

Author:  LMCtech [ Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

From the Chronicle.

Quote:
Cracking the 'Nut': S.F. Ballet takes on a huge risk in reworking traditional favorite that's its lifeblood
Steven Winn, Chronicle Arts and Culture Critic

Yes, it will still be a "Nutcracker" through and through. Tomasson wasn't about to offer some high-concept deconstruction or irreverent slant on a work regarded as a kind of sacred historical trust here. That turf belongs to such directors as Mark Morris ("The Hard Nut") and Matthew Bourne, whose cheeky modern "Nutcracker!" recently played Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. Perhaps more than any other ballet, as Jennifer Fisher writes in "Nutcracker Nation," this one "thrives on multiple personality syndrome." Despite Tomasson's essentially straightforward approach, traditionalists still may be a bit rattled when the Opera House curtain goes up Friday night. With a meticulously rendered scenic drop in the ballet's prologue -- a row of San Francisco Victorian housefronts -- Tomasson clearly places his story in the city that first raised the "Nutcracker" flag on this continent.
more...

Author:  mehunt [ Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Did anyone else catch Allan Ulrich's return to the Examiner for a preview on the Nutcracker?

Quote:
Birth of a new Nutcracker
By Allan Ulrich | Special to The Examiner
Published on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

One of the most anticipated dance events of the year begins Friday night. The San Francisco Ballet will unveil its brand new production of the much-loved holiday classic "Nutcracker." Details of the new production are a closely kept secret but in this introduction to the new version, writer Allan Ulrich tells about how the ballet came to launch this new incarnation.
MORE

<small>[ 15 December 2004, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: mehunt ]</small>

Author:  djb [ Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

I must say that I liked the concept of the new "Nutcracker" and the decor and costumes very much. The introduction and the way it leads into the story was most enjoyable, and rather filled me with civic pride. I wonder whether non-San Franciscans would be as delighted with it as I was. (I don't even want to say what happens, before most people have seen it, as it's such a nice surprise. But I suppose someone will spill the beans.)

Also on the positive side is the increase in the amount of dancing -- real dancing -- for the kids. There were interesting touches all the way through, such as the way the Mouse King is defeated and the opening (literally) of the Russian dance.

What was disappointing was much of the choreography. There were sections of interest and loveliness, followed by a bit of stock choreography straight out of a Petipa ballet (the sort of combination that could be found in any number of Petipa ballets).

I was sitting in the dress circle, so I enjoyed seeing the corps' patterns in the snow scene. I particularly remember the beautiful moment when the corps did unison chaine turns heading downstage. The new snow pas de deux has more dancing for the Snow King, which is is good. This snow scene was interesting enough that I didn't mind not seeing Christensen's choreography, even thought that was one of my favorite parts of the former production. The feeling of the new one is quite different, though. As I overheard someone say, Christensen's was like a snowstorm, and this one is like flurries.

Where I really did miss the old production was in the Waltz of the Flowers. I felt Christensen's choreography matched the build-up in the music beautifully, whereas Tomasson's would suddenly lag in energy, just as the music was surging. And while the new costumes are lovely, I preferred the old multicolored bouquet to the current monochromatic one.

Still, even though I'll always have parts of the ballet from various others productions that are my favorite (for instance, I still think the best Spanish dance I've seen was in the NC School of the Arts production when I was a student there), the new SFB production is a good one, and a feast for the eyes.

<small>[ 18 December 2004, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>

Author:  Danseur [ Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

What's with the 'Sugar Plum Fairy', not being the same as the 'Grand Pas' couple? *Scratches head* :confused:

Author:  djb [ Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Oh, dear. I finally got around to writing about the individual dancers in the opening night performance, but I took a chance and didn't save it elsewhere, and then my darling cat jumped onto the keyboard and now I've lost it all. So let me just say that the performances were all excellent, especially Tina LeBlanc and Gonzalo Garcia in the Grand Pas de Deux and Guennadi Nedviguine in the Russian Dance.

Garcia's dancing in his variation was remarkably light and effortless. LeBlanc, as usual, displayed exemplary technique, musicality, warmth and...well, everything.

All three men in the Russian dance (Nedviguine, Pablo Piantino and James Sofranko) gave exciting performances, but nothing can beat the look of someone who has had extensive exposure to Russian character dance training. Nedviguine may be the purest of classical dancers, but he always had just the right timing in the lift of his head and chest and the flick of his hand to make him seem the best of character dancers.

<small>[ 19 December 2004, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Dec 19, 2004 9:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Quote:
New S.F. `Nutcracker' is simply superb

By Mary Ellen Hunt
Special to the Mercury News

Wonder and enchantment of the best kind fill the eye in Helgi Tomasson's much anticipated new production of ``Nutcracker,'' which the San Francisco Ballet premiered at the War Memorial Opera House on Friday night. <a href=http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/10456105.htm target=_blank>more</a>

Author:  DavidH [ Mon Dec 20, 2004 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

From Rachel Howard in today's SF Chronicle:'

Quote:
Waiting for San Francisco Ballet's new "Nutcracker" was a lot like staring at that gold-trimmed box under the Christmas tree.
A near-perfect gift for holidays -- Ballet's new 'Nutcracker' is a marvel

<small>[ 20 December 2004, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: DavidH ]</small>

Author:  mehunt [ Mon Dec 20, 2004 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004

Thanks, Azlan, for posting my review. The Mercury news generally publishes shorter versions of my reviews when they pick them up (for space reasons), but if you're interested in the longer review,it's in the Contra Costa Times today.

The beginning of Rachel Howard's review reminded me that a few days ago, I was passing the giant doors on the side of the opera house that open onto the loading dock. It's where they back up the trucks and bring in the set pieces.

They were loading in pieces of the Nutcracker and I couldn't help peeking in -- feeling kind of like the kids in the Balanchine version of the Nut -- trying to catch a glimpse of the decorations through the parlor doors.

<small>[ 20 December 2004, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: mehunt ]</small>

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