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San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012
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Author:  David [ Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:55 am ]
Post subject:  San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

San Francisco Ballet Returns to London

Sadler's Wells has announced that San Francisco Ballet will be returning to London this September with three mixed programmes as follows:

Programme A (14 Sept and 18 Sept at 7.30; 23 Sept at 4.00)
Divertimento No. 15 (Mozart / Balanchine)
Symphonic Dances (Rachmaninov / Liang)
Within the Golden Hour (Bosso / Vivaldi / Wheeldon)

Programme B (15 Sept and 21 Sept at 7.30; 16 Sept at 4.00)
Ghosts (Winger / Wheeldon)
RAkU (Eshima / Possohov)
Trio (Tchaikovsky / Tomasson)

Programme C (19 Sept, 20 Sept and 22 Sept at 7.30)
Beaux (Martinu / Morris)
Classical Symphony (Prokofiev / Possokhov)
Guide to Strange Places (Adams / Page)
Number Nine (Torke / Wheeldon)

Booking is now open via the box office or website.

See http://www.sadlerswells.com/show/San-Francisco-Ballet-Three-Mixed-Bills for more details.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

In the Guardian, Judith Mackrell explores the apparent success of San Francisco Ballet's use of social media as a marketing tool.

Guardian

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

SFB London visit in 2001

Back in the early days of criticaldance, SFB came to the Royal Opera House for their second visit to London. Pooling our resources in SF and London and working closely with the company, CD managed to create the most extensive coverage ever seen for a UK tour with:

- tour previews and end of tour conclusions
- around 10 interviews
- more than one review for every performance
- flash reviews submitted by phone immediately after the shows
- a daily diary

As SFB make a very welcome return to London in a few weeks, the 2001 coverage is still available on CD. Why not check it out:

http://www.criticaldance.com/sfb/index.html

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

Laura Cappelle previews San Francisco Ballet's London performances for the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Zoe Anderson previews SFB in London for the Independent.

Independent

Author:  David [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

‘Trio’, ‘Ghosts’, ‘Guide to Strange Places’
San Francisco Ballet
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London; September 15, 2012

Charlotte Kasner

Attachment:
Dores André, Rebecca Rhodes and Jeremy Rucker in Trio. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg
Dores André, Rebecca Rhodes and Jeremy Rucker in Trio. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg [ 31.68 KiB | Viewed 8056 times ]

Opening the evening, artistic director Helgi Tomasson’s “Trio” was danced to Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence” string sextet, a much less well known work than “Serenade for Strings”, but just as suitable for ballet. Alexander Nichols’ design suggested a gilded Florentine interior and Mark Zappone’s costumes had a seasonal theme with a rich Renaissance palette of greens, reds, oranges and browns.

The first movement is fluid, with constant pairings flitting in and out of view, the men assisting the women to jump and turn in a restless panorama of relationships. The second begins as a duet which succumbs to fate as the pair are joined by a second man - death, mindful of a world where life, love and death are never far apart. The final movement echoes the energy of the first but with an autumnal mood as the Company converge in an ensemble section that draws out the score's themes. All in all a watchable, subtle work that is a feast for the eye and the ear.
Attachment:
Sarah Van Patten and Tiit Helimets in Ghosts. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg
Sarah Van Patten and Tiit Helimets in Ghosts. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg [ 34.16 KiB | Viewed 8056 times ]

Christopher Wheeldon’s “Ghosts” is a curiously compelling piece with a backdrop that suggests a burning, relentless sun; an odd choice for disembodied souls. The Company demonstrated both ethereal lightness and a literal dead weight as the movement alternated between low figures and dragging, upright patterns. Kip Winger’s score is reminiscent of impressionistic works written a century ago, especially in the piano solos, while Wheeldon seems to have been influenced by Christopher Bruce, but without the political context. Who the ghosts are we are not privileged to know, nor why their past lives weigh so heavily upon them. Zaponne’s designs are not dissimilar in cut to those of “Trio” but with a ballet of greys, whites and greens, made the dancers look like giant lacewings, blending in with the backcloth.

The evening finished off with Ashley Page’s “Guide to Strange Places” to John Adams’ terrific eponymous score. There are moments that recall Adams’ Doctor Atomic, deep, blasting brass and insistent percussion in wonderfully complex rhythms. A recent academic study concluded that popular music has become increasingly bland over the decades, using a smaller and smaller repertoire of chords and rhythms. Not so serious contemporary music as Adams pulls in his familiar vocabulary of minimalism, dissonance and lush melody in a combination that is as lovely as Eton mess.

Jon Morrell’s designs are excellent: the backdrop suggesting a spider’s web with captured prey one minute and a bunch of firing neurones and synapses the next. Men and women are bare legged with brief black trunks and leotards and tops in various two-tone colours that delineate the pairings and groups. Page’s choreography struggles to keep pace with the past master of modern composers and all too frequently falls into the trap of being frenetic. He lacks the courage to let the score speak for itself and the piece is at times difficult to watch as it goes into choreographic overload. Moments of stillness and calm would be much more powerful than the futile attempt to illustrate every note with a step.

Finally, how good to welcome conductor Martin West back to these shores leading what must be one of the best scratch orchestras that we have heard in a long time.

All in all, an exciting evening that shows the Company at its best and whets the appetite for the next offering.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

Judith Mackrell reviews the Friday, September 14, 2012 program (Balanchine's "Divertimento No. 15," Edwaard Liang's "Symphonic Dances," and Christopher Wheeldon's "Number Nine") for the Guardian.

Guardian

Ismene Brown reviews the same program for the Arts Desk.

Arts Desk

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

Further reviews of Programme A ("Divertimento No. 15," "Symphonic Dances" and "Number Nine").

Sarah Frater for The Stage.

The Stage

Lyndsey Winship for the Evening Standard.

Evening Standard

Sarah Crompton for the Telegraph.

Telegraph

Clement Crisp reviews both Programmes A and B for the Financial Times.

Financial Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

Sarah Frater reviews the September 15, 2012 performance of Programme B ("Trio," "Ghosts" and "Guide to Strange Places") for The Stage.

The Stage

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

Judith Mackrell reviews Programme 2 for the Guardian.

Guardian

Author:  David [ Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

‘Beaux’, ‘Classical Symphony’, ‘RAkU’, ‘Within the Golden Hour’
San Francisco Ballet
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London; September 19, 2012

Charlotte Kasner

Attachment:
San Francisco Ballet in Beaux. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg
San Francisco Ballet in Beaux. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg [ 19.46 KiB | Viewed 7918 times ]

The final programme of San Francisco’s London visit was packed with goodies. There was a packed house too, with expectations high all round.

The evening opened with “Beaux”, delightful Mark Morris choreography and a wonderful backcloth by Isaac Mizrahi with costumes that, not so much matched, as camouflaged. Alas the men struggled to maintain the standards with lots of fluffing and some unseemly shuffling from one dancer in particular who found himself not quite centre stage. They seemed nervous and uncomfortable with Morris requiring them to get in touch with their feminine side, although it improved towards the end.

There were duets and trios and conspiracies of men in gaggles. There was a lot of lifting and pairing to glorious music by the not-often-enough-heard Martinu. Morris is not shy of using different levels with a mosh-pit style lift as a motif, making the dancer borne thus aloft seem to fly.
Attachment:
's Classical Symphony. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg
's Classical Symphony. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg [ 15.32 KiB | Viewed 7918 times ]

With Yuri Possokhov’s “Classical Symphony”, we were on much more familiar territory and he did not manage to deliver anything that was in danger of shaking that familiarity. There was nothing to suggest this was Prokofiev’s tribute to classicism in the choreography, which lacked subtlety in its musical approach. He was not helped by Sandra Woodall’s custard yellow costumes for the girls with extremely ugly plates that were simultaneously rigid and wobbly and less than flattering bare legs beneath.

Having said all that, there were moments of interest, especially in his use of the floor with the girls pirouetting downwards as their ankles flexed outwards then inwards and some sharp, fast, Balanchine-like work in the last movement. It went down well with the audience and one would imagine is a favourite with their home audience.
Attachment:
Yuan Yuan Tan in RAkU. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg
Yuan Yuan Tan in RAkU. Photo Erik Tomasson.jpg [ 15.97 KiB | Viewed 7918 times ]

Yuri Possokhov's “RAkU” which followed the interval could not have produced a greater contrast. Based on the burning of Kyoto’s pavilion, it at times seemed like a Japanese Polotsvian Dances: one could imagine Diaghilev producing such a work. Whilst it tended towards cliché, it was saved by a stunningly dramatic performance from Yuan Yuan Tan who brought total commitment to her role. Shinjin Eshima’s score was terrific, especially the opening. Alexander Nichols’ set was extremely effective, comprising blocks on which was projected a broken image of the temple before and after the fire. The projection was particularly effective in establishing a sense of indoors and outdoors.

No question, though, that the best was saved until last. Christopher Wheeldon’s “Within the Golden Hour” was simply terrific and showed the Company at its finest. It was complex, subtle and exciting and he even managed to make the mish-mash of music appear seamless. The pace ebbed and flowed with the central pas de deux leaving the audience gasping. He is not afraid to introduce an element of wit, even in a fairly serious work, not least at the finale with the dancers frantically swapping hand holds as the false endings cannoned around them.

Once again, one cannot ignore the superb conducting from Martin West who led a fine ensemble of players. Their versatility and professionalism was memorable and would have put more than one concert orchestra to shame. What a privilege after so much recorded and badly relayed dance accompaniment.

Lucky London to have witnessed this Company who must surely rank amongst the best in the world. Come back soon!

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

Mark Monahan reviews Programmes B and C for the Telegraph.

Telegraph

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

Judith Mackrell reviews Programme C for the Guardian.

Guardian

Author:  padequatro [ Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

REVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO BALLET -PROGRAMME C -SADLER'S WELLS
PERFORMANCE: 14 - 23 SEPTEMBER 2012
REVIEWED BY GRAHAM WATTS - FRIDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2012

Reviewed: 19 September
Beaux/ Classical Symphony/ RAkU/ Within the Golden Hour

The first (both in terms of age and programme position) although entitled Classical Symphony after the popular name for Prokofiev’s First Symphony was, in fact, a whirlwind of neoclassicism, very much in the American school of Balanchine, with fast-changing patterns where hyper-flexible modern influences are underscored by traditional ballet steps . It drew a remarkable lead performance from the mercurial Maria Kochetkova, providing an essay of perfection with footwork as agile as a gazelle bouncing over the plain, elegantly contradicted by the undulations of her spine suggesting those steep rolling hills back home. Not many ballerinas can dance like this: fewer still can do so while projecting enough radiance to light up the Golden Gate Bridge. Kochetkova was for a while in the lower ranks of the English National Ballet and is rumoured to have been turned down by The Royal Ballet. Sadder still than never having been to San Francisco is the thought that London let this girl go.


http://londondance.com/articles/reviews ... k.facebook

Author:  padequatro [ Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

San Francisco Ballet – Programme C: Morris, Possokhov, Wheeldon – London
By Lynette Halewood on September 21, 2012

San Francisco Ballet
Programme C: Beaux, Classical Symphony, RAkU, Within the Golden Hour
London, Sadler’s Wells
15 September 2012
Gallery of 36 pictures by Dave Morgan
All DanceTabs coverage of SFB in London
http://www.sfballet.org

The leading couple of Maria Kochetkova and Hansuke Yamamoto are put through their paces with fiercely challenging jumps, spins and some tricky partnering. Although the language is mainly classical there are odd off-centre moments, with dips and sideways lunges to add unexpected moments of distortion. Maybe this is intended to signpost that this is a modern take on classicism but some of it is less successful. The dragging of the female dancers along the floor looked laboured and ugly. The attractive speed and vivaciousness of the dancers sometimes came at the cost of accuracy. One all-male section looked less precise and cohesive than was surely intended. This might be a minority view as the audience loved the piece and gave a particularly warm reception to its two leads.

http://www.dancetabs.com/2012/09/san-fr ... on-london/

Author:  padequatro [ Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: San Francisco Ballet in London - Autumn 2012

San Francisco Ballet – Programme B: Tomasson, Wheeldon, Page – London
By Jann Parry on September 18, 2012

San Francisco Ballet
Programme B: Trio, Ghosts, Guide to Strange Places
London, Sadler’s Wells
15 September 2012

Image

http://www.dancetabs.com/2012/09/san-fr ... ge-london/

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