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 Post subject: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 6:17 am 
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Program II - Sept. 21 & 24, 7:30 pm
Preview by Mary Ellen Hunt


George Balanchine's “Ballo della Regina”

Principal dancer and technical whiz Lorena Feijoo seems made for this light, delicate and choreographically nerve-wracking ballet by George Balanchine. Last August in the outdoor Stern Grove, she performed “Ballo” with singular aplomb – she was on fire even though the temperature was so cool that her partner Sergio Torrado was forced to resort to leg warmers. And when she took a nasty spill in her bourrees, she was up in a trice and fiercely attacking the steps as if nothing would stop her.

George Balanchine's “The Four Temperaments”

George Balanchine’s towering work to the music of Paul Hindemith was a highlight of last season’s Balanchine Celebration. SFB’s take doesn’t quite have the same refined look as that of New York City Ballet but it does have lots of glamour. When the company performed “Four Ts” at Stern Grove, Gonzalo Garcia captivated attention as Melancholic in an appealing solo that seemed to simultaneously soar and slouch. Nicolas Blanc, dancing the same part last season, was no less impressive for his obvious understanding of the choreographic structure, right down to the peculiar arm-leg coordination. Yuri Possokhov’s languishing Phlegmatic is also distinct from Damian Smith’s more inquisitive, quirky approach to the role. But truly from another planet is Muriel Maffre’s Choleric, who eats up space and lashes out those limbs like an alien predator.

Helgi Tomasson's “Concerto Grosso”

Dominated at the premiere by the sleek insouciance of Pascal Molat, Helgi Tomasson’s ballet for five men was a hit with the audience from the start. Turns, jumps, and personality –- Molat has it all, but don’t underestimate the other men. “Concerto Grosso,” in fact, is an excellent chance to see some of the corps de ballet men -- Jaime Garcia Castilla, Hansuke Yamamoto, Garrett Anderson, and Rory Hohenstein, to name a few -- take centerstage and shine.

Yuri Possokhov's “Study in Motion”

One of the big highlights of last season was the premiere of Possokhov’s third work for San Francisco Ballet. Elegant, stark, and filled with breathless, powerful dancing, the ballet became an instant favourite. Possokhov has an eye for talent, and almost all of the dancers he’s picked have extraordinary speed, articulation, and passion, but the real beauty of the ballet is how he’s melded together individual inspirations.

<small>[ 18 September 2004, 08:25 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 6:40 am 
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Casting is now available for London:

SADLER’S WELLS THEATRE, LONDON
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET PRINCIPAL CASTING

PROGRAM 2
September 21 and 24, 2004

PLEASE NOTE ALL CASTING SUBJECT TO CHANGE

*premiere in role

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 7:30 PM—OPENING NIGHT

BALLO DELLA REGINA
Conductor: Andrew Mogrelia
Vanessa Zahorian, Gonzalo Garcia

PAUSE

CONCERTO GROSSO
Conductor: Andrew Mogrelia
Pascal Molat
Garrett Anderson, Jaime Garcia Castilla, Pablo Piantino, Hansuke Yamamoto

INTERMISSION

STUDY IN MOTION
Piano: Michael McGraw
Lorena Feijoo, Nicolas Blanc
Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith
Kristin Long, Guennadi Nedviguine
Katita Waldo, Peter Brandenhoff

INTERMISSION

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Conductor: Andrew Mogrelia
Piano: Roy Bogas
1st Theme: Emily Halpin Ambuul, Aaron Orza
2nd Theme: Elana Altman, Brett Bauer
3rd Theme: Nutnaree Pipithsuksunt*, Moises Martin
Melancholic: Nicolas Blanc
Sanguinic: Sarah Van Patten*, Vadim Solomakha
Phlegmatic: Yuri Possokhov
Choleric: Muriel Maffre

-----------------------------------------

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 7:30 PM

BALLO DELLA REGINA
Conductor: Andrew Mogrelia
Lorena Feijoo, Sergio Torrado

PAUSE

CONCERTO GROSSO
Conductor: Andrew Mogrelia
Pascal Molat
Garrett Anderson, Jaime Garcia Castilla, Pablo Piantino, Hansuke Yamamoto

INTERMISSION

STUDY IN MOTION
Piano: Michael McGraw

Lorena Feijoo, Nicolas Blanc
Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith
Kristin Long, Guennadi Nedviguine
Katita Waldo, Peter Brandenhoff

INTERMISSION

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Conductor: Andrew Mogrelia
Piano: Roy Bogas
1st Theme: Emily Halpin Ambuul, Aaron Orza
2nd Theme: Elana Altman, Brett Bauer
3rd Theme: Nutnaree Pipithsuksunt, Chidozie Nzerem
Melancholic: Gonzalo Garcia
Sanguinic: Sarah Van Patten, Vadim Solomakha
Phlegmatic: Pierre-François Vilanoba
Choleric: Muriel Maffre

<small>[ 18 September 2004, 08:40 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 3:37 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
As I mentioned before, "Concerto Grosso" was a revelation to me. In my rush to get to my seat for the program that featured its premiere, I had failed to read the notes prior to curtain and was astonished to find out at intermission that this very exciting and dynamic work was indeed "Concerto Grosso." In hindsight, I shouldn't have been so surprised as Helgi Tomasson does have a reputation for creating bold steps for male dancers.


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 5:04 pm 
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The company seem on very fine form, and this was a wonderfully enjoyable, and very well balanced programme. The stand out performances for me were in the superb Four Tempermanents. Muriel Maffre as Choleric was dazzling, utterly commanding, and moved with such speed and brilliance. Yuri Posokhov once again showed immense presence, and intense emotion, as Phlegmatic.

There was a breathtaking moment in Study in Motion, as Yuan Tan Tan, just finishing a lovely pas de deux, and posed like a swan in repose (I thought), is suddenly pulled off stage by a second man. She maintains this position, and so looked even more like a swan. Her partner is left bereft. The ballet itself is a rather eclectic mixture of steps, emotions and styles, but was danced extremely well and with great conviction.

I had wanted to see Ballo della Regina for years, and it did not disappoint. Vanessa Zahorian and Gonzalo Garcia handled the fiendishly difficult steps with great style, although were clearly a bit nervous at the start. This ballet would look good at Covent Garden, especially if danced by Marianela Nunez and Carlos Acosta.

The five men were quite brilliant in Concerto Grosso.


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:15 am 
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Location: London UK
I saw this programme last night and although I went expecting to be impressed, I very much underestimated just how impressed I was going to be! It was fantastic stuff from start to finish and I shall post about it in more length anon.

<small>[ 22 September 2004, 09:17 AM: Message edited by: Cassandra ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:30 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Originally posted by Michael LL:
There was a breathtaking moment in Study in Motion, as Yuan Tan Tan, just finishing a lovely pas de deux, and posed like a swan in repose (I thought), is suddenly pulled off stage by a second man. She maintains this position, and so looked even more like a swan. Her partner is left bereft. The ballet itself is a rather eclectic mixture of steps, emotions and styles, but was danced extremely well and with great conviction.
Isn't "Study" a gem? I was quite put off by the name when I heard it but the work just blew me away. It was the first of Possokhov's that did not rely on elaborate sets, props or costumes, which really proves his talents as a pure choreographer.


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:00 am 
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I saw this programme last night and I do so agree with Cassandra. It was a fabulous evening from start to finish and the dancers seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the audience did.

By the way can anyone confirm that Gonzalo Garcia is really a mere mortal? After having seen the way he landed from his jumps in Ballo Della Regina I would be quite willing to be convinced that he is a completely weightless spirit.


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 9:04 pm 
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Yes, Garcia is a mortal. Or rather, I know his feet touches the ground when he walks. You should see him in Tomasson's "Prism." Talk about weightlessness!


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 2:56 am 
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Quote:
San Francisco Ballet Sadler's Wells, London

by CLEMENT CRISP
the Financial Times

Watching SFB's fine soloists surge through it ... is like time-travelling, and not a little disconcerting. Rampant anguish. Dance and emotions flung to the winds.
more


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:00 am 
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Another comment on the same piece - Yuri Possokhov's Study in Motion by...

Quote:
San Francisco Ballet

by JUDITH MACKRELL
the Guardian

Ensembles, duets and solos flit by in unlinked progression, and while the steps are neatly assembled they don't transport either the performers or the music to a different place.
more


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:56 am 
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Quote:
Bring on the men

by ISMENE BROWN
the Daily Telegraph

His [Helgi Tomasson] Concerto Grosso, made last year, imposes the courtly manners of Geminiani's music (he was a Scarlatti pupil) on to the athletics of male classical dancing, sending five chaps exuberantly wheeling about with their best classroom tricks. The steps are only a list of ingredients but the men made it more substantial through the taste with which they presented them.
more

<small>[ 25 September 2004, 07:55 AM: Message edited by: kurinuku ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 3:47 am 
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Debra Craine is in "Heaven" with San Francisco Ballet. Rumour has it that UK Immigration Office have been contacted to refuse them EXIT from the country. After all, we love them and some in the US still say they're a Regional Company.

BTW, the incorrect spelling of Debra's name below is courtesy of The Times:

San Francisco Ballet
Debra Crane for The Times at Sadler's Wells


THERE are a lot of new ballets in the San Francisco lineup — and some of them are very good indeed — but audiences should also be excited by the old Balanchine ones. For this company has an extraordinary affinity for the late choreographer, whose works feature on every one of the three Wells programmes.

click for more

<small>[ 24 September 2004, 06:06 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:51 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
From Ismene Brown's review in the Daily Telegraph:

Quote:
His [Helgi Tomasson] Concerto Grosso, made last year, imposes the courtly manners of Geminiani's music (he was a Scarlatti pupil) on to the athletics of male classical dancing, sending five chaps exuberantly wheeling about with their best classroom tricks. The steps are only a list of ingredients but the men made it more substantial through the taste with which they presented them.
This quality of the men is not surprising, considering that the artistic director of the company was one of the classiest dancers I've ever seen.


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:19 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Friday evening, September 24th, 2004 - Programme 1

Post-performance feedback from members of the audience.


Diana McGuinness: I've seen a lot of ballet over the years and I must say that I am very impressed with San Francisco. In the first two ballets ["Ballo della Regina", "Concerto Grosso"] I was particularly impressed with the dancers' feet - very beautiful, but throughout the evening I was not always as impressed with their ports de bras. I was interested to see how the ex-Royal Ballet School pupil, Nutnaree Pipithsuksunt, is pogressing and she was delightful. "Concerto Grosso" was my favourite from the evening.

Tristan McGuinness: It was a superb evening and "Concerto Gross" was my favourite too.

Jane Bishop: It was a lovely evening, just stunning. They are an amazing company at the moment. Best for me was "Study in Motion"; I loved the way they moved together so well. Of course, the live music makes a big difference too. It was my birthday yesterday and this is my birthday treat - what could be better!

Charles Harvey (St John's Ambulance first-aid attendent and a friend of Stuart's): We go to shows and events all over London and normally I wouldn't go to see ballet. Last time was for "the Nutcracker" at the Royal Opera House before the re-deveopment. The thing that impressed me most was the sheer athleticism of the dancers. Being in St. John's we know just how heavy bodies are, so their fitness in impressive.

Frieda Mietzal: Wonderful! "Ballo della Regina" was superb, but it was all wonderful with lots of contrasts.

Jessica Corbyn: I really enjoyed seeing the boys in "Concerto Grosso" and Pierre- Francois vilanoba. Can you fix it for me to take one home?

<small>[ 26 September 2004, 05:33 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Programme 2 - Balanchine/Tomasson/Possokhov
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:10 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
San Francisco Ballet programme 2, Sadler's Wells, London

by ZOE ANDERSON
the Independent

San Francisco Ballet's second programme starts well, sags in the middle, then closes strongly.
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