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 Post subject: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 7:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Did you know that the first American full-length Nutcracker was debuted at SFB? Here's the story from the <B><A HREF="http://www.sfballet.org/" TARGET=_blank>SFB web site</A></B>:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>San Francisco Ballet produced America's first complete Nutcracker in 1944 and launched a national tradition that has been celebrated ever since.<P>San Francisco Ballet's original production of Nutcracker was choreographed by Willam Christensen. After its premiere season, the ballet did not return to the stage until 1949 - only after Willam understood the scope of the public's interest in the holiday fantasy ballet. Nutcracker has been performed by San Francisco Ballet annually ever since.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://www.sfballet.org/nutcracker/history.php" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited December 14, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 7:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Image <BR>The War Memorial Opera House,<BR>where SFB performs<P><BR><B>First impressions of Opening Night</B><P>This production still seems fresh after repeated annual viewings. I suppose it's because I was still enchanted by the design, the costumes and the choreography (by Lew and William Christensen and Helgi Tomasson). I suppose that's why fans keep coming back.<P>The leads were stunning, including newly promoted principal Julie Diana as a gorgeous albeitly slightly nervous Snow Queen, Stephen Legate as her dashing partner, and Tina LeBlanc and Roman Rykine in the Sugar Plum pdd. Guennadi Nedviguine's Russian Cossack leaps and turns were spectacular, even if he doesn't always know his own limits. Kristin Long however was the biggest treat, as the Butterfly, with her beautiful lines and graceful execution.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited December 14, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 7:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
A glowing review from the Chronicle:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/14/DD87749.DTL" TARGET=_blank>Crack Performances<BR>S.F. Ballet continues tradition with dazzling 'Nutcracker'</A></B><P>Octavio Roca, SF Chronicle<P>The season of merriment is upon us, and nowhere are things merrier than in "The Nutcracker." <P>San Francisco Ballet's feast of glorious dancing and storytelling glee, choreographed by Lew Christensen with additional choreography by Willam Christensen and Helgi Tomasson, is at the War Memorial Opera House through New Year's Eve. No dance lover should miss it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/14/DD87749.DTL" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited December 14, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 7:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Another right-on review from the Examiner:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="http://63.78.169.150/style/default.jsp?story=art.nutcracker.12140" TARGET=_blank>'Nutcracker' is a tasty treat</A></B><P>By Rachel Howard, SF Examiner<P> For several years running, Bay Area ballet lovers have rushed to what they thought might be their last chance to see San Francisco Ballet's current production of "The Nutcracker," which -- with the exception of some choreographic tinkering by artistic director Helgi Tomasson and, naturally, refurbished sets and costumes -- dates all the way back to 1944. In fact, Lew and Willam Christensen's Old World-style staging was the first full "Nutcracker" to be presented in the nation and though it still works its magic after 56 years, an all-new production would not be amiss.<P> Until one arrives, what we have is a full-blown spectacle of lavish sets and sparkling costumes (designed by Jose Varona), with plenty of fake snowfall to keep children entranced and enough dazzling dancing to keep adult ballet lovers engaged.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://63.78.169.150/style/default.jsp?story=art.nutcracker.12140" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B><p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited December 14, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 7:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
And yet another sweet review, from the CC Times:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="http://www.contracostatimes.com/timeout/stories_feattop/x14sfnutz_20001214.htm" TARGET=_blank>S.F. Ballet presents tasty confection in 'Nutcracker'<BR>Fairies, flowers, kings and candy take the stage in the beloved seasonal standard</A></B><P>By Blair Tindall, Contra Costa Times<P>THE SAN FRANCISCO Ballet's "Nutcracker" opened on Tuesday at the War Memorial Opera House, offering up a delectable selection of the finest bon bons anywhere -- a show to thrill even the most jaded ballet fan.<P>Now in its 14th year, the current production is unusually bright, fast-paced and scrumptious to look at, with consistently exuberant and refined performances throughout.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://www.contracostatimes.com/timeout/stories_feattop/x14sfnutz_20001214.htm" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 8:37 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
I am very pleased to see the glowing reports on SFB's Nutcracker, as well as pleased to see that the Christensen concept has not been shunted aside. I had heard reports in previous years that the current production was destined for oblivion. Does anyone have any further information on future plans? One of the reviewers does indicate that a desire for a new production (which may or may mean anything from refurbished sets and costumes to an entirely restructured aesthetic construct). As well as a major capital investment.


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 9:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: California
Well, last year SFB had announced that they would produce a new production of Nut. Apparently there were some problems and now it's slated for next year. <P>DH


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2000 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
It takes much effort to mount a new production. The task falls to Helgi Tomasson not only to choreograph a new ballet but also to orchestrate the team of designers required for a new production. That's a lot of work, especially for an AD who also choreographs other works in the same season.


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 Post subject: Re: SFB's Nutcracker
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Here are a couple of excerpts from a <A HREF="http://www.voiceofdance.com" TARGET=_blank>Voice of Dance</A> chat with SFB prima-ballerina Joanna Berman:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Wally: I have several important questions. First, are you just a wee bit tired of the Nutcracker by this point? just wee bite?<P>Joanna Berman: I usually only get tired of Nutcracker by New Year's!<P>...<P>Azlan: Ms Berman, what was it like to dance for Helgi's homecoming in Iceland?<P>Joanna Berman: Azlan, dancing Swan Lake in Iceland was thrilling. Helgi is a national hero. The audience was amazing. He told us he was very proud of us.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://www.voiceofdance.com/Insights/vchat.global.trans.cfm?ChatSchedule_ID=9500000000000024" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>


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