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 Post subject: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2002 5:12 pm 
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The casting for the opening night of Porgram 2, which includes the world premiere of Julia Adam's new work (watch for Gonzalo Garcia in "Prism"):<P><BR>Program 2 Casting <P>07 Feb, Evening - 8:00 pm <P> <BR> "Without Words"<BR> Cello: David Kadarauch <BR> Piano: Roy Bogas <BR> Julie Diana, Damian Smith <BR> Katita Waldo, Parrish Maynard <BR> Lorena Feijoo, Cyril Pierre <BR> Joanna Berman, Roman Rykine <P><BR> "Angelo" - World Premiere <BR> Conductor: Paul Hoskins <BR> Muriel Maffre,* Guennadi Nedviguine* <BR> Tina LeBlanc* <BR> Pablo Piantino,* James Sofranko* <BR> Julie Diana,* Damian Smith* <BR> Joanna Berman* <P> <BR> "Prism"<BR> Conductor: Paul Hoskins <BR> Piano: Roy Bogas <BR> 1st Movement: Kristin Long, Zachary Hench, Vadim Solomakha <BR> 2nd Movement: Lucia Lacarra, Cyril Pierre <BR> 3rd Movement: Gonzalo Garcia <P> <BR> *Denotes premiere in role


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2002 10:44 pm 
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I wanted so much to love Adam's new work... I'm not sure I disliked it but I did find my mind wandering a lot, which has never happened to me before when watching a ballet by Adam. Too bad.<P>Helgi's "Prism" looked better the second time around but, other than Gonzalo Garcia's show-stealing fireworks in the third movement, I'm still wondering why the NYC critics loved it.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:41 pm 
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I wondered that when I read the reviews of Lines and Capacitor.<P>I really liked Julia's ballet. It was more subdued and thoughtful than her earlier ballets have been, but the quality of movement was excellent. I really liked Tina and James Sofranko particularly.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2002 9:25 am 
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The reviews are in.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Life story of 'Angelo' doesn't entirely make sense <BR>Adam premiere at S.F. Ballet<P>Allan Ulrich, Chronicle Dance Critic <P>The leading question on more than one mind Thursday evening during the second intermission of the San Francisco Ballet's second repertory program at the War Memorial Opera House was "What happened?"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/02/09/DD52537.DTL&type=performance" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>See, now this is the problem with making narrative dances: not everyone gets the story.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2002 9:34 am 
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The SanJose Mercury News seems to like it more but still agrees with Mr. Ulrich. She does bring up a good point about so many of the chorographers being men...<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>All the stage is a world of freshly choreographed Shakespearean motifs<BR>By Anita Amirrezvani<BR>Mercury News<P>When George Balanchine famously declared that ``ballet is woman,'' he was talking about dancers, not dance-makers. Even today, almost all the work performed by the top classical companies in the Bay Area is choreographed by men.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/entertainment/2638382.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:43 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Toeing the line with trial and error<P>Rachel Howard, SF Examiner<P> There's a moment in "Angelo," the new piece by San Francisco Ballet principal Julia Adam, when the dance's eponymous main character drops -- whoosh! -- right off the front of the stage and into the pit.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.examiner.com/ex_files/default.jsp?story=X0210SFBTWOw target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 2:02 pm 
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San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, CA<BR>Program 2: "Without Words", Angelo", "Prism" <BR>February 7, 9, 2002<P>Recently a friend remarked that I go to the ballet a lot. Aren’t you tired of seeing the same things all the time? It’s the same pieces as last year, isn’t it? Well, no and no. As the performances of San Francisco Ballet’s Program 2 demonstrated at the War Memorial Opera House last week, everything can be different on different nights and even the same people can tell you fresh things from one show to the next. I go to the ballet over and over to see performers I know I love and to be surprised by others.<P>To begin with, Nacho Duato’s exquisite "Without Words" only becomes more beautiful with each viewing. The starkness of the figures moving through a dark space, with a shadowy echo of the dancers projected on a hanging curtain are only small, yet important details in a work that has been conceptualized with deep sensitivity from start to finish. Joanna Berman, dancing the first part with Roman Rykine seemed to embody the responsive accompaniment by David Kadarauch and Roy Bogas. On Saturday afternoon, Catherine Baker, dancing in the same role with Stephen Legate, did not quite have the delicacy that Berman projected, but her gentle impulses and fluidity was lovely to watch. <P> The choreography is never calculated and is so organically laid out that it looks like it is a pleasure to move. The dancers can actually dance with seamless ease, instead of worrying about the next trick or step. They use the space in and around each other in such a way that the visual flow is never broken with steps pulsing from one body into the next one so that the phrases of movement are continuous and serpentine. Then too, Duato’s use of hieratic gestures, movements symbolic cross-culturally to almost all human beings, such as the hands over the mouth or the tap of the wrist against one’s head, evoke emotion without really ever needing to tell a specific story. <BR> <BR>For the second section on Thursday’s show, Katita Waldo and Parrish Maynard reprised the pas de deux that made such an impact at San Francisco Ballet’s Opening Gala. The two of them are very well-matched with a fullness of the movement that is strong without being hard-edged. On watching them carefully this second time, it’s apparent how carefully they have timed their partnering; it is very secure, but so musically thought-out that one is never aware of how hard they must have worked to achieve the effect. For Yuan Yuan Tan and Zachary Hench, who danced at the Saturday matinee, there was a breathless rush into the movement that was never unmusical, but lent a particular spontaneity to their work. When she threw her head back in his arms there was an exhilaration that was heartbreaking.<P>Ben Pierce and Leslie Young blew in like tumbleweed for the pas de deux on Saturday giving a performance that was right in the moment. Lorena Feijoo and Cyril Pierre, who danced on Thursday, are rather different types of movers, but demonstrate that the choreography can look both lean and powerful, no matter who performs it. Feijoo’s back and shoulders push through her arms in a gorgeous manner, but when Damian Smith joins them his boneless articulation astonishes. No one else cast for this piece looks like Smith, who combines a sinewy quality that Darrin Henson would kill for with the poetic manner of a danseur noble. When he glides, low and crablike, across the stage it’s so unusual and startling that you can hear a murmur ripple through the audience. And when Julie Diana joins him for an innocently sexy pas de deux, they are so mesmerizing that you can’t take your eyes away for a second. The two of them have such an instinct for the music that they can play off of the phrasing of the accompanists, finessing off-balance lines so that the effect is unforgettable. By the time that Smith lies down curled into a ball at the end, you can hardly believe it’s over.<P>One of the eagerly awaited events of the season was the premiere of SFB principal Julia Adam’s ballet, "Angelo". With a dream cast that included Guennadi Nedviguine as the title character, Muriel Maffre as his mother, Tina LeBlanc as a playmate, Julie Diana as a young love, Damian Smith as his friend and Joanna Berman as his wife, one feels it could hardly go wrong. Still, there was something missing on opening night. In fact there were, as it turned out, several things missing on opening night. A large portion of the set specially designed for Adam turned out not to be to her liking and was removed at the last minute, leaving a noticeable hole. After a couple of shows though, Adam tightened up the piece, considerably improving Paul Hoskins's tempi, which seemed a bit plodding on the opening night, and spacing the choreography a little better to cover the stage more effectively. There was much to like, although it was not as successful as her previous work for SFB, "Night". Adam’s direction, while still choreographic, was much more interested in exposition this time.<P>"Angelo" tells the story of a man’s life from his childhood to his death in short vignettes to the music of Antonio Vivaldi. Perhaps this is why the absence of a set was felt; the flourishes of the music and indeed of the Baroque style in general, demand either absolute simplicity or a certain amount of elaborate background. Adam has evoked a little of the Baroque period feel with the elegant costumes and she has chosen key images and quotations that draw from Baroque to Impressionist art, notably the mother and child under the apple tree, an image of tenderness and giving, as in Mary Cassatt’s work, "Child Picking a Fruit" (which greatly influenced Adam). Visually however, one wanted a bit more to embellish the choreography, in the same way that Georges Roualt’s sets for "The Prodigal Son" enhance but do not distract from the ballet.<P>Thursday’s cast led off with Muriel Maffre making a spectacular entrance silhouetted against the cyclorama. Guennadi Nedviguine appeared suddenly under the apple tree and in a peculiarly tender dance, they evoked a playful mood, establishing the imagery that would recur throughout the piece, i.e. throughout Angelo’s relationships with other women. Maffre was at her softest and Nedviguine was suitably impetuous even within his beautiful technique. A trio of playmates led the next section, danced by Tina LeBlanc, James Sofranko and Pablo Piantino. LeBlanc was her usual swift and sure-footed self with the kind of light, frolicsome touches that set her apart from everyone else. The choreography is speedy and yet the four of them danced without restraint, marking the musical caesuras with mischievous pauses. The quartet was utterly delightful and natural, and LeBlanc’s horror when she pushed Nedviguine off the end of the stage made the whole episode one of the best uses of the proscenium break I’ve seen in a long time.<P>Julie Diana, as the young girl, easily turned Adam’s idiosyncratic movement into a piquant yet sweet seduction. As Angelo’s friend, Damian Smith returned in a more forceful role than in "Without Words". He and Nedviguine covered space prodigiously, and by the time that Sofranko and Piantino joined them in a complicated fight scene, Nedviguine looked like he was literally levitating into his jumps. The fight scene was the first place where the tempo seemed slow on the opening night. It seemed long and as if it weren’t quite building to a climax the way Adam’s pieces usually do. By Saturday, the pace was much better and the steps read clearly, even though the first cast probably executed the steps more cleanly. Nevertheless, the drive and pizzazz that we’ve come to expect from Adam was more in evidence.<P>Joanna Berman’s duet with Damian Smith was the work of two mature performers. There was a sense of mystery in the dynamics of their work that was somewhat missing from Catherine Baker and Stephen Legate on Saturday. Oddly enough, of all the characters in the work, Angelo’s seemed the least fleshed out. Nedviguine is terrific, and Gonzalo Garcia, in the same role on Saturday was compelling to watch, but at the heart of it, Angelo was still an enigma at his death. <P>Program 2 concluded with Helgi Tomasson’s commission for the New York City Ballet, "Prism". Call me crazy, but I still fail to see the musical subtleties that the New York critics ascribed to the choreography. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto, No. 1, is hardly the most danceable score one could imagine, and the steps just don’t seem to want to fit the music. Kristin Long, leading the first movement on Thursday was bright and engaging, although I’ve seen her work with more security. Zachary Hench and Vadim Solomakha, as her partners, had a pleasant presence, if a touch serious. In the second movement, Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre did their best to show sensibility with extremity of movement, but all the time I was waiting for Gonzalo Garcia to lead off the third movement. His entrance with a diagonal to a parapluie was so fast that you hardly knew what had happened until it was over. It was so clean and heart-stopping that the outlines of the step remained on your eyeballs even as he had already moved on to other things. Garcia displayed less zest than I recall in his performances last year, but he replaced it with finesse. He easily tosses off all those tricks that many men try to do, but only a handful can complete comfortably. Nothing to it. Indeed.<p>[This message has been edited by mehunt (edited February 20, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 9:39 am 
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"Without Word" was glorious. I had to see it one more time. Too bad Joanna Berman pulled out due to injury (the audience sighed at the announcement).<P>I also have to admit that I like Julia Adam's "Angelo" much better the second time around. I understand she re-worked some of the choreography and the lighting. Let's hope they bring it back next season, with some of the sets that didn't make it this time.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2002 12:39 pm 
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San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, CA<BR>Program 2: “Without Words”, “Angelo”, “Prism” <BR>February 17, 2002<P>It always seems to be a pity that for a lot of newspapers, the reviewers might return, but they often don’t get to write about the same program twice. Most dancegoers already knew that “Without Words” was a ballet worth seeing as many times as was possible (my ballet-going companion said he saw images of it as he fell asleep at night, and still he wanted more of it seared into his brain before it left the active repertoire), but as it turned out, “Angelo” improved considerably with every performance.<P>Sunday’s matinee of Nacho Duato’s “Without Words” was a mix of casts from previous programs, with Catherine Baker and Stephen Legate replacing Joanna Berman and Roman Rykine at the last minute. Baker was exquisite, as always in the trio with Legate and Parrish Maynard, and although there was an audible groan from the audience at the announcement that she would dance in Berman’s place, she demonstrated the ability to make one forget whom you had originally come to see. Maynard and Katita Waldo once again danced the second pas de deux to Schubert’s “An die Musik”. Although their positions and attack into the steps are not as deep as those of Yuan Yuan Tan and Zachary Hench, who are also cast in this pas de deux, the quality of their dancing is somehow more compelling. With Tan and Hench, it feels like the drama rests almost entirely with Tan’s expressiveness, whereas somehow with Waldo and Maynard it is the tension and then trust between the two of them that is highlighted.<P>Lorena Feijoo, dancing with Cyril Pierre seemed even more liquid in her movements than the last performance I had seen, leaving us with indelible images to ponder long after they had moved on. In the group section, set to “Litanei auf das Fest Allerseelen”, she threw herself wholeheartedly into the choreography, so much so that she flung her head backwards ecstatically, entirely forgetting the swing of the arms that went with it. Yuri Possokhov, who dances the role which is also taken by Damian Smith, is stronger, less fluid-looking than Smith, but where Smith maintains a cooler expression on his face Possokhov is all passion. His duet with Lucia Lacarra didn’t quite have the same nostalgic air as Smith and Julie Diana, but the music did seem to pass right through them, rippling all the way through Lacarra’s toes.<P>After the performance was over, my companion searched the music stores and bought the CD of cellist Mischa Maisky playing the Schubert lieder that he had arranged so beautifully for Duato. Anything to keep those beautiful images with us.<P>Watching Julia Adam’s “Angelo” was like seeing a different ballet from the opening night performance. She has changed the lighting further, and the dancers seem far more comfortable with the staging, so that this cast, the original one, now looks sharp and polished. Muriel Maffre as the mother, was unexpectedly charming and warm, with hands that conveyed a range of expressions, from formality to tenderness. Guennadi Nedviguine, as the title character, displayed his almost inhuman technique: levitating jumps, noiseless landings, crystal clear positions, while still managing to seem boyish and natural. What has really come to show however, is the skill of the dancers in giving a different “spin” to the same phrases, which appear over and over. A particular movement or combination could look playful, silly, sexy, curious, angry, etc., which is a subtlety that only began to emerge clearly after a few performances. Then too, the audience at the matinee certainly responded to the humour, particularly in the playmates dance and the duet with Nedviguine and Julie Diana. It will be a pleasure to return to this piece next year and see it grow a little more.<P>The program closed with Helgi Tomasson’s “Prism”.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet 2002 Prog 2 - 'Prism,' 'Without
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2002 5:14 pm 
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Read Dean Speer's delightful diary:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Bay Area Dance -- Impressions from an Outlander<P>Dean Speer<P>While Nacho Duato may prefer to create and work with ballet-trained dancers, it’s clear to me that his work is distinctly of a modern dance aesthetic. Of the three Duato works that I’ve seen (two are in PNB’s repertory here in Seattle), this one I felt is the strongest.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=../../../ubb/Forum4/HTML/001333.html target=_blank>More</a>


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