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 Post subject: San Francisco Ballet - Promotions and New Company Dancers
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 12:13 am
Posts: 36
Location: San Francisco
Just saw this posted on the SF Ballet Website:

http://www.sfballet.org/news/detail.aspx?id=37

Four dancers were promoted:
    Ruben Martin to Principal Dancer
    Garrett Anderson to Soloist
    Jaime Garcia Castilla to Soloist
    Rory Hohenstein to Soloist

Apprentices Anthony Spaulding and Jennifer Stahl are now members of the corps de ballet.

Additionally, there are 7 new dancers - one principal and six corps de ballet. The new principal is Molly Smolen - also known as Mrs. Tiit Helimets.

I reviewed the website and a program from last season to determine who's gone. In addition to the dancers who retired this year (Yuri Possokhov, Stephen Legate, Peter Brandenhoff, Megan Low, Amanda Schull), the following dancers are gone: Claire Pascal, Sergio Torrado, and Clara Blanco. BTW, Yuri is still listed under the principals, but since he is performing in New York this makes sense.

I'm surprised to see Claire gone after one season, but I am looking forward to seeing Molly. I'm happy with the promotions, but I expected a woman to be promoted as well. Congratulations to everyone and I can't wait for next season!!!

Also looking forward to reports of the Lincoln Center performances.


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 Post subject: Clara Blanco
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:01 am
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Location: Paris
Where does Clara Blanco now dance?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Canada
Clara Blanco has joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet as a first soloist: http://www.brb.org.uk/masque/index.htm? ... n&urn=7148

Sergio Torrado is now a soloist with the Houston Ballet
http://www.houstonballet.org/Inside_Hou ... o_Soloist/


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 Post subject: Clara Blanco
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:47 am 
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Location: Paris
Thank you.

Mlle. Blanco is an interesting theatrical personality, who seemed out of place in the slap-bang-and-dash naturalism that prevails at SFB.

All the more reason to travel to Birmingham...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:39 am 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
I notice too that among the new corps members is Benjamin Stewart, who attracted attention last season in Smuin Ballet and Patricia Perez from Ballet San Jose. Isn't Benjamin the brother of SFB corps member Matthew Stewart?


Corps:
Anthony Spaulding (apprentice last year)
Jennifer Stahl (apprentice last year)
Diego Cruz
Adeline Kaiser
Brian Malek
Alexandra McCullagh
Patricia Perez
Benjamin Stewart


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:25 pm 
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Posts: 255
Where did Claire Pascal go? I saw her briefly in one performance last year. Seems odd for a principal to join and then leave after a season? Maybe SFB was not what she really wanted?

BTW, I think Diego Cruz will become a fan favorite (to use sports terminology).

Anyway, congrats to all the new members and promoted dancers. Have to say, no real suprises in the promotions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
I'm happy to see Garrett Anderson promoted to soloist, as I've been thrilled by his dancing since I saw him in the premiere of Concerto Grosso.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:38 pm 
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ksneds wrote:
Clara Blanco has joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet as a first soloist


Thank you Kate for the news about Clara Blanco's promotion to Birmingham. I always appreciated her delicacy.

I am especially looking forward to Molly Smolen (married to Tiit Heliments, but having to live on opposite coasts until now). A former principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet she got an extraordinary review a few seasons ago for her performance in Ashton's "Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan." Is she our first true "Ashton dancer"?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:39 pm 
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djb wrote:
I'm happy to see Garrett Anderson promoted to soloist, as I've been thrilled by his dancing since I saw him in the premiere of Concerto Grosso.


Me too. He's a wonderful dancer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:50 pm 
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crandc wrote:
Where did Claire Pascal go?

.


I've wondered myself, but I wondered all season long why she was almost never cast. I saw her in last year's opening night gala in Fokine's "Pas de Deux from Chopiniana" (with Ruben Martin), and thought she was very promising--soft and elegant--and was looking forward to more. Then one more piece (probably the piece you saw) and that seemed to be it. Very strange for a new dancer hired as a principal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:39 pm 
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I'm excited that Jaime Garcia Castilla has finally been promoted to soloist. I think he is one of the most beautiful dancers in the company!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:50 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Welcome grumpytutu and thanks for your very ungrumpy comment. Hope we hear more from you in the coming months,


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - Promotions and New Company Dancer
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 6:27 am 
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sf_herminator wrote:
I'm happy with the promotions, but I expected a woman to be promoted as well. . .


I did too, specifically, Sarah Van Patten, who has been an outstanding soloist since she joined the company as soloist from the Royal Danish Ballet in 2002. She had a wonderful year last year as the lead in Rodeo, Afternoon of a Faun, and Dybbuk; and in the previous year, she was an exquisite Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. Critics have been uniform in their praise of her expressiveness: she is probably the best actress-dancer in the company. As far as I can tell, the last time a female soloist was promoted to principal from within the company was Vanessa Zahorian's well-deserved promotion in 2002 (though some people felt it was premature). Since then, as if to make sure soloists aren't promoted too quickly, there have been no promotions from soloist to principal for female members of the company. It's been a very dry spell indeed for the female soloists of SFB. I'd be surprised if Sarah Van Patten and Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun, who is rising fast, didn't become principals next year. But why do we have to wait until mid-July (two months after the end of the season) for a dry press release announcing promotions? I prefer the RB or POB style of announcing a promotion during a curtain call, after a particularly wonderful performance. In that scenario, Sarah's promotion would have come after her performance in Romeo & Juliet in 2005. The ratio of male to female principals at SFB is now approaching 2:1. Does anyone else think this is odd? (No offense to SFB's fabuluos guys).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:49 am 
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bcx wrote:
Quote:
The ratio of male to female principals at SFB is now approaching 2:1. Does anyone else think this is odd?


Actually, the ratio is now 11:7 on the website, but once Yuri retires (following the tour) and Molly Smolen arrives, the ratio will be 10:8 (or if you want to get really picky, 5:4), so not quite 2:1.

_________________
So two dancers walked into a barre...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:36 am 
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RaHir wrote:
Actually, the ratio is now 11:7 on the website, but once Yuri retires (following the tour) and Molly Smolen arrives, the ratio will be 10:8 (or if you want to get really picky, 5:4), so not quite 2:1.


Thanks, RaHir. Maybe I'm making too much of the disproportionality. A ratio of 10:8 is probably within the norm for major companies. For example, the female/male ratio for principals at the Royal Ballet is 12 females to 8 males; at NYCB it's 12 female to 11 male principals. SFB is justly famous for its male principal dancers--and this is, after all, the "decade of the male" in ballet. But the long wait for promotion from within the ranks of female soloists does seem odd, given the talent of the women. I wonder if the lack of promotions has any effect on morale.


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