public forum
home forum magazine gallery links about faq courtesy
It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:14 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2002 11:39 am 
AZLAN,let us know if you make it backstage!


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2002 9:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
So it's all over. What a wonderful performance -- everyone seemed inspired. When Giselle has to go back to her grave and Albrecht will never see her again, of course I saw it as a metaphor for all of us not getting to see JB dance anymore and got all choked up. But it made me very happy to feel the audience's enthusiasm and to see how the company members feel about her. Farewell, Joanna!


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 1:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
The amazing thing about Joanna is that she brings everyone up. Because she is not a prima donna who grabs the limelight, everyone else truly dances for her. A performance with Joanna in it inevitably always means a good performance by everyone.<P>The farewell itself was a classy affair, with each male principal and soloist presenting Joanna with flowers. Retired principal Christopher Stowell, a close friend, threw several bouquets from the house.<P>More later, after some sleep...<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited May 12, 2002).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 3:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
tamtamm wrote in the Giselle thread:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Well, did anyone see last night's performance, I heard it was wonderful. There was a hilarious roast of Joanna at Stars Restaurant after the performance, the company members love her.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>There were indeed skits by company members, as well as appearances by special guests, including Christopher Wheeldon (on video), retired SFB principals Christopher Stowell and Evelyn Cisneros, Joanna's musician husband Rene Mandel, and Diablo Ballet Artistic Director Lauren Jonas.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited May 12, 2002).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 4:11 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Wow, that was fast. Did you stay up all night, MEHunt?<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Ballerina goes out grandly with 'Giselle'<P>Mary Ellen Hunt, Contra Costa Times<P>San Francisco Ballet gave one of its most beloved ballerinas, Joanna Berman, an emotional farewell Saturday night at the War Memorial Opera House with their penultimate performance of the great Romantic ballet "Giselle."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/living/3250828.htm target=_blank>More</a>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 5:26 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Berman takes a thrilling last bow<P>Octavio Roca, SF Chronicle<P>A beloved, beautiful ballerina took her final bow Saturday night. <P>Joanna Berman danced her last performance with San Francisco Ballet, the company she has called home most of her life, and she moved an adoring crowd to tears as well as cheers.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/05/13/DD104376.DTL target=_blank>More</a>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 7:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1451
Location: San Francisco, CA
Deadlines are good for me.... Image


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 12:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
I can't say much of anything that hasn't already been said in the reviews. I've seen JB and Possokhov perform this ballet together before, and I agree that their last performance looked especially heartfelt.<P>JB's acting comes across to me as very realistic. That's what I loved about her Juliet -- she wasn't trying to play a little girl. Rather she seemed to be an intelligent adolescent. Her mad scene in <I>Giselle</I> (in which she isn't so much "mad" as emotionally torn apart) is fairly quiet, but perfectly in keeping with the character she's established.<P>In the SFB Giselle thread, I listed Tina LeBlanc as my favorite Giselle from previous seasons. For this final performance, at least, I have to move Joanna to the top of the list.<p>[This message has been edited by djb (edited May 13, 2002).]


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 7:04 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 407
Location: Where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
Giselle, Last Title Role Performance by Joanna Berman, <BR>May 11, 2002, <BR>San Francisco Opera House<P>At 45 minutes to curtain, I was sitting on an upholstered Parson's Bench, just outside the press room at the Opera House. I wanted to clear my mind of the day's minutiae, the better to absorb the ambience that would soon collect around Joanna Berman's final performance with The San Francisco Ballet Company. As I had crossed McAllister Street several minutes earlier, flanked by corps de ballet members Aaron Orza and Pauli Magierek, we watched as a gray-bearded homeless man picked up a newspaper box and smashed it over and over again onto the sidewalk until every last coin came rolling out. At the very same time, lines of limousines were disgorging ballet patrons at the front steps of the Opera House. That moment couldn't have been better choreographed than the way in which it unfolded on its own. As I sat waiting, it was difficult to dismiss from my thoughts the parallel images of rolling metal containers emptying their contents.<P>Then Joanna Berman's mother arrived. The side door usher stepped out for a moment to greet her, and returned with a package wrapped in vivid colors and adorned with a bow. It turned out to be a gift from Ms. Berman to him, an autographed book. He was the first of many people I would see overcome by emotion over the course of the evening. He repeated over and over to anyone who would listen. "So nice of her to think of me. That's how she is. That's JUST the kind of person she is. I can't get over it." Four of us walked from the press room to our orchestra seats. I shared a riddle that I had heard at last year's Dance Critics Association Conference. "What do you call a gathering of reviewers?" "What?" asked the reviewer to my right. "A Shrivel of Critics!" We laughed, and proceeded to our seats. Then I was thinking: "What do you call women dancers, each of who has had a different professional or non-professional dance experience, before going on to become a reviewer?" Are we some strange sort of Wili-like creatures--or do we just get the Wilis at the prospect of attempting to review an evening that is destined to be much larger than even its monumental program?<P>Action onstage prior to Joanna Berman's entrance arrives for me in a blur. Random stage fright fills the entire theater on both sides of the proscenium until we see Giselle emerge. Ms. Berman is no exception: this Giselle is eager to get past the butterflies in her stomach, and it seems like she's putting on the brakes to avoid rushing to the end of this performance. But it is delightful when she slowly lifts her head and Yuri Possokhov, as Prince Albrecht, tweaks her chin. They find the right mood, and it is pure mischief. By the time Hilarion and Albrecht are fighting over her, we are convinced that it is really the scuffle between two favored partners over who she is saying farewell to tonight. The stage is warming up, and before long, Berman is bubbling with her own coquetry, having found the right pace for this performance. The balancés are deep and cordial and Possakhov's arabesques lengthen generously as the romance warms up. Ms. Berman's piqué turns are hand-turned embroidery--like a chain of cross-stitching on a tapestry. She responds to each subtle change in the instrumentation as if there was a bit of dance notation encrypted in her muscles. As she hides from her mother, she is Giselle/Joanna. Who will she be when her own mother finds her after tonight's performance?<P>[Please, please build Berthe a new costume. While she obviously must wear a white hat to show that she is a good character, Anita Paciotti's Berthe brims over with rectitude, and her costume needs more contour to fully enable that quality to emerge. Please, take the furry gray trim off the white bodice, and add some color!]<P>Sherri Le Blanc's entrance with the dogs establishes her as the ruler of all Bathildes. The halting, imperious stride adds a brilliant flourish to this role, rendering her the most pitiable specimen of noblesse oblige on the road to a marriage of convenience. We wonder, "How MANY kirshwassers did this character toss down prior to the garden party in order to get through it?"<P>In the Pas de Cinq, Sergio Torrado was put in for Guennadi Nedviguine. This pas de cinq cast worked better as an ensemble than did the cast on opening night. Torrado's elevation and slicing split grand jetés tend to diminish the work of everyone else dancing with him, but his seriousness was out of character with the lightheartedness called for by the variation. Gonzalo Garcia does not loom as large as Torrado, but as a relaxed, more experienced dancer, invites your eye to stay with him thanks to his generous ballon, and engaging smile. They are a well-matched pair in the duet, each with a distinctive, but complementary stage personality. It looked like Garcia was keeping a watchful eye on Torrado: When Garcia moved to drop to his knee and Torrado seemed to forget to, Garcia covered by not dropping down to his knee. That is the kind of instant-response teamwork that counts.<P>By the time Ms. Berman does her rond de jambes hops, she has let go of all thoughts of this being her last roundup. Her concentration is in the moment, and it shows in the placement of her pirouettes. There is the eloquent use of head and back as she moves into a manege of pique turns. She is stricken when Hilarion returns to the stage intent on spilling blood, and pulls out all the stops to implore him to do no harm. Sherri Le Blanc, turns Bathilde into a moving epistle to the audience, revealing what this ballet is all about. The danger of the moment is written all over her character. There are a number of such interesting little surprise nuggets in tonight's performance!<P>Ms. Berman wields the sword in the mad scene with more attack than Ms. Feijoo displayed on opening night. Berman's madness progresses logically, and it becomes easier to understand what is usually a chaotic scene that tends to leave the audience behind in the dust. For the past week, a number of us have been wondering whether we missed Giselle stabbing herself, or whether she died as her mother warned--of over-exerting her weak heart, or of her own madness? Berman made me see for the first time that it is the frustration of her danced pleas falling on deaf ears that actually causes her to collapse. She finds that she has lost the power of artful persuasion: Her heart breaks in despair, for neither being seen nor heard in her appeal to lay down the sword, as her suitors persist in the mutual blame game until the curtain comes down on Act I.<P>Muriel Maffre, as Myrtha, looks more ethereal than ever. She strives for, and achieves perfect placement and character throughout. Tonight, she is ever much the ghoul next door who has ascended to absorb the seriousness of purpose appropriate to her station in death. Her arms float, even as she causes Hilarion to surrender to her command. Her rank-and-file Wilis are the embodiment of feminist political correctness, en pointe. They show no compassion for Hilarion--even when they're not completely pulled up, and are perhaps thinking as they stand there, about the pack of smokes buried somewhere in their dance bags, so awfully far from the stage. Ms. Berman's attack in her assemblés shows great determination to be a Croix de Guerre- ranked Wili. Tonight's voyagé moved maybe a tad broader and faster than the music, but was overall pretty steady. Maffre is nothing if not scrupulous in her stewardship. Would that the dancers were similarly scrupulous in breaking in their shoes. Their exit made it sound like there was a bowling tournament in progress backstage.<P>Yuri Possokhov's entrance with the lilies was more austere and filled with foreboding than on opening night. Ms. Berman affects a beautiful line with her arms as her body inclines forward toward the grave. Maffre gives the signal that it is now Albrecht's turn to step up to the proscenium, and we see a continuity of three extended arms--Giselle's, Albrecht's and Maffre's as the violin solo opens and the adagio begins with Giselle's effort to placate Myrtha. It is an elegant moment. The Albrecht variation is satisfying, but not as clean as we would have hoped for, and Mr. Possokhov is off the music on his first drop to the floor. The port de bras where Giselle enfolds Albrecht as he is failing signals the end, and the collective heart of the audience follows Ms. Berman's offstage for all time.<P>A post script to this review should mention that the curtain call evinced a picture we rarely have an opportunity to witness. With every able-bodied member of the audience standing and cheering, dozens of bouquets were tossed onstage, followed by each of Ms. Berman's principal male partners, and Helgi Tomasson, crossing the stage to give her a farewell kiss. The entire company amassed behind her as glittering confetti and balloons in all colors descended from the ceiling, and the moist eyes of the audience looked on with great admiration and love. Everyone wishes her only what she has given every last person in the house--the very best.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Toba Singer (edited May 13, 2002).]

_________________
"Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation!" Eddie Izzard


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 10:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
That's a nice story about the Bermans' gift to the usher, Toba. And I have to say, the ushers at SF Ballet are extremely nice and cordial. They make theater goers feel like part of the family. Dean Speer said, "the ballet going experience begins at the Box Office." You can extend the experience to the side door ushers.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2002 11:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
For those of us who weren't at the party at Stars, this is from Leah Garchik's column in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 15, 2002:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Finally, Chris and Warren Hellman hosted a party at Stars honoring Joanna Berman after her farewell performance, highlighted by retired dancer Christopher Stowell and principal dancers Damian Smith and Benjamin Pierce performing as Berman in drag (Smith danced on point); Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine's film of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon performing as Berman in a fish maiden's dance on the beach; and a 45-minute film collage of Berman dancing, assembled by fellow pensioner Evelyn Cisneros.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Joanna Berman
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 9:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 255
A letter in today's San Francisco Chronicle showed yet another side of Joanna Berman. The writer, a woman named Mary Dowling, had known Berman and her family since Joanna's student days. Ms. Dowling was in a ballet class for mastectomy survivors, women 35-75, most of whom had no previous ballet training. Their teacher, herself a mastectomy survivor, invited Berman, by this time a principal dancer at SF Ballet, to visit. Not only did she visit, on several occastions she taught the class. Wrote Ms. Dowling, "Imagine the healing power of being in the presenece of a joyful, graceful generous spirit like Joanna, and to dance with her! I celebrate her and shall be forever grateful for her part in my healing"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
If you want to know what Joanna Berman has been up to, go here:

- ODC/SF 2006


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
The messages in this forum are posted by members of the general public and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of CriticalDance or its staff.
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group