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 Post subject: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2000 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Sacramento, CA
Perhaps it was best to have lost the text of my previous attempt. I was more than a bit snide about the comparison between California's capital city and her more familiar sibling by the Bay. In any case, there is dance to be found afoot...<BR> <A HREF="http://www.sacramento.com/scripts/staticpage.dll?categoryid=169&only=" TARGET=_blank>www.sacramento.com/scripts/staticpage.dll?categoryid=169&only=</A> <BR>y&spage=AE/genListing/genListing_details.htm&id=242266&ck=&use<BR>rid=268788877&userpw=.&uh=268788877,0,&ver=2 <P>An article by William Glacken of the Sacramento Bee.<P>There was also an article written in the Sacramento News & Review (the Bee's arch-nemesis) but I have been unable to find it on their website. Maybe later...<P>Enjoy,<BR>Bob/"Red"<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited October 24, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2000 8:22 pm 
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Location: Sacramento, CA
First, let me say that I did harbor some hometown bias...I wanted this show to be really good. It is kind of a pain travelling a couple of hours to get to "the City", where shows are magically transported two steps higher just because of the locale. Well, on the fifteen minute drive back home, it was not "really good" that was running through my mind.<P>THIS...WAS...SPECTACULAR!<P>A full report tomorrow, but I just wanted to get that out of me before I started. I would, after all, like to affect an air of professionalism...<P>How's that for a teaser?<P>------------------<BR>"Learn from the Past.<BR> Prepare for the Future.<BR> Act in the Present."<BR> -the Rogue Wolf

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2000 8:44 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Thank you for the teaser, Rogue Wolf! Now, we wait...


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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2000 1:03 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>How's that for a teaser?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>excellent, bob!<P>hey, wasn't this the company that was closing down?..can't have been....

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2000 7:55 pm 
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Location: Sacramento, CA
The Sacramento Ballet – “Western Symphony,” “John Adams’ Violin Concerto” and “Medea”<BR>October 26, 2000<P>The nutshell summary: This is what I imagine many companies strive to achieve—a complete show.<P>Even before the first rise of the curtain, the atmosphere was being set. To complement the rustic Western theme of the evening’s principal piece, members of the California Square Dance (Association? Group? Club? I didn’t catch it.) were performing on the Grande Tier landing. Even these folks danced with remarkable smoothness considering that they came from various clubs from around California. A light touch, but it kept folks entertained before the performance.<P>1 – “John Adams Violin Concerto”<BR> Music by John Adams<BR> Choreography by Kathryn Posin (assisted by Angelica Burgos)<BR> Costumes by A. Christina Gianinni<P> The first movement was slow and atmospheric. The dancers’ costumes ran a strong counterpoint—using primary and secondary colors, washes of yellows, purples and oranges. There was a wonderful balance and interaction between the dancers, three male and four female. The movements were extremely smooth and poses were both crisp and dramatic. The flow of the dancers worked extremely well with the relatively slow pulse of the music. There were some gorgeous poses in this set.<P>The second movement, by contrast, set more of a physical challenge for the dancers. The violin performance, while prerecorded, was excruciating in its speed and technical prowess. Truthfully, the dancers never quite exuded the same frenetic abandon that I felt from the music. Rather than a critique, though, I would chalk this up to my stronger understanding of the musical demands, as compared to my understanding of dance. This was a far more spirited piece, and adding three more female dancers to the stage allowed the energy level to be maintained evenly across the segment. Again, there were some absolutely stunning poses.<P>2 – “Medea”<BR> Music by Samuel Barber<BR> Choreography by Ron Cunningham<BR> Costumes and Scenery by Mabel Astarloa-Haley<BR> Lighting by Steve Odehnal<P> The piece opened with Jason and Medea on the Argo. Eight dancers performed water-esque movements that set off the stage design, the rigging and bow of the ship placed to the rear. And the story begins. For those who need a refresher in Greek mythology, Medea, princess of Colchis, assisted Jason in his pursuit of the legendary Golden Fleece. The crux of the tragedy, as written by Euripides, is that after Jason marries Medea, and sires two sons, he leaves her for a younger, prettier princess, named Creusa. From there things take a dark turn.<P>One of the interesting motifs is the use of “shadows,” dancers in dark costumes that pair up to their principal. The “shadows” danced commendably, so they did not detract from the piece. However, it was not until the final scene, where Medea is dancing with her shadow, that the full impact is made, as intended. In this passage, the interaction is much more expressive of the torment and guilt that the title character feels after exacting her revenge.<P>And the manner of that revenge is portrayed very convincingly. In an article titled, “How to kill a princess,” (Sacramento News & Review: October 19,2000), R.V. Scheide describes the company working on the demise of Creusa…with three weeks left until opening night. I won’t spoil it for those who would go see it. It just works. <P>3 – “Western Symphony”<BR> Music by Hershey Kay<BR> Choreography by George Balanchine<BR> Costumes by Frankie Fehr<BR> <BR> Before I get into the review, let me acknowledge each of the pairs of principal dancers—Whitney Simler and Jack Hansen, Angelica Burgos and Michael Separovich, and especially Kirsten Bloom and Charles Hodges. This was a very well done piece, and I enjoyed each couple in each of their respective movements.<P>The music works extremely well. Melodic allusions to seminal works, such as <I>Red River Valley</I> and <I>Golden Slipper</I>, bring instant familiarity to the work. And that familiarity assists the viewer in his or her suspension of disbelief. I will admit to cynicism about the mix of ballet slippers and cowboy hats, but the costumes, on loan or purchased from the Pennsylvania Ballet (as was the scenery), were attractive without creating much dissonance.<P>The program notes state that George Balanchine was very much enamored with the America West…and it shows. This is American nostalgia and romance all wrapped up in a warm, pretty picture. This is the West where cowboys are nineteenth-century knights and saloon dancers are maids with pure hearts. In other words, this is a fairy tale.<P>Overall, and I know this will sound like heresy, but I wish the order of the program had been slightly rearranged. “Western Symphony” was meant to be the jewel of the evening, but I would have liked to see the company open with it. Not to say that the final moments of “Western”, with thirty and some dancers exuberantly spinning to the curtain’s drop, was unimpressive. All three pieces were fantastic; however, speaking personally, I enjoyed “Medea” and “Violin Concerto” just a tad more. Each of these pieces had standout performances in Whitney Simler and Angelica Burgos respectively. <P> As the season opener, this was a very auspicious start. I was very impressed with just about every aspect of the evening. The company continues their season with “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” a run called the “Golden Age of Russes” (containing “The Rite of Spring,” “Apollo” and “Aurora’s Wedding”), and looks to end with “Modern Masters” (including David Parsons’ “The Envelope”). <P><BR>------------------<BR>"Learn from the Past.<BR> Prepare for the Future.<BR> Act in the Present."<BR> -the Rogue Wolf<p>[This message has been edited by Rogue Wolf (edited October 27, 2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2000 1:46 am 
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thanks bob!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I know this will sound like heresy, but I wish the order of the program had been slightly rearranged.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>it's often the case, i think. very hard to please everyone, and quite difficult to anticipate how people will feel about triple-bill programme orders....often i feel i would do it differently to how the 'experts' did!

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 3:40 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Thanks for a wonderful description, Rogue Wolf. I wish I was there to see Medea. Do you if they will perform this again?


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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 4:34 pm 
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Location: Sacramento, CA
This particular run was only through the weekend. But something strikes me that they must perform some outside shows. I'll see if I can find out.<P>

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2000 2:34 pm 
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Location: Sacramento, CA
It has been a while, I realize, but I have some information to clarify some of the questions above.<P>First of all... It is not the Sacramento Ballet that is closing. Instead, at least one of the companies that is closing is the Ruth Rosenberg Ensemble (I hope I have the spelling correct). I heard on the local NPR station that the company's final performances are this weekend after some ten years of activity.<P>Second... I talked to a person named Bob Rich, who heads the marketing for the Sacramento Ballet. He said that the company would not usually schedule repeat productions of a show within three or four years of each other. I also did not get the sense that "Medea" was going to hit the road any time soon.<P>I think that was it...<BR> Bob/"Red"<P>------------------<BR>"Learn from the Past.<BR> Prepare for the Future.<BR> Act in the Present."<BR> -the Rogue Wolf<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2000 3:31 pm 
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you're right, wolf, i just found the thread:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000122.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000122.html</A>

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 Post subject: Re: Sacramento Ballet Season Opener
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2000 6:24 am 
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Thanks Grace, but I did slightly misquote the NPR review. This weekend's show is the season opener of their final season. The show itself is called "E Motion", a series of five vingettes.<P>My apologies for the misinformation.<BR>Bob/"Red"<P>------------------<BR>"Learn from the Past.<BR> Prepare for the Future.<BR> Act in the Present."<BR> -the Rogue Wolf<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Rogue Wolf (edited November 17, 2000).]

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