CriticalDance Forum

SF Ballet Gala 1/24/00
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Author:  Azlan [ Tue Jan 25, 2000 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  SF Ballet Gala 1/24/00

Well, the SF Ballet gala was a success again. Designed to showcase the talents of the company, the program consisted mostly of bits and pieces from different ballets. Highlights of the long evening included:<P>- Leonid Jacobsen's "Vestris," featuring Joan Boada;<BR>- a pdd from Roland Petit's "Proust, ou Les Intermittences du Couer," with Lucia Lacarra and Yuri Possokhov;<BR>- scenes from Helgi Tomasson's "Handel -- A Celebration," with Joanna Berman and Cyril Pierre in the lead roles;<BR>- a selection from Tomasson's "Much Ado...," featuring Gonzalo Garcia in the lead;<BR>- Tomasson's "Two Bits," with Vanessa Zahorian and Guennedi Nedviguine;<BR>- Hans van Manen's "Solo," with Stephen Legate, Michael Eaton and Peter Brandenhoff;<BR>- Balanchine's "Tarantella," with Christopher Stowell and Kristin Long;<BR>- the Black Swan pdd from "Swan Lake," with Yuan Yuan Tan and Vadim Solomakha; and<BR>- the "Embraceable You" pdd from Balanchine's "Who Cares?" featuring Julia Adam and Benjamin Pierce.<P>The reviewers liked it. Here's is one in the SF Chronicle: <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jan 25, 2000 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SF Ballet Gala 1/24/00

Pleased, but not surprised that the SFB Gala was a success. It's intriguing that 'Vestris' went down so well in SF. I found it a merely technical exercise and it was my least favourite item of the programme. Some others felt that Baryshnikov may have been able to add something, but otherwise it was one to put back on the shelf. Just goes to show that you can't please all the people all the time.<P>'Two Bits' and 'Solo' were also well received here. We didn't get the Proust extract, which sounds interesting. But then I'd watch anything with Lucia Lacarra in it. From what I read, you didn't get the Eglevsky 'Adagio' with Lacarra, which was probably the biggest hit of the London Gala. Is this an SFB regular?

Author:  Azlan [ Thu Jan 27, 2000 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: SF Ballet Gala 1/24/00

Hmm, Stuart, can't say it's a regular, at least not from what I know. But maybe I should ask others.

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Jan 29, 2000 6:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SF Ballet Gala 1/24/00

This is a report from a ballerina who wishes not to be identified:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The Gala dancing was mostly a series of pas de deuxs done by the principal dancers. It was very nice and well-danced and it's a good way to see all the top dancers.<BR>Program:<BR>Much Ado... - Gonzalo Garcia very ably led a group of 5 men in a rousing piece.<BR>Embraceable You - Julia Adam and Benjamin Pierce did this very well. It's a very gentle, tender dance. Katita Waldo did a solo from the ballet as well.<BR>Two Bits - Vanessa Zahorian and Guennadi Nedviguine steamed up the stage with this sexy, contemporary dance. I've never seen them do anything but classical pieces, so it was interesting to see this side of them.<BR>Tarentella - Kristin Long and Christopher Stowell repeated this dance from the last Gala! Both danced very well, very cute and pert.<BR>Solo - was actually a showcase for 3 men, Michael Eaton, Stephen Legate, and Peter Brandenhoff. It was a good way for these excellent dancers to demonstrate their prowess.<BR>Black Swan PdD - Yuan Yuan Tan and Vadim Solomakha danced this technically difficult piece very well. I've seen Tan do this piece before and am amazed that such a slight person can be so strong. Solmakha is a complete prince, elegant in bearing and technique.<BR>Tchaikovsky PdD - Lorena Feijoo and Parrish Maynard. Feijoo is new to the company and I was pleasantly surprised after seeing her do a rather disappointing Sugar Plum with Joffrey on TV. This is a very technically demanding piece which requires precision and daring.<BR>Vestris - Joan Boada performed this piece, which Baryshnikov used to clinch the gold medal in Varna. It requires acting ability as there's a lot of mime and emotion and range. Going from silliness to pathos to cheekiness, my main complain is that you only saw teasing flashes of Boada's quite brilliant technique.<BR>Pas de Deux (from Proust) - this was probably the most popular piece with the audience. You have Lucia Lacarra and Yuri Possokhov, the golden couple, dancing a melancholy, longing, tormented pas de deux. They are both just so beautiful to watch.<BR>In the middle, somewhat elevated - Muriel Maffre shone in this Euromodern piece, which was created for her POB compadre, Sylvie Guillem. It requires extreme flexibility and attack, and Maffre, partnered by Vilanoba, danced this piece as though born to it.<BR>Le Corsaire - Tina LeBlanc and Roman Rykine excelled in this bravura piece. Rykine has fantastic legs, but sometimes his shoulders get a bit near his ears on the turns!<BR>Handel - Joanna Berman and Cyril Pierre led the corps in this final piece. Very well danced.<P><BR>Beforehand, there was dinner at the Symphony Hall across the street, in a lobby upstairs. It was all very elegant. There was a fog machine which made the floor slippery and caused a waiter to fall and others to have a near-miss. Everybody was dressed to kill, women in ballroom dresses and men in tuxedos. There were many famous people there, but I certainly didn't recognize any. After the ballet dancing, there was a reception at the City Hall with dancing and desserts and drinks.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

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