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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
San Francisco Ballet's Program 2 opens on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 with Jerome Robbins' "Opus 19/The Dreamer," the premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's "Ghosts," and Paul Taylor's "Company B." Here is a link to the program informaion on the SFB website.

Program 2

A link to the casting page.

Casting

Program 3 is an all Balanchine evening opening on Thursday, February 11, 2010 and includes "Serenade," "Stravinsky Violin Concerto," and "Theme and Variations." Here is a link to further information on Program 3.

Balanchine Masterworks program

Programs 2 and 3 will rotate in repertory through February 20/21, 2010.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Principal Dancer Katita Waldo will retire in April 2010. Allan Ulrich interviews her in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: Shanghai
I am still deciding if I should fly in from Shanghai for the opening night. On their website, there are only 14 seats left in orchestra. I have never been to Memorial Opera House. Normally do they have last minute return at the theater (like NYCB in New York)? thanks, jeff


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:37 am 
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jeffsh wrote:
I am still deciding if I should fly in from Shanghai for the opening night. On their website, there are only 14 seats left in orchestra. I have never been to Memorial Opera House. Normally do they have last minute return at the theater (like NYCB in New York)? thanks, jeff


Jeff,

If you're thinking of coming for Program 2's opening night, February 9, although there are only 14 seats left in Orchestra, there are plenty of excellent seats in the Opera House that night. Returns are always available (the computer puts them back on sale as soon as they are turned in). My advice: call the box office (415-865-2000) and talk to the ticket staff; they are extremely helpful--the best in the business, I think (except maybe for Pacific Northwest Ballet).

If I could swing it, I would fly in for the world premiere of a new Wheeldon ballet with Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith, Sofiane Sylve, and Tiit Helimets.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:46 am 
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Location: Shanghai
thank you so much for the information. I am checking flight and hotel right now. Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:54 am 
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Francis Timlin wrote:
Principal Dancer Katita Waldo will retire in April 2010. Allan Ulrich interviews her in the San Francisco Chronicle.


From the interview:

'Waldo is looking ahead to a second career as a ballet master. Her baptism of fire came with Yuri Possokhov's request that she set his "Magrittomania" on the Bolshoi. "I spent four weeks in Moscow with a whip and a chair. They're all like gymnasts. It's run, run, run and then the big step."'

I'll miss her as a dancer, but she's going to be a great ballet master. She's sharp and funny, and incredibly knowledgable. Wheeldon brought her to the Bolshoi, too, to set one of his works on them. A whip and a chair indeed!

PS: I realize Critical Dance-SFB has become a notice board, not a discussion board. Even Azlan has stopped posting here. Too bad. It was fun while it lasted.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Reviews from the Tuesday, February 9, 2010 performance of Program 2 (the premiere of Wheeldon's "Ghosts," Robbins' "Opus 19/The Dreamer" and Taylor's "Company B").

Allan Ulrich in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle

Janos Gereben in the San Francisco Examiner.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:06 pm 
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Alastair Macaulay attended Program 2 performances on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 9-10, 2010. While the majority of his review concerns Christopher Wheeldon's "Ghosts," he also has good things to say about the Robbins and Taylor works on the program. His review in the New York Times.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Program 2: Opus 19/The Dreamer, Ghost, Company B
San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco, California
By Catherine Pawlick

As couples all over the Bay Area prepared for special celebrations on Valentine’s Day, a considerable number of die-hard balletomanes instead chose to spend the day of hearts attending to their passion inside the War Memorial Opera House. San Francisco Ballet’s Program 2, a mixed bill of three works by various choreographers, was a short afternoon with a mixed palette of moods and styles.

Jerome Robbins’ “Opus 19/The Dreamer,” a unique ballet in both its movement style and atmosphere, opened the performance with Maria Kochetkova and Taras Domitro in the leading roles. Domitro’s role as that of the Dreamer, a man searching for an indefinable “something” came across in sporadic spurts. His Dreamer seemed at times more controlled by his vision than racing after it, more tortured by his inner world than aware of that around him. But if dramatic elements eluded him, Domitro’s technical approach could not be faulted. A gifted dancer, he made the most of the elastic tension in much of Robbins’ choreography; in fact, the piece’s only drawback was the lack of vehicle for Domitro’s bravura capabilities.

As the object of his vision, Kochetkova fully immersed herself in Robbins’ dance lexicon. Fluid, emotional, and precise in her execution, she mastered the off-balance elements, and added a layer of drama which pulled the entire ballet forward. Kochetkova, the company’s resident Russian ballerina, trained at the Bolshoi School, is by far the greatest gift San Francisco Ballet has on roster.

On the heels of Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses company performances at Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts just several weeks ago, Wheeldon’s “Ghosts,” premiered this week at San Francisco Ballet. Set to a recorded score by rock musician Kip Winger, the dancers are clothed in gauzy, disheveled Victorian clothing, all in dim hues of green, immediately setting a macabre tone that is echoed in the dark lighting and the presence of a shifting metal sculpture that hangs from the ceiling.

Sadly, the ultimate level of racehorse-caliber dancing seen by the Morphoses dancers was not replicated in this new ballet at the Opera House. Nor did the dark undertones aid the ballet’s focus. The choreography had moments of sheer inspiration – sweeping lifts, hints of Russian folk dance, and an aquatic “swimming” theme throughout. Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz etched lovely lines in their dancing interludes as the second couple; Sofiane Sylve, supported in a trio by Brette Bauer and the golden Tiit Helimuts, were also pleasing to regard. Sylve’s own solo had an urgency and depth to it that added a nice dimension to the work. The ballet itself, however, raised more questions than it gave answers, but maybe therein lies more food for future development.

Paul Taylor’s “Company B,” a ballet created in 1991, concluded the afternoon on a slightly more upbeat note. Set to songs sung by the Andrew Sisters, with a curiously juxtaposed underlying theme dedicated to the loss of life due to war and/or AIDS, “Company B” nonetheless maintains the optimism of 1950s Americana with only silhouetted reference to death and destruction. The infectious music and jitterbug humor create a nostalgic atmosphere at once serious and playful as dancers dressed in saddle shoes, headbands and ‘50s attire scoot around the stage in playful fashion. Highlights included Gennadi Nedvigin as an utterly slick Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and Sofiane Sylve in a lyrical rendition of “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”, where she pines after one of two men more interested in each other than in her. Particularly touching was the “Rum and Coca-Cola” section with Pauli Magierek being drooled after by at least seven men as she danced alone in center stage. Taylor’s themes of loneliness and partnership, love and loss, longing, and dreaming were apt for this holiday. If at times weighted, the realism, playfulness and reflective nature of the ballet seemed an appropriate conclusion for the afternoon.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:57 am 
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For some odd reason my tix are always out of order. I see Program 2 next week but saw 3 last Saturday (any reviews, BTW?)

My unscientific view is that the all Balanchine program was a smashing success.

Some in the audience thought Serenade was too bland but I liked it. It had a plot of sorts (3 women, 2 men, and one woman will get left in the cold), lovely corp dancers, and it was good to see Kristin Long back again, looking trim and fit after her maternity leave.

I have seen Stravinsky Violin Concerto twice, never really liked it, still don't - I don't hate it, just don't find it appealing. Too stark, I guess, for my tastes. Although I was clearly in the minority as the audience cheered wildly.

Theme and Variations was one of the very first things I ever saw SFB peform, 10 years ago, and have wanted to see it again since. I was skeptical, I have to admit, of tiny Maria Kotchetkova dancing the lead, she is so unlike the tall, leggy, skinny Balanchine dancers. It took her about 0.2 seconds to win me over with her absolutely unbelievable fast footwork - think of watching a hummingbird in flight and you get a good picture of Kotchetkova. Taras Domitro was a worthwhile partner. I truly did not see a single weakness in that performance. I found myself wishing I had brought someone new to ballet with me so they could see "what it's all about".

A shout out, and a warm foot bath, to Ashley Muangmathon, Jennifer Stahl, Jeremy Rucker, and Luke Willis who danced in all three ballets Saturday afternoon.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Good review of the Balanchine program from the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/15/arts/dance/15balanchine.html?ref=dance


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:35 pm 
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Allan Ulrich reviews Program 3 (All Balanchine) in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:30 am 
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JimVanPatten wrote:
Good review of the Balanchine program from the New York Times.


Alastair Macauley's reviews for the New York Times of SFB's Program 1 (Feb 1), Program 2 (Feb 11) and Program 3 (Feb 14) are the most sustained critical look at the company by an outside reviewer I've seen, and this last one on Program 3 (Balanchine Masterworks) is a gem. What Macauley writes about Sofiane Sylve, Vanessa Zahorian and Sarah Van Patten will not come as news to those of us who have been following them since they joined the company, but it's great to see them acknowledged by one of the best dance writers in the world. I was intrigued by what Macauley had to say about the "adult" quality of SFB dancers (Mark Morris has also commented appreciatively about this). I hope the "held back" quality Macauley sees in the company (not necessarily in individual dancers) isn't the price that has to be paid for maturity.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:32 am 
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Bcx, I have to disagree with Macauley's opinion of Van Patten. I saw her in the January gala in "Who Cares?" and was not the only one who thought she looked like a deer caught in headlights. One facial expression throughout and (at least at that performance) not the purest technical execution. This is the first I had seen her dance and I was not impressed -- she did not strike me as an international calibre dancer, so I am surprised to read what Mr. Macauley wrote, because we must have been watching two different people. I know there are other balletomanes who share this opinion. I would love to be proven wrong, but I do not understand the stir around her.

Crandc, as a side note, I share your view of "Stravinsky" - much prefer Serenade, La Valse or other more lyrical works by Balanchine. His abstract ballets do not attract me as much.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:32 am 
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Catherine Pawlick wrote:
Bcx, I have to disagree with Macauley's opinion of Van Patten. . . .


Hi Catherine,

I always enjoy your comments, and especially your insider insights about the Mariinsky on the Mariinsky Ballet board. And I like the way you have held SFB to "international standards" in the past, especially when they don't meet them. I'm not the person to ask about Sarah Van Patten--I've been a fan since I first saw her dance "Nana's Lied" as a new SFB soloist from the Royal Danish Ballet. I actually laughed when I read Macauley's comment about people having their hearts in their throat when they watch Sarah; it's true--you never know what you'll get with her. She is not as solid technically as some dancers (like Vanessa Zahorian, who, as you know, spent a year at the Mariinsky as an apprentice, and it shows), but Sarah Van Patten is a dancer who can be more deeply, subtly, moving than just about anyone at SFB. I loved her last night in Stravinsky's Violin Concerto--and I know we disagree about that extraordinary Balanchine piece as well.


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