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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:10 pm 
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Posts: 167
Hi Catherine,

Just a PS to my previous post. I thought your earlier review of SFB's Gala was generous. I confess I was so bored I left early. And I don't think Sarah's dancing was particularly memorable that night.

The version of "Who Cares" I will never forget, however, was the one I saw at last year's Mariinsky Festival, performed by the Novosibirsk State Opera Ballet. There was something incredibly moving seeing those young dancers from Siberia and their artistisc director, Igor Zelensky (who spent years dancing with NYCB) doing Gershwin in St Petersburg. You know, they weren't perfect technically, but they conveyed such life and joy in their own version of Balanchine that it was a great success.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Becca Hirschman reviews Program 3 (All Balanchine) in the SF Appeal.

SF Appeal


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:14 pm 
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Janos Gereben reviews the All Balanchine program in the San Francisco Examiner.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1759
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
bcx wrote:
I thought your earlier review of SFB's Gala was generous. I confess I was so bored I left early. And I don't think Sarah's dancing was particularly memorable that night.

The version of "Who Cares" I will never forget, however, was the one I saw at last year's Mariinsky Festival, performed by the Novosibirsk State Opera Ballet. There was something incredibly moving seeing those young dancers from Siberia and their artistisc director, Igor Zelensky (who spent years dancing with NYCB) doing Gershwin in St Petersburg. You know, they weren't perfect technically, but they conveyed such life and joy in their own version of Balanchine that it was a great success.


Bcx - thanks. I try to be positive, after all it is an art form close to my heart. But standards do need to be adhered to...

I had no idea you were at the MT festival last year (or do i?) Of course I saw the same performance of "Who Cares?" and that is exactly what I had in mind when I saw the SFB gala this year. There was no comparison on the dramatic level whatsoever, the NSK ballet took the cake and really emitted the joie de vivre that is so often lacking these days.

I saw Program 2 twice this past week. Wednesday and Friday nights. Both nights Maria Kochetkova was the highlight of the evening. I think it says a lot. Wednesday she led "Serenade" and Friday "Theme." In the latter she was incomparably clean, technically pure, with a very high level of artistry. In the former she was lyricism itself. In my opinion this total embodiment of the role with an unquestionable level of technical execution is what the rest of the company should strive for.

p.s. Are you going to the festival this year?

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:04 am 
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Posts: 255
I don't want to step on any toes, or toe shoes, but Program 2 was one of the dullest I've sat through at SFB. I literally kept falling asleep.

Not bad. Bad at least has a certain interest, as in oh my god I hate this! But neither the music nor the choreography grabbed me, the only exception being the Pas de trois with Lily Rogers, Gaetano D'Amico and Bret Bauer in Ghosts. Not the fault of the dancers. But even the best cook can't make a great cake without eggs or butter, and these ballets lacked both.

Company B was good, not great, but at least it redeemed the afternoon. The play of moods made it most interesting. "Oh Johnny Oh Johhny Oh" was hilarious. "Pennsylvania Polka" started so light hearted (Dores Andre looked adorable in her 40s skirt and pony tail), but then the slow motion of 4 men in the background reminded the viewer that while some danced, others died. "Rum & Coca-Cola" hinted at the legacy of imperialism as "native girls" and their mothers "work" by pulling up skirts, and by implication a lot more, not just in Trinidad where the scene was set but in Lorena Feijoo's native Cuba pre-revolution. And "Another You" can be related to not just by one who has lost a love to war or tragedy but anyone who lost his/her first love - there are others, but that feeling is never duplicated.

Incidentally, I see from the program that Frances Chung was promoted to Principal, although I never saw this announced. Oddly, I have not seen her perform principal roles either last year or (so far) this.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Posts: 350
Location: San Francisco
Frances' promotion was noted at the end of the 2009 season thread, I believe!

Initial casting for program 4 is posted. Remember, casting is always subject to change!


Program 4 Opening Night
Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 8pm
San Francisco Ballet Premiere
PETROUCHKA
Choreographer: Michel Fokine
Conductor: Martin West

Petrouchka: Pascal Molat*
Ballerina: Clara Blanco*
Moor: Brett Bauer*

INTERMISSION

DIVING INTO THE LILACS
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova, Pascal Molat
Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding
Lorena Feijoo, Vitor Luiz*

INTERMISSION

IN THE MIDDLE, SOMEWHAT ELEVATED
Choreographer: William Forsythe
Music: Tape

Sofiane Sylve, Katita Waldo
Vanessa Zahorian, Lorena Feijoo
Elana Altman, Frances Chung

Tiit Helimets*, Davit Karapetyan, Gennadi Nedvigin*




Program 4 Evening
Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 7:30pm
PETROUCHKA
Choreographer: Michel Fokine
Conductor: Martin West

Petrouchka: Taras Domitro*
Ballerina: Elizabeth Miner*
Moor: Daniel Deivison-Oliveira*

INTERMISSION

DIVING INTO THE LILACS
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung, Hansuke Yamamoto
Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding
Elizabeth Miner, Gennadi Nedvigin*

INTERMISSION

IN THE MIDDLE, SOMEWHAT ELEVATED
Choreographer: William Forsythe
Music: Tape

Kristin Long, Frances Chung
Maria Kochetkova, Sarah Van Patten
Charlene Cohen*, Courtney Elizabeth

Pierre-François Vilanoba, James Sofranko, Joan Boada#, Garen Scribner*
#pas de deux

* denotes premiere in role

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:42 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
The San Francisco Ballet Center has been named for Chris Hellman, benefactor, a former President of the SFB Board of Directors and former dancer with London Festival Ballet. The announcement was made before the opening of Program 4, which includes the premiere of a new production of "Petrouchka" that has been underwritten by the Hellmans. David Wiegand reports in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Janos Gereben reviews Program 4 in the San Francisco Examiner.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Allan Ulrich reviews Program 4 in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:48 pm 
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Posts: 1759
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
“Petrouchka,” “Diving into the Lilacs,” “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated”
San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco, California
4 March 2010
By Catherine Pawlick

Last year’s centenary anniversary of Serge Diaghilev’s famous May 1909 season, when the impresario first introduced his company to Western stages, continues this year with productions that hark from the Ballets Russes early Paris seasons. “Petrouchka” first premiered in June 1911 at the Theatre du Châtelet in Paris. This year, the Mariinsky Ballet is reviving the ballet with the help of Gary Chryst, who worked with Nureyev on the role. In similar fashion, San Francisco Ballet has brought the ballet into its repertoire for the first time this year. Performed with the permission of the Fokine Estate-Archive and supported by the Hellman Family, this famous work by Mikhail Fokine brings a taste of the choreographer’s careful mix of dance and drama to the War Memorial Opera House.

Initially rejected inside the Mariinsky Theatre for its novel approach to full-body expression, ensemble dancing and design, “Petrouchka” was a revolutionary ballet for its time. Stepping away from the conventional approach to ballet that used pantomime as limited means of dramatic expression, and on corps work as mere stage decoration, it depicts the story of a Pierrot-type puppet who is as infused with feeling and emotion as any other human could be. The dark, tragic tale is moving, and provides plenty of room for thought.

On Thursday, March 4, Taras Domitro proved his mastery of the title role in “Petrouchka.” Domitro’s winning combination of jointless, limp movement portrayed the pliable softness of the puppet, his soulful expressions and urgent gestures depicting the character’s agony and frustration. As the Ballerina, Elizabeth Miner danced reliably, her footwork strong. She rendered the doll authentic through stiff, flat hands and sharp turns of the head, although an emotional element was missing. The Moor, danced by Daniel Deivison, emitted the overbearing nature of his rough narcissism in vibrant facial expressions and lumbering, branded steps. The crowd scenes –Russian character dances with women in traditional dress, or young boys performing the traditional deep knee-bend, Cossack-like dancing -- all hinted at a Old Rus but depth of authenticity was missing. The expertise of Russian pantomime and character training would have lent a degree of much-needed épaulement to the ensemble work.

Yuri Possokhov’s “Diving into the Lilacs,” which debuted last year, has gained in substance and refinement upon second viewing. Debuting in the middle pas de deux was the Russian couple Maria Kochetkova with Gennadi Nedvigin. Bathed in light from above, her effervescent white dress wound around her sublimely drawn frame, Kochetkova was a statue come to life in her variation. Joined by Nedvigin’s certain partnering and faultless timing, together they etched a lyrical, romantic pas that held a rhythm and dramatic pull which was lacking in the other duets. Lorena Feijoo was almost as lovely with Vitor Luiz, but the emotional element between their twosome was not quite as strong. “Lilacs”’ melding of soft and hard, light and dark touches on themes that reflect more than just the Russian springtime. Possokhov’s movement is a careful balance between the classical lexicon and dramatic reverie, without venturing into the overly complex “busy” movement trends of late. “Lilacs” shows promise, especially with dancers such as Kochetkova and Nedvigin who can douse it thoroughly with soul.

Forsythe’s electric “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated” woke the audience with its pulsing beat, even if some of the male dancing was not up to par. Here, in unforgiving, sleek leotards, the bodies chosen for the piece must be of racehorse quality. Several dancers fit the bill, while others slowed the tension with movement that was thicker than necessary.

In sum, Program 4 is a mixed bill with the ability to inspire. As always, it is the dancers, in the end, who make or break the performance.

_________________
Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:42 pm 
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Posts: 12542
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Becca Hirschman reviews Program 4 in the SF Appeal.

SF Appeal


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 350
Location: San Francisco
Initial casting for The Little Mermaid is posted. Remember, casting is always subject to change.

The Little Mermaid Opening Night
Saturday, March 20, 2010, 8pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan*
Prince: Tiit Helimets*
Princess: Sarah Van Patten*
Poet: Lloyd Riggins^
Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan*



The Little Mermaid Matinee
Sunday, March 21, 2010, 2pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten*
Prince: Pierre-François Vilanoba*
Princess: Vanessa Zahorian*
Poet: Damian Smith*
Sea Witch: Garen Scribner*



The Little Mermaid Evening
Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 8pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan
Prince: Tiit Helimets
Princess: Sarah Van Patten
Poet: Lloyd Riggins^
Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan



The Little Mermaid Evening
Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 7:30pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten
Prince: Pierre-François Vilanoba
Princess: Vanessa Zahorian
Poet: Pascal Molat*
Sea Witch: Garen Scribner



The Little Mermaid Evening
Thursday, March 25, 2010, 8pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan
Prince: Tiit Helimets
Princess: Sarah Van Patten
Poet: Damian Smith
Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan



The Little Mermaid Evening
Friday, March 26, 2010, 8pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten
Prince: Pierre-François Vilanoba
Princess: Vanessa Zahorian
Poet: Pascal Molat
Sea Witch: Garen Scribner



The Little Mermaid Matinee
Saturday, March 27, 2010, 2pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Sarah Van Patten
Prince: Pierre-François Vilanoba
Princess: Vanessa Zahorian
Poet: Pascal Molat
Sea Witch: Garen Scribner



The Little Mermaid Evening
Saturday, March 27, 2010, 8pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan
Prince: Tiit Helimets
Princess: Sarah Van Patten
Poet: Damian Smith
Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan



The Little Mermaid Matinee
Sunday, March 28, 2010, 2pm
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Choreographer: John Neumeier

Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan
Prince: Tiit Helimets
Princess: Sarah Van Patten
Poet: Damian Smith
Sea Witch: Davit Karapetyan

* Denotes premiere in role.

^ Denotes guest artist.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:57 am 
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Posts: 10
I see Lloyd Riggins is listed as a guest. Does anyone know where Lloyd is from?


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 167
Lloyd Riggins is assistant ballet master for the Hamburg Ballet, and danced in the Hamburg premiere of Mermaid. He's American-born, and danced lead roles from 1987-1995 with the Royal Danish Ballet before his 15+ yr. long career as a Principal Dancer with Hamburg Ballet. Looking forward to seeing him--and Sarah Van Patten, too, who has leads in both casts.

PS: In his official bio on the Hamburg Ballet website he is listed as “a ballet master for the company.” See:
http://www.hamburg-ballett.de/e/schule/staff.htm


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2010 Season
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Posts: 350
Location: San Francisco
'Little Mermaid' ballet not intended for kids
Rachel Howard, Special to The San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quote:
Q: We should quickly dispel any idea that your "Little Mermaid" is a kid production.

A: Yes, for one thing, the violence in the story is quite strong. The mermaid allows herself to be literally torn apart to get to her goal. And she meets an ambiguous ending - it certainly isn't happy. She refuses to kill the prince, and attempts suicide instead. But she's rewarded by becoming a daughter of the air. She continues her search in another realm.

More

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