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 Post subject: Ballet at Lincoln Center Festival 2006
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:58 pm 
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Location: New York, NY
This summer's Lincoln Center Festival is full of exhilarating and innovative ballet and dance. Highlights of this summer's program include:

San Francisco Ballet
July 25- 30
An extraordinary range of ballets, including a lavish production of Sylvia created by Mark Morris and two mixed repertory programs.

Emanuel Gat Dance
July 12, 14, 15
A sensual fusing of Stravinsky and Cuban salsa from Israel’s Emanuel Gat, along with a work set to selections from Schubert’s Winterreisse.

Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company
July 18-20
Dance becomes an extraordinary tool for probing life’s big questions, as opposing forces clash in this provocative work from choreographer Bill T. Jones.

Batsheva Dance Company
July 20-22
Celebrated choreographer Ohad Naharin fills the stage with forty exceptional dancers, while four large screens amplify their bodies and faces in extreme close-up.

The 2006 Festival also features an array of works in opera, theater, and music. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.lincolncenter.org or call CenterCharge at 212.721.6500


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:53 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Building a Better Ballet, the Next Generation
by RACHEL HOWARD for the New York Times

“It’s been a great season this year,” he said, as if remarking on the weather. But asked to think back to the start of his tenure, he furrowed his brow. “I just knew that I wanted this company to be better,” he said. “A lot better.”

Not even Mr. Tomasson could have imagined what better might mean when he took over this country’s oldest professional ballet company in 1985. In recent seasons the San Francisco troupe has won glowing appraisals for its international roster of star dancers and choreographers at tour stops from Los Angeles to London.

published: July 23, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:31 pm 
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Thanks, kurinuku, for posting this appreciative review; I'm glad the New York Times asked a critic who has actually followed SFB for many years to introduce it to a New York audience. And as someone who was in New York in June (where I saw Helgi at a performance of the NYCB) I can say that New York ballet audiences are really wonderful. They know what good dancing is, and they respond to it. And dancers respond to them. It should be a great festival.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:05 am 
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You are welcome :)
Here comes another one for SFB...

Quote:
San Francisco Ballet, NY
by HILARY OSTLERE for the Financial Times

Tomasson has the knack of fine-tuning his choreography to his dancers’ abilities, giving his five men individual variations on steps each can do best – particularly visible in a pas de deux for Tan and Damian Smith, a romantic encounter where they entwined themselves around each other as delicately as mating snakes, ...

published: July 26, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:49 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
San Francisco Ballet Presents a Mixed Bill at the Lincoln Center Festival
by JOHN ROCKWELL for the new York Times

The San Francisco Ballet, like most companies, has a strongly international cast and, perhaps unsurprisingly, a particularly strong Asian contingent, especially among the lead women. Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun was appealing in the pas de deux from David Bintley’s “Dance House.” Yuan Yuan Tan, with her elegant carriage and wraithlike arms, did the Adagio from “Swan Lake” (elegantly partnered by Tiit Helimets) and a pas de deux from Mr. Tomasson’s “Fifth Season.” And Frances Chung was delightful, airy and gracious in the “Swan Lake” pas de trois.

published: July 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:57 am 
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Quote:
Mark Morris’s ‘Sylvia’ Arrives in New York, Playing It Straight
by JOHN ROCKWELL gor the New York Time

Too straight, some might think, although in the end his “Sylvia” worked for me. The ballet’s scenario, beyond the basic plot, is sketchy. Ashton invented all manner of minor characters to enliven the action, especially in the largely celebratory third act. For Mr. Morris there are no Ceres and Jaseion, no Persephone and Pluto, no Terpsichore and Apollo, no Goats. Instead there are his patented communal dances, translated into the ballet idiom.

published: July 28, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:42 pm 
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The San Francisco Ballet website is now providing links to reviews of its Lincoln Center performances:

http://www.sfballet.org/about/touring/index.aspx [dead link]

My guess is that they will keep updating the site as the reviews come in.

But I hope you'll continue to post reviews, kurinuku, especially from the international press.


Last edited by bcx on Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:24 am 
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Here's a negative one for Sylvia:

Quote:
STILTED 'SYLVIA' FALLS FLAT
Clive Barnes, New York Post

Unfortunately, Morris could go wrong, and did. The "Sylvia" that had its New York premiere Wednesday night proved a thumping dud.

It was, of course, well danced. The San Franciscans are a superb troupe at the top of their form - but that is the best that can be said for a production which lacks any appropriate style or authority.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:28 am 
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Five reviews of all three SFB programs at Lincoln Center (including 3 takes on Mark Morris's Sylvia) are now on the Dance View Times website:

http://www.danceviewtimes.com/backissue ... 73106.html

1. Susan Reiter on Opening Night Gala:
"It celebrated the company’s array of strong, personable dancers, imbued with a gift of showcasing fluency and technical expertise without every seeming to push or strain for effects. Clean, crisp, artfully phrased dancing was there in abundance. The program also celebrated the diverse, intelligently chosen repertory that artistic director Helgi Tomasson has acquired over his 21 years directing this splendid troupe. . . ."

2. Leigh Witchel on Mark Morris's Sylvia:
"San Francisco Ballet followed the blockbuster opening gala in their New York engagement with what should have been another juggernaut; Mark Morris’ version of “Sylvia”.  It’s a handsome production and it has Delibes’ marvelous and haunting score, but the choreography is a thin brew. . . ."

3. Mary Cargill on Mark Morris's Sylvia:
"Morris’ Sylvia is a feistier heroine than the traditional classical ballerina, and Elizabeth Miner, a tall, leggy blond, with a heroically pure line, made her immensely appealing. . . . Morris gave the company a real ballet, which required emotional as well as technical abilities, and the cast I saw created true and vibrant characters, even if they had to dance around an elephant [Ashton]."

4. Susan Reiter: Vanessa Zahorian and Guennadi Nedviguine in "Sylvia"
"Vanessa Zahorian, lithe but strong, projected warmth and humor as Sylvia. Her commanding presence and powerful, sleek technique made her the clear leader of the huntress nymphs, who fend for themselves and have no use for the powers of Eros, to whom everyone else in the ballet bows, or prostrates themselves, reverently. This Sylvia is obviously a take-charge, no-nonsense nymph, but also rapturously feminine. Her crisp attack imbued her Act One material with welcome energy and fire, and her dramatic skill allowed one to follow Sylvia’s emotional journey quite clearly, culminating in her lucid radiance in Act Three. . . ."

5. Lisa Rinehart: 7 for Eight, Quaternary, Artifact Suite

"[T]he interesting story here is that the San Francisco Ballet is a force to be reckoned with. Somewhat under the radar, Tomasson has commissioned work from internationally respected choreographers and has hired high caliber dancers for those choreographers to work with. There's work to be done, but the directors of large New York based ballet companies would do well to take notice: Tomasson appears to have the vision, taste and patience to create a company of international importance. There's room for all, but the gauntlet has been thrown."


Last edited by bcx on Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:01 am 
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Quote:
Sylvia, State Theater, New York
by HILARY OSTLERE for the Financial Times

There’s humour too in Sylvia’s little jiggle of happiness in the grand third act pas de deux with Aminta, yet we are a bit over the top again with the exotically clad Eros, who is given outlandish choreography, all whirling jumps, turns and squats

published: July 30, 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:24 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Robert Gottlieb reviews SFB's Lincoln Center performances in the New York Observer:

NY Observer


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:36 pm 
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A review from NYC in the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
REVIEW
San Francisco Ballet shows the Big Apple some new tricks

Apollinaire Scherr, Special to The Chronicle

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

(08-02) 04:00 PDT New York -- New Yorkers are Balanchine-crazy. They worry about the condition of the great choreographer's pieces at the New York City Ballet and want to know how they're doing elsewhere. In the course of his 21 years as artistic director of San Francisco Ballet, former City Ballet star Helgi Tomasson has accumulated a stash of Balanchine treasure and might have helped slake New Yorkers' curiosity. But for the weeklong engagement at the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival that ended Sunday, his company offered only the new. This turned out to be thrilling, too.

The audience was treated to Christopher Wheeldon's "Quaternary," an aptly mercurial take on the four seasons; William Forsythe's dazzling and contrarian "Artifact Suite"; Tomasson's blandly pretty "7 for Eight" and his quietly risky "Concerto Grosso"; and Mark Morris' "Sylvia," the most anticipated dance event of the year.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:53 pm 
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Thankis for the link, LMCtech. It looks like SFB has stopped posting reviews on its own website.

I thought Apollinaire Scherr made some particularly worthwhile observations:

"Tomasson is doing things. With his long-standing commitment to Forsythe, Morris and Wheeldon, he has steeped his dancers in the working process of masters. They have responded with what amounts to a house aesthetic.

"Former dancers Julia Adam, Val Caniparoli and the newly appointed resident choreographer, Yuri Possokhov (whose beautifully nuanced performances here were the last of his dancing career), make dreamlike work in a language as evocative and unpretty as that of Wheeldon and Morris. The Lincoln Center affair might have celebrated this rare accomplishment by showing some of their work.

"On the other hand, the engagement did celebrate the dancers -- at the top end, as good as any in our leading companies. And, without being provincial, it reflected San Francisco, where the women are strong and the men are good-looking." [the opposite is also true]

I'd like to see more of Scherr's reflections on SFB in the Chronicle, especially with Rachel Howard no longer writing SFB reviews regularly.


Last edited by bcx on Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:16 pm 
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Gottlieb's is the most interesting and readable of the minority negative reivews of Morris I've seen.

I found this comment about SFB particulalry astute:

"San Francisco Ballet strikes me as deeply virtuous, and I can’t wait to see it again. Even so, it lacks, for me, a crucial element of great dancing: large-scale personal expressivity. Like most companies, it reflects the characteristics of its leader. Tomasson was an immaculate classicist—elegant, tasteful, contained, never vulgar, always correct and frequently charming; that’s what his company is like, too (several of the men actually look like him). But he never fully absorbed Balanchine’s insistence on dancing full-out: His movement was always measured, his presence small-scale. Peter Martins was a cool, smooth dancer, Edward Villella was explosive and full of feeling, and their companies reflect their qualities. How could it be otherwise? Splendid as Tomasson’s San Francisco is, I can’t help wanting more—dancers not only superbly trained, hard-working and personable, but dancers who thrill."

PS: Check out Erik Tomason's off-beat photo of YYT as Sylvia posted in the Guardian. Eric (Helgi's son), has an exquisite photographic eye. He often captures a dancer's feelings and emotions even more than their movement; he's becoming a favorite dance photographer.
http://www.observer.com/20060807/200608 ... bdance.asp


Last edited by bcx on Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:09 am 
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Quote:
Aim for the Target
by DEBORAH JOWITT for the Village Voice

Although Morris uses every bit of Léo Delibes's tuneful, drama-rich score—including the first-act overture that introduces the principal motifs and the second-act one that focuses on the lovely well-known waltz—he has simplified and freshened the tale, softening 19th-century stereotypes and revealing motivations by subtly echoing actions.

published: July 31, 2006
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