'Common Ground' never takes off for S.F. Ballet
Rachel Howard, Special to The San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, April 6, 2007
Apparently even the San Francisco Ballet isn't immune from the midseason slump. Granted, program five's crowd-pleasing extravaganza made a hard act to follow, but the sixth repertory slate that opened Wednesday is a bona fide dud. There's a pleasant-enough encore airing of Agnes de Mille's "Rodeo" and a warmed-over revival of Julia Adam's "Night." But what should have been the meat of the program is a world premiere by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson. I'm sorry to report that "On Common Ground" is the worst ballet by him I've yet seen.
It's a shame because when Tomasson makes intimate ballets tailored to showcase the strengths of favored dancers, the results can be elegant, and sometimes stirring. And in this case, Tomasson began with talent worth exploring. On the veteran side, Tina LeBlanc and Lorena Feijoo share a duet, while Joan Boada and Davit Karapetyan get space-devouring solos. On the emerging side, the slinkily musical soloist Rory Hohenstein shares some teasing interludes with glamour girl Elana Altman and with Jennifer Stahl, a first-year corps member graced by striking long lines and a cool confidence...
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