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 Post subject: Smuin Ballet 2007
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:52 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
A review of the shows in Mountain View from the Oakland Tribune.

Quote:
Smuin Ballet uninspired in Peninsula outing
By Keith Kreitman, CONTRIBUTOR

WHY WAS I so disappointed?
I've been a big fan of the Smuin Ballet for years, looking forward to its regular appearances at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

I've loved its spirited, creative choreography — whether by Michael Smuin himself or others — and particularly the youthful enthusiasm of his stable of 16 young dancers.

But after opening night last week, I left rather empty. It's not that his current crop of dancers isn't up to previous standards, but perhaps it is the loss of some of his most charismatic regulars.


more...

While I didn't see this program in Mountian View, I did see this program in San Francisco in the fall with many of the same dancers, and I think the reviewer is being overly harsh.

I'm glad to see Cisneros gone. He was tacky and show-bizzy in a way that belongs on Broadway and not in a ballet company. Amy Seiwert's work had artistic depth whether or not it was innovative. The company is filled with some very young dancers, but some of them are much better technicians than those who left. I felt this program was artisitcally deeper than what I have seen before from Smuin.

So, maybe the reviewer is showing his lack of ballet sophistication by implying that now that the caompany has more depth, he finds it less satisfying? Interesting.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 11:54 am 
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A review from the SF Chronicle. A strangely appropriate program. I'm glad to read the dancers looked strong.

Quote:
REVIEW
Dancing without the 'Boss,' Smuin Ballet tearfully honors its founder
Mary Ellen Hunt, Special to The Chronicle

Monday, May 14, 2007

The crowd was oddly quiet, even subdued, in the lobby of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts before the opening of Smuin Ballet's spring season. Ushers still smiled as they took tickets and handed out programs, and old friends still greeted each other warmly, but a muted uncertainty hung in the air as audience members took their seats for the company's first public appearance since the death of its founder on April 23.


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 Post subject: There's another review
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:26 am 
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Here's a review from ballet.co.uk

Quote:
Smuin Ballet opened May 11 at the Yerba Buena Theater minus its namesake; a visual tribute followed President Patti Hume’s comments as she stood on the stage flanked by Celia Fushille-Burke, now artistic director and Dwight Hutton, executive director. The various images of Michael, alone or with dancers, reminded us what a brimming-with-life figure he was. I didn’t know what to expect, not having seen the troupe since watching their Christmas numbers easily five or six years ago. Then the ballet-ballet seen was Smuin’s Les Noches, heavy on sexual implications of the Russian peasant wedding to slick costuming by Willa Kim.

Michael picked sunny-souled people for his ensemble, desiring to please, possessing clean technique and ability to meet unexpected demands. He also chose with an eye to personality.


The rest of the review can be found here.

http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_07/jun07/rr_rev_smuin_0507.htm

Opening night last friday was, as a performer, one of the most difficult and one of the most blessed experiences of my life. I don't know how the audience felt but I hope they/you were able to share in our joy and sorrow. That's the point of it all, after all.

_________________
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 10:32 am 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Welcome SFIchthus! We're happy to have you here.
Was there anything in particular that stood out to you during the performance?

Give all the dancers in the company our deepest wishes for health and strength douring this difficult time.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:20 am 
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Location: Petaluma, California
I attended the opening performance on Friday, May 11th. It seemed so strange to think that Michael Smuin was not present... But, then, the program began with a lovely photographic tribute to Michael, and I felt somehow comforted and sensed his spirit and presence in my mind. I am so impressed with the dancers' passion, strength, and commitment to be able to dance so beautifully and with such great heart after everything that they have been through during the past few weeks. I can't but help thinking and feeling how proud Michael would be of each and every one of them. I thought it was a beautifully balanced program. I loved that Michael's final work was so classical, fresh, and full of joy. There will be a gala at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 20th, featuring highlights from the Smuin repertoire through the years. I've got my tickets! I'm really looking forward to it...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:16 pm 
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From the Oakland Tribune.

Quote:
Without its leader, Smuin Ballet still soldiers on
By Keith Kreitman, CONTRIBUTOR
IN ITS staging of Michael Smuin's choreography to the music of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" at the Mountain View Center for the Preforming Arts last week, Smuin Ballet's bereaved company of dancers could not have paid their late leader a greater personal tribute.
The piece was a superb, flawless execution of some very intricate, ugly and awkward movements, turning them into things of emotional beauty. This may be the best dance company Smuin has ever put together and its best performance of this work.

The death of Smuin at 68 in April is an incalculable loss to the national dance world. He was an American original.


more...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:17 pm 
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Like Gina, I too attended the opening night in honor of Michael Smuin and to support friends in the company. It was indeed a strange experience to have a performance without the man himself. But he was definitely present, in the form of a touching video collage.

And if it's any indication of the future of the company, Amy Seiwert's work was a brilliant piece of choreography -- she is definitely one to watch and I hope the company employs her as a resident choreographer before someone else realizes how talented she is.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:25 pm 
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And, I also attended the gala at the end of the YBC run. It was an overview of Smuin's choreography, through ballet, tap, jazz and various other things. To paraphrase one of the dancers, Michael can turn even pole dancing into art. Gliteratti from the world of ballet, such as Dennis Nahat, and film, such as Robin Williams, were on hand to celebrate the man (like several other people, my date for the evening, who flew in from out of town to check the company out, couldn't resist saying hello to Mr Williams...).

The festivities continued after the show with dinner and dancing at the Four Seasons. And, lo and behold, we were each gifted a Fossil watch by the company! Thank you!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:55 am 
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Ah, Azlan, rubbing elbows with the rich and famous again. What a groupie you're becoming :wink: .


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:47 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
LMCtech wrote:
What a groupie you're becoming :wink: .


What do you mean "becoming?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:49 am 
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I was being nice...


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