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 Post subject: San Francisco Ballet at Stern Grove: August 12, 2007
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12647
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
San Francisco Ballet has announced the program for August 12, 2007 at Stern Grove:

2007 Program


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Ack, I'm going to be out of town AGAIN!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:47 am 
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Location: Canada
From another thread:

Posted by Toba

For those of you attending Stern Grove, Pamela Sullivan of the Stern Grove Festival production team has requested that my book "First Position: A Century of Ballet Artists" be made available for a raffle at the San Francisco Ballet Program there on August 12. Those who buy raffle tickets will support a wonderful (free to the public) performance venue and have a chance at winning a copy of my book!

Will criticaldance have an organized presence at Stern Grove this year?


Posted by Andre

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:54 pm

Congratulations Toba. There are some people who are trying to organize a couple of CD tables, so hopefully we'll get to see everyone again tihs year.


Posted by sf_herminator

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:34 am

Casting for this Sunday's performance has been posted (http://sfballet.org/performancestickets/casting.asp)

Stern Grove Performance Matinee
8/12/2007,2 PM

SPRING ROUNDS

Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Garrett Anderson

INTERMISSION

DIVERTIMENTO NO. 15

Conductor: Martin West

Nicolas Blanc, Ruben Martin, Jaime Garcia Castilla
Lorena Feijoo
Vanessa Zahorian, Frances Chung, Katita Waldo, Rachel Viselli

INTERMISSION

ELEMENTAL BRUBECK

Music: Tape

Rory Hohenstein
Katita Waldo, Damian Smith


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:34 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
A change in casting from the website (http://sfballet.org/performancestickets/casting.asp):

New soloist Julianne Kepley will dance in Divertimento No. 15 (Rachel Viselli was previously listed). I'm looking forward to seeing her.

Stern Grove Performance Matinee
8/12/2007,2 PM

SPRING ROUNDS
Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Garrett Anderson

INTERMISSION

DIVERTIMENTO NO. 15
Conductor: Martin West

Nicolas Blanc, Ruben Martin, Jaime Garcia Castilla
Lorena Feijoo
Vanessa Zahorian, Frances Chung, Katita Waldo, Julianne Kepley

INTERMISSION

ELEMENTAL BRUBECK
Music: Tape

Rory Hohenstein
Katita Waldo, Damian Smith

* Designates premiere in a role.
Casting subject to change.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:36 am 
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Posts: 63
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:18 pm 
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Posts: 12647
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Rachel Howard's review in the San Francisco Chronicle:

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:59 pm 
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I didn't win Toba's book. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Posts: 663
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Being a Good Sport
San Francisco Ballet at Stern Grove
12 August 2007

by Dean Speer

During her pre-performance remarks, San Francisco Ballet Principal Character Dancer and Ballet Master, Anita Paciotti, unintentionally gave me the theme for this review. When asked what is the one, most important characteristic of being a Character Dancer, she observed that it was "being a good sport." Embracing what was in front of you. Being a cheerful team player.

This is certainly true, not only for those finding themselves in the position of being a "boss" and also a peer, but also those of all rank and file. It's a matter of knowing and learning how to become part of the artistic vision of the choreographer and of the process it takes to get kinetic art on stage.

Sometime this process takes dancers and performers to venues outside – literally – of their comfort zones or into places that are not necessarily arts palaces. Some of these might include tours to schools, different cities, community events, and yes, the annual appearance at the Sigmund Stern Grove Arts Festival. The presenters told me that they are “thrilled to present San Francisco Ballet in their only summer appearance in San Francisco! (Admission-free!)”

Ever since Sophocles and the Greeks, the vox populi has enjoyed outdoor spectacles, except of course, when they were being thrown to the lions.

Dancers however – as a species – tend not to like outdoor performing. Yet, as an al fresco venue, the re-envisioned Grove is as close to being an outdoor palace as you can get in the Bay Area, and is a welcome change to this kind of venue. The stage is now attractively and functionally covered. Lighting for the stage takes what shadows there might be off of the dancers, and there were industrial-strength heaters strategically placed in both downstage corners. Presumably the backstage facilities are also much improved; certainly the public spaces are – freshly landscaped with the seating areas re-terraced and replanted, improving the sightlines for most viewers. It’s become an attractive and elegant place.

Tossed into this mix came three ballets: two made for the out-of-doors for SFB's 2005 tour and season in Paris, France and one 1956 Balanchine nugget, "Divertimento No. 15." Live accompaniment for the first two pieces was provided by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra under the mighty baton of maestro Martin West. "Elemental Brubeck" was danced to a tape by this jazz composer's Quartet, recorded in 1963.

Solid, Good Opener

Paul Taylor is a virtual Modern Dance icon and I have to publicly admit that I'm in the legion of Taylor fans. I admire how he works to not repeat himself, truly trying to make something new each time he makes a dance.

His "Spring Rounds" establishes itself as a classic Taylor work right away. Vanessa Zahorian and Garrett Anderson walk in holding hands and as they separate, kneel, lean off-kilter and he puts his head into her lap, Taylor has given us the motif framework of the dance. He divides the women and men into groups, each having their own section. The men's is filled with Taylor-esque jumps - sissonnes in double attitude, circling sautés and scooped out and under-curved arms.

The section for the ladies has quick allegro and sharp movements - light and fast. When the two groups do come together, it's in communal circles where they are making virtual polka patterns, lunges with shifting arms and more jumps. (Taylor would be in trouble - as so many - if jumps off of two feet, specifically, sissonnes were not available in the jumping palette!)

Delightful Middle

I may be a Taylor fan but I'm really a Balanchine devotee. It was fun being treated again to Balanchine's paean to one of his ex-wives and New York City Ballet ballerinas, the exotic Maria Tallchief. After 51 years, "Divertimento No. 15" still seems fresh, inventive, and fun - filled with great steps, patterns, variations for the women, a couple of good solos for the principal men, and even a charming pas de trios.

Cyberspace doesn't permit mentioning everyone who deserves accolades but outstanding to me were: Lorena Feijoo; Frances Chung (keep your eyes on this young talent!); and Katita Waldo on the distaff side and Ruben Martin among the platoon of strong men.

The entire cast seemed of a single spirit – buoyant, radiant and really sincerely expressing the lift and bright cheer this ballet can evoke. My only, very minor fuss would be that I might have liked a little more "edge" in some of the variations. The technical niceties were delicious [Feijoo, for example, finished one of her variations with a solid triple pirouette] and our crowd ate it all up and were hungering for more.

Also made for Paris en dehors, "Elemental "Brubeck" ends up being slightly out of Lar Lubovitch's mileau. We all wanted to like it and it does have some really fun moments and steps, but I believe a jazz choreographer would have been a better choice for making a dance to jazz music than a modern dance one. Certainly Lubovitch tried – and made an attractive work – but the piece never really breaks loose.

For example, the red-hot Rory Hohenstein – as the epitome of jazz itself – is given some very athletic stuff to do but it's all new movement (new thing, followed by more new things) and never really taking a single motif and developing it – really taking it somewhere. He needed to riff and jam. We wanted it to go to a "wow" moment but it never quite got there. This character serves, however, as the catalyst for the others.

Concluding Conclusions

The entire San Francisco Ballet enterprise is to be applauded for being good sports about performing in a venue that's a longtime established tradition and where many ballet fans – from near and far – gather to enjoy themselves and to drink in the joys and wonders of live ballet in what is to many, a user-friendly environment. People do love this kind of stuff and the “sports” [all 7,500 of us] on this side of the footlights feel like we’ve gotten to enjoy and know the ballet better – and that family, friends and colleagues [and a few well-behaved pooches on the outskirts – but no lions] all have had a rollicking good and a joyous time under the cool sun. We all look forward to returning to the Grove in 2008!

_________________
Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


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