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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:57 am 
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First impressions after last night's gala:

Helgi's gift for showcasing his dancers was very much on display. My favorites: Sarah Van Patten
in Wheeldon's Carousel; the perfect Girl in the Yellow Dress, she
became the music in this piece; Vanessa Zahorian & Davit Karapetyan (fabulous dancing to Delibes; Vanessa has been so on lately it's extraordinary); Nicolas Blanc and Pascal Molat clowning to a Johann Strauss waltz in their brilliant way and bringing the house
down; Maria Kochetkova in La Esmeralda (I fell in love with her in the Grand Pas de Deux in Nutcracker. She's actually a bit of a ham--just
what this piece needs; but she never overdoes it. A tiny dancer with clean technique and great Russian strength and heart. Nutnaree Pipit-Suskun moved gorgeously (a relief to see since she's had knee surgery). And Yuan Yuan Tan in her most girlish, fluid style with the impeccable Damien Smith.

But the big surprise for me tonight was Sofiane Sylve as a guest artist. I loved her when I saw her last year at NYCB. I had heard that her name had recently disappeared from the NYCB roster but didn't know what happened to her. But here she was dancing
a Hans van Manen piece in the SFB gala. Her partner, Anthony Spaulding,
a corps member, held his own impressively with this great dancer. I
love her strength and coolness. I heard people in NY complain that she
was "too independent " and I did wonder whether NYCB was the right company for her. I hope she stays with SFB for awhile--a whole season with her would be great for the company, and for us.

I always forget the gala begins with the Star Spangled Banner. I'm glad someone yelled 'end the war' at the end of it. I also forget there are speeches from the board before the dancing begins. This board has kept SFB in the black for 16 years in a row, and created a $100 million endowment for the company. It's rare for American dancers to have that kind of security and support. This board deserves its applause.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:58 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Please more people post! A new baby kept me home this year, but I'm hoping to make it to some matinees with my mom later in the season.

There seemed to be a lot of corps members with big roles this year. Anthony was mentioned above. How did the others do?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
---I've moved my post over to the Gala topic!---

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So two dancers walked into a barre...


Last edited by RaHir on Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:59 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
bcx wrote:
I always forget the gala begins with the Star Spangled Banner. I'm glad someone yelled 'end the war' at the end of it.

Excellent! I hope it elicited some cheers.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:25 pm 
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One of the highlights for me was the on-stage appearance of several notable SFB alumni in Act 1. They were seated in semi-darkness while Rachel Visilli and Damien Smith danced "Elite Syncopation." At the conclusion, Helgi came on stage to acknowledge the presence of Christopher Stowell, Muriel Maffre and Benjamin Pierce, Evelyn Cisneros-Legate and Steven Legate, Julia Adam, Sabina Alleman, Joanna Berman, Yuri Possokhov, Mr. Nissensen (forget first name), Wendy VanDyke, Ashley Wheater, Parrish Maynard and Elizabeth Loscavio. Hope I have not forgotten anyone...please add names if I have. What a thrill to see all those "stars!"

Also just great to see Tina LeBlanc back on stage just 8 months after her knee surgery. She looked lovely as always!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From the SF Chronicle's music critic.

Quote:
Denis de Coteau's legacy at Ballet lives on
Joshua Kosman

Friday, February 1, 2008

(1929-99)

With the San Francisco Ballet knee-deep in celebrations of its 75th anniversary, there couldn't be a better moment to remember one of the artists whose contributions helped bring the company to its current status.

For more than 30 years, including a 24-year stint as music director, conductor Denis de Coteau ensured that performances at the Ballet never skimped on musical excellence. Whether the dancers were accompanied by familiar Tchaikovsky and Mozart scores or the thorniest avant-garde creations, de Coteau's firm but pliable leadership in the orchestra pit provided a musical bedrock for the performance.


more...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Quote:
The early years at S.F. Ballet
Leba Hertz

Friday, February 29, 2008

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the San Francisco Ballet, the Pink section will take a decade-by-decade look at the company.

1933-1942

Cost effective: Just think, 50 cents got you a balcony seat at the War Memorial Opera House in 1933. The San Francisco Opera was the birthplace of the San Francisco Ballet, and although the company's main purpose was to train dancers to accompany the singers, the Opera Ballet also was the first to develop all-dance programs.


more...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Two articles from ME Hunt in the SF Chronicle about former SFB dancers.

Quote:
S.F. Ballet: Where are they now?
Mary Ellen Hunt

Friday, March 7, 2008

As San Francisco Ballet celebrates its 75th season, we look at some of the dancers who shaped the company's rich history. The company will celebrate its alumni with a reunion weekend Friday through March 16.


more...


Quote:
Jocelyn Vollmar of S.F. Ballet
Mary Ellen Hunt

Friday, March 7, 2008

At San Francisco Ballet's recent gala opening in January, rounds of polite applause greeted the introduction of many of the company's illustrious patrons and leaders, but when a trim, elegant little woman dressed impeccably in an evening gown made her way onto the stage of the War Memorial Opera House, there was a ripple through the room as the audience recognized America's first Snow Queen and rose to their feet in tribute.


more...

Jocelyn is a lovely woman. I went to a baby shower at her apartment once and was struck at how it was so similar to Danilova's apartment in "Turning Point". It's filled with little momentos of her dancing days and presents from students. She was a gracious host and is an outstandingly elegant lady.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Another history lesson from the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
Timeline: San Francisco Ballet, 1943-1952
Leba Hertz

Friday, March 7, 2008

SURVIVING THE War: San Francisco Ballet will keep spirits up at home by introducing the first American production of "Nutcracker" in 1943. It won't be easy, as war rations will cut heavily into the budget.


more


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:41 pm 
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Another article in the SF Chronicle about the company in honor of its anniversary.

Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET AT 75
DECADE-BY-DECADE
1953-1962
Leba Hertz

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This is the third installment in a series looking at the history of the San Francisco Ballet

as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.

1953-1962


Creating a signature: The company flourishes under the choreography of Lew Christensen. In 1953, he creates "Con Amore," which the company will perform in more than 20 rep seasons.


more...


[/quote]


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:16 pm 
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Another article from the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
S.F. Ballet's corps in awe of alumni
Rachel Howard, Special to The Chronicle

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The costumes were part of "Art and Artifice," an exhibition celebrating "75 Years of Design at San Francisco Ballet," and the reception was just one among a whole weekend's worth of events for dancers who once graced the War Memorial Opera House stage. The list of attendees was illustrious, including Mikko Nissinen, now artistic director of Boston Ballet; Christopher Stowell, now artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre; and Suki Schorer, who danced with San Francisco Ballet in the 1950s before going on to the New York City Ballet. But it was also a big night for the Museum of Performance & Design, relaunched from the former San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum.



more...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:59 pm 
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And another one from the SF chronicle.

Quote:
DECADE-BY-DECADE 1963-1972
Leba Hertz

Sunday, March 23, 2008


This is the fourth installment in a series looking at the history of the San Francisco Ballet as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.

THE DRIVE IS THERE: The Ballet is one of seven dance companies to receive a grant from the Ford Foundation. The company receives almost $650,000 from the program implemented in 1963.


more...[/url]


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:57 am 
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Another in the series from the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET AT 75
Decade-by-Decade 1973-1982
Leba Hertz

Friday, March 28, 2008

This is the fifth installment in a series looking at the history of the San Francisco Ballet as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.

Here's Michael: After building a successful career as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, Michael Smuin returns to the Bay Area in 1973 to become the co-artistic director of San Francisco Ballet. One of the first things he does is collaborate with Lew Christensen on a new production of "Cinderella." His 1975 ballet "Shinju" uses Paul Seiko Chihara's new score, which is nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.



more...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:44 pm 
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From the SF Chronicle.

Quote:
DECADE BY DECADE 1983-1992
Leba Hertz

Friday, April 4, 2008


This is the sixth installment in a series looking at the history of the San Francisco Ballet as it celebrates its 75th anniversary. To see the entire series, go to sfgate.com/entertainment.

From celebration to mourning: To celebrate the company's 50th anniversary season in 1983, the company creates the Lew Christensen Medal to recognize lifelong service to San Francisco Ballet. The first winner? Why, Lew Christensen, of course, as well as board of trustees member L. Jay Tenenbaum. It speaks volumes for the prestige of the award that it is not automatically given out each year. The next year, Christensen turns 75 and is honored with more awards and tributes. He dies on Oct. 9, 1984.



more...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Interesting letter to the editor from this Sunday's Chronicle. Personally, I think there's a significant amount of same-sex partner work in SFB's choreography. But Jaime Garcia Castilla as Juliet? I doubt we'll see that any time soon.

LETTERS
Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quote:
Ballet ignores gay love

Editor - In 2006 you published my letter about the lack of gay-themed love affairs portrayed by the San Francisco Ballet. After the letter was published I tried to get an appointment to see His Highness Helgi Tomasson, the artistic director, to no avail. I picketed the Ballet administration building, distributing copies of the letter, to no avail. And I leafleted several performances, to no avail. Still, the San Francisco Ballet has not been brave enough to portray same-sex love and passion in a ballet. I find it hard to celebrate the 75th anniversary of an institution so insensitive to a large part of its clientele. I have not attended a performance of that company since 2006 and have felt no loss.

Donald Dinelli

Oakland

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