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 Post subject: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:36 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Courtney Elizabeth, Isaac Hernandez,and Daniel Deivison-Oliveira have received (well deserved) promotions, effective Jan. 5, 2011. All are being promoted to soloist.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Janos Gereben previews the 2011 season in the San Francisco Examiner.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:13 pm 
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Allan Ulrich previews the 2011 season in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:52 pm 
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Janos Gerberen reviews the Wednesday, January 26 Gala Performance in the San Francisco Examiner.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Allan Ulrich reviews the Wednesday, January 26 Gala in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:58 pm 
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In the San Jose Mercury News, Ann Murphy reviews the Saturday, January 29, 2011 performance of "Giselle," with Yuan Yuan Tan and Artem Yachmennikov in the lead roles of Giselle and Albrecht.

SJ Mercury News

Allan Ulrich reviews the same performance in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:47 pm 
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In the San Francisco Examiner, Janos Gereben reviews the Sunday, January 30 matinee performance of "Giselle," with Sarah Van Patten and Tiit Helimets in the lead roles.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Geri Jeter reviews the Saturday, January 29, 2011 performance of "Giselle" in the California Literary Review.

California Literary Review


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Janos Gereben focuses on the premiere of"RAkU" by Yuri Possokhov, at the center of Program 2, which also includes Ashton's "Symphonic Dances" and Balanchine's "Symphony in C" in the San Francisco Examiner.

SF Examiner


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:07 pm 
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Paul Parish reviews both the Gala Performance and "Giselle" in the Bay Area Reporter.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Allan Ulrich reviews Program 2 ("Symphonic Variations," "RAkU" and "Symphony in C") in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
San Francisco Ballet
Program 2 – Symphonic Variations, Raku, Symphony in C
War Memorial Opera House
6 February 2011
By Catherine Pawlick

A mixture of British and Russian influences spanning over 60 years of ballet history colored one of San Francisco Ballet’s performances of Program 2, a mixed bill with works by Frederick Ashton, Yuri Possokhov and George Balanchine.

The afternoon began with Frederick Ashton’s “Symphonic Variations,” a ballet created in the war-torn 1940s that is a treat for San Francisco audiences who have little exposure to many of Ashton’s works. Inspired by the choreographer’s own study of mysticism and set to the delicate piano music of Belgian-French composer Cesar-Franck, “Symphonic Variations” appears at first glance to echo much of Balanchine’s 1928 “Apollo”: white tunics with short skirts for the three female muses, upturned wrists, heaven-bound glances and low arabesques. Traces of Enrico Cecchetti’s technique, which was a significant influence in the development of the Russian system of ballet training, is evident among the pristine lines, simple poses, and movements performed fully and purely.

There was no better choice in the company to express the nuances of Ashton’s work than two exquisitely trained Russians: Maria Kochetkova, leagues above the rest for her physique, lines and high level of training, and partner Gennadi Nedvigin who offered soundless cabrioles with deep, cushioned landings. In their adagio together he lifted Kochetkova like a cloud; she was an unhampered summer breeze slowly floating, unrushed. While the two demi-soloist women seemed to have stepped erroneously out of the corps de ballet, the section of bourrees with all three women trembling across the stage en pointe, made up for it in tenderness and feminine grace. One of the demi-soloist males executed a series of pirouettes finishing with the arms in third en haut, an impressive choreographic detail. Ashton’s choreography at times suggests a European classical exercise --emboîtés or simple pirouettes for the men-- but at others a exudes a neoclassical flair. One can hope that more Ashton works will appear in the company’s repertoire in the future.

Another new addition to the repertoire, a fresh ballet by resident choreographer Yuri Possokhov, presents the burning of the temple in Kyoto, Japan by a jealous monk as its focal point. "RaKu" was created to a score commissioned by Shinji Eshima that includes tribal drum beats, offstage choral music and Asian-influence rhythms. Upstage, Japanese pagodas are projected onto screens while a large wooden box opens to reveal the protagonists: a white-faced Japanese Geisha in white satin robes, danced by Chinese dancer Yuan Yuan Tan, and Damian Smith, her initial partner, dressed as a Samurai of sorts. Tan’s Asian features and fragile bone structure suggested the beauty and form of Japanese art and perfectly fit her role of the quiet, elegant Japanese lady. Smith’s costume and physique represented those of a strong Japanese warrior who, after an initial pas de deux with Tan, is given a sword and led off to war. In his absence, a third man enters, presumably the monk, danced by Pascal Molat. His violent approach frightens Tan; after their struggle she is shorn of both clothing and dignity.

The theme of unrequited love and rage suddenly becomes clear: as Tan crumples to the floor, a fire consumes the upstage scrims, and presumably, part of her soul. A box and sword are delivered to her as she performs a wrenching dance of grief with four other warriors. She is hoisted, thrown and rolled in an intricate choreographic weave. The most heart-wrenching moment comes when she opens the box of her lover’s ashes, pouring them all over herself, and finally folding onto the ground in the falling snow. The audience was on its feet in applause.

George Balanchine’s “Symphony in C” opens to women in white tutus already posed on stage, and a resulting “oooh” from the entire audience. This neoclassical work set to Geroges Bizet’s symphony of the same name includes four main pas de deux, each echoing the musical tempo and mood. Lorena Feijoo with Vitor Luiz danced the First Movement, Luiz outshining her with unquestionably sturdy jumps and turns. Maria Kotchetkova graced the stage again in the Second Movement, infusing this considerably challenging adagio section with sensitive, graceful movement (absent one missed balance –Joan Boada seemed to have missed her hand). While the talk of the ballet world in the city, newcomer Nicole Ciapponi, was listed as the lead in the Third Movement with Taras Domitro, Sasha De Sola with Mariellen Olson performed as demi-soloists in this section. While perhaps adequate, the two demi-soloists lacked the polish and physique that Kochetkova and others have on offer, and their exactitude --especially in the string of grand jetes-- was below that of partner Domitro, whose verve draws one’s eye immediately. Domitro has the skill of an indulgently slow, balanced pirouette--so slow one can almost see the physics of his rotations—and high, airborne jumps. He’s an endless pleasure to watch. The corps de ballet did not manage to keep time to the music throughout this quicker section, but Domitro’s presence was enough to both distract and compensate. Clara Blanco surprised considerably as the lead of the Fourth Movement. Alongside Lonnie Weeks, Blanco appeared every bit the ballerina, her long slender neck leading to a crop of auburn hair, her graceful arms and precise dancing suggesting a promising future.

Martin West conducted the first and last pieces on the program.

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Last edited by Catherine Pawlick on Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:41 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:59 am 
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Posts: 167
Thanks, Catherine, for your perceptive review--I had very similar responses (especially to Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin). I wasn't as enthusiastic about Raku, though Damien Smith and Yuan Yuan Tan were indeed exquisite.

I'm looking forward to Maria's only Giselle this season, on Thursday (she was at the Bolshoi during the first week of SFB's Giselle). It's one of her great roles and I'm grateful we'll be able to see her dance it at least once this season.
An SFB clip of Maria's Giselle is here:

http://www.sfballet.org/performancestic ... ogram1.asp

I envy your dual citizenship--San Francisco and St Petersburg!


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:20 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Hi Bcx,
Oh so you were there today as well? I love comparing notes when someone else has seen the same performance! Alas I made an error -- the Third Movement was not danced by Nicole C., who is apparently a petite brunette. I believe the dancer I saw was Elizabeth Miner (she was a taller blonde in any case), but I am waiting for press office confirmation. No announcement was made.

Yes Maria toured the Reflections production from LA on to Moscow and received wonderful reviews there. The Moscow critics are notorious for being terribly harsh -- so this is no small feat!

Alas, dual citizenship I do not have. Just fluency and a great attachment to the country! Citizenship is not had by even many of the expats I know who have lived in the city more than 15 or 20 yrs! Permanent residency in itself is a painful series of bureaucratic somersaults that can backfire at an uncrossed "T" or undotted "i"...

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:39 am 
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Posts: 167
Hi Catherine,

I was glad to hear that the Moscow critics appreciated Reflections--I posted my own view of it in another forum, and I know Maria herself wondered how the performance would be received "at home."

I'm quite sure you are correct about Nicole C dancing the third movement of Symphony in C at yesterday's performance--I'm just getting to recognize her myself but it was definitely not Liz Miner in the role. Let me know what the press office has to say. There was an unannounced substitution in the first movement: Courtney Elizabeth replaced Elana Altman, but as far as I know that was the only substitution. I did think Symphony in C as a whole was thrilling yesterday.

Whatever your legal status, it's wonderful that you can live in both beautiful cities--one of my own fantasies :)


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