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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:16 pm 
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Geri Jeter reviews the Thursday, February 3 opening of Program 2 in the California Literary Review.

California Literary Review


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Sean Martinfield reviews Lorena Feijoo's performance in "Giselle" on Friday, February 4 in the San Francisco Sentinel.

SF Sentinel


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:11 pm 
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[duplicate post deleted]

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Last edited by Catherine Pawlick on Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
bcx wrote:
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.


Hi Bcx,
The Press Office confirmed that Sasha De Sola and Mariellen Olson danced in the Third Movement on Sunday the 6th, and not Nicole C (who is a slender petite brunette). I've updated my review accordingly.

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Becca Klarin reviews Program 2 for the SF Appeal.

SF Appeal


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I saw the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee of program 2. Let's just forget about Saturday --- everything was off, and it's best forgotten. There were many last minute subs (including Nicole C. in 4th movement) due to various illnesses, so perhaps there were issues caused by that. Or maybe they were tired from the matinee. Who knows?

Anyway, Maria K. returned on Sunday, and was sublime in both ballets, and her partners in Symphonic Variations actually danced along with her as ensemble was a big issue Saturday night.

RAkU needs severe editing. If Yuan Yuan's first pas was point A and the closing scene was point B, the ballet took a circuitous and gratuitous route to get from point A to B. That's ironic considering how much pain Possokhov apparently took to pare down his piece. The 4 men should be cut entirely, the projections should be scaled back (it made the dancing small scaled), and the story brought into clearer relief. As it is, it's too long, too inscrutable, and kind of a mess. It's also an interesting juxtaposition sandwiching a storyish ballet with maximal set design between two abstract minimalist pieces. It certainly doesn't help it.

Symphony in C was enjoyable in that the spirit of the dancing was really great even if some of the execution wasn't. There were inconsistent port de bras and epaulement throughout, and I thought some steps simplified in 3rd movement. For example, does the guy just do a single saut de basque like the girl? Other stagings I've seen had doubles for the guy, but perhaps this is one of those details that changes depending on the stager. I have to say that I was distracted to no end by Kristina Lind's crazy feet in 1st movement!


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:56 pm 
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I also agree RAkU needs some editing; I found the filmstrips distracting. No problem with the 4 warriors, though.

I see Giselle (finally!) Saturday with Vanessa Zahorian & Taras Domitro in the leads, and Mariellen Olson making her debut as Myrtha. Anyone else see this cast and want to give me a preview?


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:30 pm 
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I saw Raku for the second time last night--it only seems to get less compelling if more coherent with each viewing, especially absent the luminous center Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith initially gave it. But we who are posting here are a definite minority as far as I can see. Symphonic Variations with Sarah Van Patten and Courtney Elizabeth, and Symphony in C with Sofiane Sylve and Tiit Helimets were glorious Wednesday.

Looking forward to an all-Russian Giselle tonight: Maria K and Gennadi N!

It's refreshing to have live comments not just review links here--thanks to all who are posting. :)


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Geri Jeter reviews the Thursday, February 10 cast of "Giselle" (Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin) in the California Literary Review.

California Literary Review


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Allan Ulrich reviews the Thursday, February 24 performance of Program 3 -- Yuri Possokhov's "Classical Symphony," Helgi Tomasson's "Nanna's Lied" and William Forsythe's "Artifact Suite" -- in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:47 pm 
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With the possible exception of Eden Eden, Artifact Suite is IMO the worst thing SFB has ever performed.

The lighting was so artistic I could not see the stage, and for one scene footlights shone directly into my eyes. The music, especially at the end, seemed designed to evoke a panic attack. When the dancers ran to line up in rows and jerk in unison, it reminded me of Stalin-era works depicting the glorious muscular peasantry. The black drop falling at intervals with a loud thud is a silly gimmick that adds nothing to a ballet that badly needs something.

I knew I had seen this before but could not remember it. A bad sign, usually if I like the ballet I remember it. But sometimes on a second viewing I like a work better, so decided to stay and watch. A decision I regretted. It went on and on and on and I just wanted to go home. For the first time ever, I left as soon as the curtain fell, not staying to applaud. I could not in good conscience applaud that disaster. Amazing how so many brilliant dancers could produce such dreck. I'm no dancer but I cook and am a semi-professional baker. I know nothing is ever better than its ingredients, and the dancers' skill could not atone for the bad ingredients. I heard other audience members say that was terrible. But some cheered. No accounting for taste.

Classical Symphony is OK - the dancing was actually excellent, but I was distracted by the really unattractive costumes. Ballet is a visual art, after all. The women in sickly yellow-green tutus cut straight across the bodice, which is not flattering to the female body, while the men's costumes reminded me vaguely of Muni drivers.

Nana's Lied was the best of the bunch. Maria Kotchekova was lovely as usual, and strong supporing roles by Charlene Cohen and Alexandra Meyer-Lorey as the streetwalkers. Hard to understand Ruben Martin's motivation; was he simply a cad, nothing more?

On the whole, I'd have to say a disappointing afternoon, after two really good programs.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:17 pm 
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I guess there's no accounting for taste! I loved Eden/Eden, and I loved Artifact Suite and Classical Symphony (and its costumes) this past Saturday evening. I fell asleep during Nanna's Lied. I think Artifact Suite is a landmark dance piece: how anyone who is a dancemaker can see it and not be deeply influenced by its theatricality and the means by which it achieved it is beyond me. The scale is ambitious, and the purity of its means --- classical vocabulary but changed and amplified to its extremes, with no sets and simple costumes --- are the two landmarks of this piece. It achieves a large scale effect with the most minimal of means. On top of that, the commitment and energy the dancers brought to the piece is really admirable: Sofiane Sylve was expectedly strong, but Frances Chung was a total revelation. I didn't know she could move like that as she really kept up with Sylve.

Classical Symphony should be the calling card of this company. It is witty and effervescent, and shows the company off very well indeed. Maria Kochetkova, whom I'm just loving more every time I see her, looked like someone set her on fire and shot her out of canon. Wow! With her technical virtuousity coupled to her generous spirit, all I could think of was "Russian Tina Leblanc." I couldn't believe the same choreographer made the awful overwrought RAkU.

I saw program 4 the next day, too, and it was a letdown. Theme & Variations with Zahorian and Domitro was awkward, brittle, and icey, but the orchestra played well. I don't like Winter Dreams or Macmillan drama ballets in general, so no surprise there, but the dancers did a good job, especially with all of the piece's drama. The lighting was a bit dark though.

Helgi's Trio is entirely superfluous: who needs another abstract ballet set to 4 movements of classical music? Compared to Symphony in C and Classical Symphony, it comes off very poorly. That's also bad programming to have these 3 pieces in a row. It felt like a time filler with its anonymous, inoffensive movements that really told us nothing new about the music. And talk about bad costumes: dancers were dressed in haute student-recital costumes that were larded with money. About the only good thing was that we got to see Kochetkova and Nedvigin dance the last two movements, and that's always a welcome thing.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:00 pm 
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Allan Ulrich reviews the Friday, February 25 performance of Program 4 -- Balanchine's "Theme and Variations," MacMillan's "Winter Dreams" and Tomasson's "Trio" -- in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SF Chronicle


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:18 pm 
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Geri Jeter reviews Program 4 in the California Literary Review.

California Literary Review


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet: 2011 Season
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:21 pm 
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Becca Klarin reviews Programs 3 and 4 in the SF Appeal.

SF Appeal


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