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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 9:19 pm 
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LMC - I saw it (again) last night as well and agree with you on all points 100%. Liz Miner is a star and a ballerina. I've known Garrett for a long time and I can't tell you how proud I am of him!

I'm certain the opening night Sylvia didn't do all the steps in the "pizzicato" solo that Liz Miner performed so beautifully. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 7:56 am 
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LMCtech: I agree about Michael Wade Simpson's review. Here's a little blurb on his background, compliments of culturevulture.net

Quote:
Michael Wade Simpson, San Francisco, CA
Mr. Simpson danced in New York and Boston and ran a community-based modern dance company, "Small City Dance Project" in Newburyport, MA. He was a teaching fellow at Smith College, where he received his MFA in choreography. He writes about dance for the Bay Area Reporter and is working on his third novel.


<small>[ 07 May 2004, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: RaHir ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 8:17 am 
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There are also several letters to the editor in today's SF Chronicle Datebook regarding Simpson's reviews.

Letters to the Editor

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 9:11 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
And here's a review in the Bay Guardian:

Quote:
Unerring Eros
Mark Morris brings Sylvia up to date, brilliantly.


By Rita Felciano
SF Bay Guardian

CAN YOU MAKE a 21st-century ballet with woodland nymphs and country swains and have it be neither sappy nor campy? You can if you're Mark Morris. <a href=http://www.sfbg.com/38/32/art_dance_sylvia.html target=_blank>more</a>


<small>[ 07 May 2004, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 7:34 am 
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Posts: 6778
Location: Estonia
Quote:
ARTS: Sylvia War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

By ALLAN ULRICH
The Financial Times
May 10, 2004

When not presiding over his own modern dance group, Mark Morris favours working with the San Francisco Ballet. The choreographer has lavished upon the enterprising west coast company his first full-length staging of a 19th-century classic that could legitimately be called a ballet.
more


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 11:33 am 
Saw the Mother's Day special... Sunday afternoon. Megan Low was a bit bland as Sylvia, her dancing a tad sloppy but chipper. She was best in the second act. Everyone else was wonderful. Sofranko is a joy to watch as Eros in all his guises. Guennadi was great as the shepard, and Villanoba was perfect as Orion. The second act is a hoot... one of the funniest scenes I've ever seen in ballet. The slaves remind me of the Goons in the old Popeye cartoons. Loved the sets and Andrew Magrelia is awesome. I've never heard the orchestra play better. In general, I think Morris did a great job bringing out what is unique and enjoyable in the score and all with the perfect dry sense of humor.

The weak points are the beginning. The first 15 minutes need to be reworked. Wasn't crazy about the opening of the third act either... that is some of the best music in ballet with its slow build. Morris could have done more with it. I'd like to see what Elizabeth Minor does with Syvia's third act pizzicato solo. It might be a good number, but Megan Low just didn't know what to do with it.

God, I love the score to Sylvia. It's so much better than Don Q, Corsaire or Raymonda. Makes you wonder why it isn't mounted more often.

<small>[ 11 May 2004, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: ralphsf ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 12:35 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
San Francisco Ballet
Program 8 – “Sylvia”
May 9, 2004, 2PM


San Francisco Ballet’s production of Mark Morris’ “Sylvia” came to a close on Sunday afternoon. This version of “Sylvia” brought several firsts to the Opera House, including the first full-length ballet by Morris for a ballet company; the first full-length “Sylvia” to be shown on a U.S. stage; and initial principal roles for corps de ballet members Elizabeth Miner and Megan Low. There were also a few lasts, namely final performances for soloists Leslie Young and Sherri LeBlanc and corps de ballet member Caroline Loyola who are all retiring.

The curtain opened on a beautifully constructed set of lush green panels; tall grass; a shiny "pond"; a wonderfully painted scrim consisting of blooming flowers and greenery; and a prominent statue of Eros, the god of love and desire. Setting the tone for the afternoon, dryads (wood nymphs) in brown/green dresses leaped about, satyrs (male inhabitants of the woodlands) in furry animal leggings jumped with eagerness, and naiads (water nymphs) in dreamy pastel dresses with reflective head pieces fluttered about the stage in an amusingly flirtatious and overly drawn-out romp. Guennadi Nedviguine, as the shepherd Aminta, showed incredible control and ability. He used his soft plié; large, effortless jumps; and mature quality to display purity and elegance throughout his portrayal. Megan Low, as Sylvia, danced with a nice blend of crisp attack, solid technique, and fresh joy. While Low does not possess ultra-bendy limbs or unusual tricks, she emoted an effervescent energy combined with a great sense of comic timing throughout her dancing. But, there were times when she seemed lost and overwhelmed.

In Act II, Orion courted Sylvia in his expansive cave dwelling, complete with a sliding boulder door and luminescent rock-like panels. With just enough facial hair, brown textured pants, and a fitted shirt, he looked like the menacing hunter he was supposed to be. As Orion, Pierre-François Vilanoba presented a dark contrast to Nedviguine’s Aminta. Vilanoba’s Orion was sinister and lonely, and with only 8 dim-witted male slaves to keep him company, who wouldn’t be? Orion’s slaves received the royal treatment, with impressive yet hideous make-up and brown sack-like pants. Their movements were distorted and inane while also entertaining and enjoyable.

The final act used stark white columns, stairs, beams, and pillars erected for Diana, Bacchus, and Eros to portray a planned spiritual gathering. Ruben Martin and Garen Scribner danced the roles of the Heralds. Scribner, an apprentice, was a good match for Martin’s smooth and articulate dancing. Muriel Maffre portrayed a regal Diana. Dressed in silver, she was a cool contrast to James Sofranko’s golden boy Eros. While Sofranko’s costumes and choreography were a tad kooky, he shined as the mythological fairy godfather to Sylvia and Aminta, performing Eros and his slew of aliases (Sorcerer and Pirate) with charm and abandon. The orchestra sounded superb, and conductor Anthony Mogrelia should be commended for a wonderful performance.

Morris’ “Sylvia” is not traditional. But, what is traditional about Mark Morris? Each set of characters is distinctive and developed. The villagers’ dance is reminiscent of folk dance, while the slaves move in a slouched and somewhat miserable manner. Sylvia embodies depth, leadership, and vulnerability. And, while Aminta’s development seems limited internally, he acts as a catalyst for Sylvia’s personal growth. While lengthy, Morris’ “Sylvia” tells an old story in a new way. Using striking sets, innovative and often modern-based movements, and pantomime, Morris has produced an intriguing ballet. “Sylvia” is not scheduled for SF Ballet’s 2005 season, but I hope that it returns to the repertory soon. It deserves to be shown again.

<small>[ 10 May 2004, 02:36 PM: Message edited by: RaHir ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 12:46 pm 
I could watch that second act forever. LOVED it!! They MIGHT tack it on to the end of next season's run after they assess the possibilities. I have no hard information on this, so don't quote me - but they sometimes do "add-ons" at the end of the season when they have a hit like this...


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 9:26 am 
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Location: California
A letter to the Editor regarding Sylvia - scroll down:

About Michael Wade Simpson

Quote:
Set Simpson straight
Editor -- Michael Wade Simpson has it completely wrong, and someone needs to point out that the emperor has no clothes ("Morris' 'Sylvia' forgoes showy dancing for an old-fashioned, irony-free romance," May 3).


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet - 'Sylvia,' a Mark Morris World P
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 589
Location: SF
From the San Francisco Chronicle,

Quote:
Movies may dominate our erotic imagination, but there's nothing sexier and more complex than the immediate, intimate reality of theater.

Steven Winn, Chronicle Arts and Culture Critic

And there was "Sylvia," the Leo Delibes work staged by Mark Morris for the San Francisco Ballet earlier this year.
Click for more


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