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 Post subject: San Francisco Ballet 2009: Program 6
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 350
Location: San Francisco
Initial (and always subject-to-change) casting is up, and Rory Hohenstein will be appearing in "West Side Story Suite" as a guest artist. I've missed him this year, and am glad that he's back, even in a guest capacity.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:39 pm 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
I found the different styles of the four leads in "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" -- Sofiane Sylve, Yuan Yuan Tan, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba and Damian Smith -- quite fascinating as was the striking uniformity of the corps in spite of diverse training and background. I would say Bart Cook and Maria Calegari deserve kudos for the staging. And is my internal rythm playing tricks on me or was the tempo actually faster than normal for SFB? Quite thrilling!

Christopher Wheeldon's "The Golden Hour" was more "eloquent" the second time around, maybe because it wasn't lost in a sea of new works as it was to me last year. The oft-forgotten Katita Waldo was my favorite performer in this very well crafted ballet, partially to a mesmerizing score by Ezio Bosso. It certainly bears another viewing.

And... I decided to give "West Side" a skip...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:41 am 
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Location: San Francisco
Ballet's Program 6
Rachel Howard, Chronicle Dance Correspondent
Monday, April 6, 2009
Quote:
Blame a contrary mood. Or maybe I was overwhelmed by the buzz of the New Works Festival. I wasn't crazy about Christopher Wheeldon's "Within the Golden Hour" when it premiered last year as part of San Francisco Ballet's 75th anniversary bonanza of 10 new ballets. Whatever the cause of my blindness, its magnitude was obvious Friday, when "Within the Golden Hour" formed the sensuously danced centerpiece of the Ballet's Program 6.

Is it taking a change of heart too far to say "Within the Golden Hour" is one of Wheeldon's best works and one of the company's finest hours? Because what struck this viewer Friday was what a clean, wide canvas the sweetly simple music of Ezio Bosso provides for Wheeldon's habitually busy inventiveness.

As always with Wheeldon, "Golden Hour" is packed with novel motifs: stiffly swinging legs that evolve into all sorts of unexpected positions, rounded arms that suddenly become portals for a chain of men to thread through. But playing off Bosso's innocent minimalist melodies, the effect is never overwhelming, fussy or mechanical. Bathed in the day's last warm light, and costumed by Martin Pakledinaz in exotic turquoise and ambers, "Golden Hour" is mostly playful, sometimes serious, but always open-hearted.

More...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Janos Gereben reviews Program 6 in The Examiner:

The Examiner


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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And here's an unedited review by Katie Rosenfeld:

Quote:
San Francisco Ballet
“Stravinsky Violin Concerto”, “Within the Golden Hour”, “West Side Story Suite”

by Katie Rosenfeld


April 4, 2009 – War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco


The Saturday matinee performance of San Francisco Ballet’s Program 6 was an intriguing combination of the modernity of the 1970s, the subtle neoclassicism of the late 2000s and the exuberance of the American musical. The Company was in good form, from the principals all the way through the ranks to the corps de ballet, with stand-out performances from Elana Altman in Balanchine’s “Stravinsky Violin Concerto”, Dana Gensahft and Maria Kochetkova in “Within the Golden Hour” and former SFB dancer Rory Hohenstein in “West Side Story Suite.”

While “Stravinsky Violin Concerto” now seems a bit dated, the quirky choreography does resonate and remind viewers of what a huge leap classical ballet took through Balanchine’s creativity. Moving off-balance and away from the strict center line of traditional ballet posture, the dancers demonstrated their superhuman strength and control with ease and grace. Altman and Tiit Helimets were textbook Balanchine, their incredibly long limbs and perfectly pointed feet forming odd angles and ruler-straight lines.

“Within the Golden Hour” is destined to be a classic of this decade. Christopher Wheeldon brings the music (Antonio Vivaldi/ Ezio Bosso) to life, as though it is a member of the cast, and the multidimensionality of the piece is at once wistful, melancholy and sumptuous. The ensemble work, as is now expected from SFB, was clean, smooth and glorious. Liz Miner, partnered ably by Pascal Molat, was joyfully energetic, while Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada nearly stole the show with their exquisite, heartfelt pas de deux.

“West Side Story Suite” was all that we could have hoped for. Spirited, jazzy dancing combined with well-known and loved music and led to a toe-tapping romp that allowed for audience participation. The return of Hohenstein in the role of Riff was truly remarkable; getting to see such a powerful dancer who can also sing is a rare treat. Katita Waldo is also a wonderful double threat, her Anita was sassy and strong. Ludmila Campos was a perfect Maria, sweet and lovely. In all the evening was enjoyable and memorable in all the right ways.


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