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Everything posted by pherank

  1. Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker 2017

    I just took a look at the company schedule for the dates - except for the overlap of Don Quixote and Beauty and the Beast (performed by Atlanta Ballet II) there's a gap of almost a month between the other programs. That will give the dancers and coaches extra time to prepare for roles, so that is hopeful. When Nedvigin was at SFB, the programs often overlapped. For example, the last few performances of Program 1 would overlap with the first few performances of Program 2. That was great for me when I moved and started flying back to SF to see the company - I could see two programs together very easily. But I'm sure it was very hard on the dancers. This next season at SFB has been scheduled with more gaps between programs. We'll hope for the best.
  2. I happened to read this review of Atlanta Ballet's final performances of the McFall Nutcracker - Review: The final stand of “Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker” fails to cast its magical spell http://artsatl.com/review-atlanta-ballets-final-mcfall-nutcracker-fails-cast-usual-magical-spell/ "True to Nedvigin’s vision (shaped by his experience as a student at the Bolshoi Ballet school and principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet), every dancer has a beautiful body and excellent training. But they come from different backgrounds with training in different schools and styles, and with different ideas of what to go for as performers on stage. In general, their commonality appears to be medals and other accolades won in ballet competitions — McFall shied away from such competitions because he believed they missed the point, and they could ruin talent." >> It's pretty much impossible to create a wholly unified company - with so many dancers brand new to the company - in such a short period of time. The Nutcracker performance period is used by many North American companies to sort out the kinks, as it were, and get the company running on all cylinders after a long vacation period. I'm not at all surprised that things appear rough here at the beginning. I just hope they can find their groove before too long. "These standouts weren’t enough for the production to cast the spell that Atlanta audiences have come to expect. Ballet officials say a heavy fall rehearsal schedule, and the need to coordinate schedules of several in-demand choreographers, left the company only about three weeks to prepare the production. Since August, company dancers have learned eight ballets and have already begun work on choreographers Yuri Possokhov’s new Nutcracker that debuts in 2018." >> Sounds like they're on the SFB schedule if they're learning 8 ballets in 3 or so months. That is grueling, but it is also what the big companies sometimes have to deal with. Is Atlanta Ballet biting off more than they can chew? It may seem that way in the first year under Nedvigin given all the extra work that is going to have to be done to get the dancers used to one another and working as a unified group. "Nedvigin spent the ballet’s first weekend in Moscow to attend a world premiere performance there, rather than being present in Atlanta for the opening." >> Yeah, that's unfortunate. And I can guess that he was showing support for Yuri Possokhov at the premiere of Nureyev in Moscow, which has sparked all manner of controversy in Russia (whether or not it really deserves that much attention). The timing wasn't good, but scheduling conflicts are always going to be an issue. Don't be surprised if Nedvigin isn't also keeping an eye out for talent that might be interested in coming to the US...
  3. Thanks for the article link. I love this paragraph: "Overall, this operatically unfolding scenario could only occur in Russia. Such a bold and experimental enterprise, coupled with such extraordinarily poorly managed implementation, would be inconceivable at the Royal Ballet. (I don’t think we can compare Serebrennikov with, say, Wayne McGregor – Javier de Frutos, perhaps.) The defiant subject, the historical nest of worms, the daredevilry of the commissioning by the country’s flagship ballet company, the inept cancellations and interferings by state, church and theatre board, the arrest of the creator, the atmosphere of fevered social conflicts – there is a truly heroic incoherence to all the elements."
  4. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    I've been thinking a lot about these same things every time I watch one of the old Hollywood films on TCM - there's an extraordinary amount of scenes that depict sexual harassment of varying degrees. And it's often true that the female characters deal with these unwanted advances with a "smile" or a "giggle". Much of the plot content revolves around male and female "interaction" of course, and this interaction often has a nasty edge to it. However, the "hero", for example, a Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire, are usually rewarded for their unceasing harassment - 'because that's just what males do'. The films of the "swinging", "mod", "hip" 1960s are often creepily misogynist in focus. And that was 'just the way they made movies' then. I agree with these points, and hopefully those are exactly the things the board is giving real consideration too. I have to think Martins is too tainted to continue as the face of NYCB.
  5. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    A few days ago, NPR had an interesting report about how the different generations view this matter: Are There Generational Differences When It Comes To Sexual Harassment At Work? [I recommend listening to the audio podcast version] https://www.npr.org/2017/12/12/569181017/are-there-generational-differences-when-it-comes-to-sexual-harassment-at-work 'Typically baby boomer women — some of whose careers predate the 1964 civil rights laws barring sex discrimination — say they "just put up with it," Arellano says. "Smiled, giggled, and just moved on and tried to get your work done and avoid any embarrassing situations because the only other recourse was to leave."' "The site's founder, Georgene Huang, says the most disturbing finding is that — despite what news reports about top executives might suggest — women are more often sexually harassed by their peers (57 percent) than by their bosses (about 36 percent). And the harassers are predominantly men under the age of 40."
  6. Nutcracker 2017

    This is a fun video - "The party has started!"
  7. Nutcracker 2017

    I didn't really notice this at first, but Pascal Molat will be appearing as Drosselmeyer a number of times. So now he may be permanently employed as a Principal Character - in addition to teaching at the school. There's no official word on this yet though...
  8. Nutcracker 2017

    Adding to Terez's list: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 2 pm Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Conductor: Martin West Drosselmeyer: Pascal Molat Queen and King of the Snow: Isabella DeVivo, Max Cauthorn Sugar Plum Fairy: Wona Park* Grand Pas de Deux: Ana Sophia Scheller, Angelo Greco Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 7 pm Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Conductor: Ming Luke Drosselmeyer: Rubén Martín Cintas Queen and King of the Snow: Sarah Van Patten, Ulrik Birkkjaer* Sugar Plum Fairy: Sasha De Sola Grand Pas de Deux: Frances Chung, Vitor Luiz Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - 2 pm Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Conductor: Ming Luke Drosselmeyer: Rubén Martín Cintas Queen and King of the Snow: Norika Matsuyama*, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira Sugar Plum Fairy: Koto Ishihara* Grand Pas de Deux: Lauren Strongin, Wei Wang Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - 7 pm Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Conductor: Martin West Drosselmeyer: Pascal Molat Queen and King of the Snow: Jennifer Stahl, Tiit Helimets Sugar Plum Fairy: Maria Kochetkova Grand Pas de Deux: Dores André, Luke Ingham Wona Park and Norika Matsuyama are getting to dance prominent roles.
  9. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    The combined output of the state-sponsored companies like the POB, Mariinsky, Bolshoi and Royal Ballet towers over the slow trickle of media produced in North America. That's why it's so exciting for us to see 10 minute videos of "behind the scenes" footage or new ballet rehearsals. Kind of pathetic, but that's where we are.
  10. Maria Kochetkova

    I don't think this video has been posted before: Maria Kochetkova – Defiant. Music by Дана Соколова feat Скруджи – Индиго https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sq_8Bl79aQ
  11. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    I very much liked this part: "I pose this question: Is Martins being thrown under the bus to avoid addressing the larger, more deep-seated problem? Shouldn't the board of directors of both organizations and all related organizations be a part of this investigation? Unearthing lurid details of past abuses for public consumption is, to me, far less important than exposing 35 years of cover-ups, mismanagement, greed and corruption—all of which created a toxic, dangerous work environment for generations of vulnerable dancers."
  12. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    Not that it matters, but "modern art" has become a rather large catch-all category. Isn't it beside the point to say Possokhov's work is not avant-garde (enough)? Is that what makes the ballet "a waste of space" as MadameP has stated? I don't think that was what she was thinking. And my issue is that it shouldn't matter that the ballet isn't attempting to follow the same approach, for example, as Coppelia.
  13. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    Sorry, this just sounds like the old romantic art VS modern art argument - as if there couldn't be room for all manner of artistic and aesthetic investigations. For me, there would be nothing truly inspiring or life affirming about a repertoire that consisted solely of romantic-era ballet: most everything being a reference to the Petipa versions (and who else to allow?). That would leave ballet a museum dedicated to a very narrow range of artists and themes/approaches. The success or failure of the Nureyev project is entirely beside the point to me - given that the majority of new ballets are only seen for one or two seasons - it's about moving forward and endlessly trying new things. Not being afraid to take risks is an essential part of art creation.
  14. Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    The cover of the latest SFB On Pointe Donor News has yet another great Erik Tomasson photo - this one is of Luke Ingham holding Dores Andre upside down by her ankle, and Dores balancing with one hand on Luke's foot. That reminds me to send another email to Tomasson about whether he's offering limited edition prints...
  15. In the age of Instagram and Facebook, we sometimes get to see some great short videos. These are all SFB related - short but sweet: Helimets and Froustey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdGmUqBkBLc&feature=youtu.be Frances Chung https://instagram.com/p/9o76KrJ4cF/?taken-by=franadian https://instagram.com/p/qEaq7fp4TM/?taken-by=franadian Mathilde Froustey https://instagram.com/p/8M7KGlHrf5/?taken-by=lapetitefrench_ https://instagram.com/p/8M-LqAHrTf/?taken-by=lapetitefrench_ Sasha De Sola https://instagram.com/p/qEzCdFQOFk/?taken-by=sashadesola https://instagram.com/p/z3cpk1QOEV/?taken-by=sashadesola Tiit Helimets and Chloe in Giselle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNdTcbfbIR8
  16. "Many of the choreographers featured in the festival will be familiar names to SF Ballet audiences—Edwaard Liang, Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, Arthur Pita, Stanton Welch, Christopher Wheeldon, and our Resident Choreographer Yuri Possokhov. We are also welcoming several choreographers who are new to SF Ballet—David Dawson, Alonzo King, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cathy Marston, and Dwight Rhoden. It’s a tremendous group of artists, and I eagerly anticipate seeing what each of them will create for us." https://www.sfballet.org/2018festival
  17. UNBOUND 2018: A Festival of New Works

    Thanks so much! Julia Rowe, Jahna Frantziskonis, Yuan Yuan Tan, Sofiane Sylve and Tiit Helimets (and others) all appear briefly in the rehearsal footage. There's an audio issue for me - I'm going to investigate if this exists in all browsers - but Ewaard's voice track is very quiet in relation to the video's background music so he is hard to hear. I'm not sure why it was released that way; normally that kind of audio levels issue is fixable.
  18. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    Sorry I was being unclear - I did mean recording the performance for public consumption. A recording that is never seen by the public is of little interest to the public, that's a given. The views of NYT writer Roslyn Sulcas are her own. As Fleurdelis made clear though, there are going to be people who experience something quite different, or disagree with what went right or wrong. But that's why we have this forum. ;)
  19. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    Yes of course there is the video capture done to archive the piece for the performing company, but I can't think of one that has really seen the light of day (so that means little to the public). Here's the NYT review: ‘Nureyev’ Opens at Bolshoi After Delay and Much Speculation https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/arts/dance/nureyev-bolshoi-ballet.html I have a feeling Swimmer may reappear for the 2019 SF Ballet season, so I'll definitely be thinking about whether it still holds up. But I wonder if Tomasson will be interested in having SFB perform Nureyev - the San Francisco audience will likely be interested in the ballet's themes.
  20. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    Yes, Serebrennikov and Possokhov sound like kindred spirits - at least in their approach to presenting theater art. The Swimmer video trailer that I linked to provides some nice commentary from Possokhov, but unfortunately gives one very little sense of the spectacle of the ballet. At the time the video was released I don't think the creators wanted to give anything away. I hope Noureev is being filmed for posterity, as Swimmer was not.
  21. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    I can't speak to Serebrennikov's contribution, but your description reminds me of a number of Possokhov's recent ballets, which have a definite multi-media aspect (as the German's would say, Tanztheater). His Swimmer featured video effects (by Kate Duhamel) and lighting effects that were arguably as important to the ballet as the actual choreography - which at times was quite emotionally stirring, and other times totally pedestrian. It was a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. That seems to be Possokhov's current approach to ballet: to create a collage of visual, emotional and psychological associations that manage to support one another, and create a powerful 'experience'. Much like your description above, if you were to read a writer's descriptions of Swimmer you would no doubt think it sounds quite interesting, but it would be impossible to picture the ballet without witnessing it in person.
  22. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    I'm not sure if this was mentioned previously, but the NYT article about Team to Lead City Ballet During Martins Sexual Harassment Probe has this correction tacked on to it: Correction: December 9, 2017 "An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the recipient of an anonymous letter accusing Peter Martins, the ballet master in chief of New York City Ballet, of sexual harassment in the company and at the affiliated School of American Ballet. The letter was sent only to the school, not to both the school and the company."
  23. Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Sasha De Sola gets everyone excited for the return of The Nutcracker: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bcf5LfCFupO/?taken-by=sashadesola
  24. Nutcracker 2017

    A good and crazy mix of principals and soloists - the pain is being spread around. ;) Yuan Yuan and Tiit are only being utilized once each during this stretch (which probably makes them happy), but there will be more shows to come...
  25. Nutcracker 2017

    This is neither here nor there, but this is also the time of year when some of the dancers perform in far-flung Nutcrackers. Somehow, Dores André has come to be in Shreveport Louisiana, to perform with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet. Sasha De Sola commented on Dores' Instagram posting: "You’re in Shreveport?! Tiit and I danced there a few years ago! Enjoy" I can't see the connection here, so I'm guessing the director/adminstrator of SMB just has the gumption to invite dancers from far away. (How they know about SFB dancers though, I don't know).