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Everything posted by pherank

  1. And now Debbie has passed away - only a day after her daughter Carrie.
  2. Finally I'm seeing a few podcasts available from the 2017 season: There are two Pointes of View lectures and Meet the Artist interviews with Luke Ingham, Julia Rowe, Sasha De Sola and Jen Stahl.
  3. We can now access the many great podcasts of Meet the Artist interviews and Point of View lectures here: At the present time, the archive of pre-2016 podcasts is not available, but it will happen. Something I noticed about the new page, which is a little frustrating, is that the various podcasts listed need to load - and they all attempt to do so at the same time. The first couple of podcasts at the top of the page never seemed to load, so I just went on and played other podcasts. Eventually the first few did load successfully, but it's not a great approach, to force people to sit and wait for all these downloads to occur (or rather, to discover that the podcasts will not play right away, until the load bars have advanced a ways).
  4. A recent Instagram post by Vanessa Zahorian: 'Davit and I had a great week of teaching the Vaganova Method to the young students of @paballetacademy last week. "The Vaganova method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Russian dancer and pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova in the early 1900's. The training system is designed to involve the whole body in every movement, with equal attention paid to the upper body, legs and feet." We also introduced the GYROTONIC® Method. The Gyrotonic Expansion System Method is composed of the Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic exercise methods. The Gyrokinesis Method, originally called “Yoga for Dancers,” is practiced on a mat and a chair, while the Gyrotonic Method uses specialized equipment that permits one to move with support and resistance. Once we open our school in September I will offer the method using the Pulley Tower Machine! We also offered the Contemporary Classes taught by Davit as well as Pointe classes taught by myself. This week we will continue what we have been teaching and next week we will be offering an exciting new class. Stay tuned for an update shortly as to what that exciting class will be. We know it will be a lot of fun and will bring out the character in our students!' "Pennsylvania Ballet Academy would like to introduce and welcome our very first guest teacher Elen Harutyunyan. Elen will join PBA for the last week of our summer program June 26th-29th. She will be teaching traditional character classes from different nationalities. She began her training at the Armenian National Ballet School and then went on to join the San Francisco Ballet School where she then moved to LA to further her studies in acting, dancing, theater, and teaching. She is currently teaching character classes at the Grand Stage Dance in LA. For more information or to join Elen Harutyunyan’s character classes next week, please call 717-774-7474." So, obviously, the school is keeping both Vanessa and Davit very busy.
  5. If the Admins could pin this topic at the top of the topic list it will be easier to find in the future. ;) There are many recent 'retirees' who may still be performing, so if anyone has significant news about these ex-SFB dancers, please post the information here. Sometimes, the younger dancers actually return to SF(!) Kristina Lind has left Het Nationale Ballet to be a soloist with Bayerischen Staatsballett in Munich, Germany. Congratulations to Kristina on her promotion to the soloist level.
  6. Also from The Fjord Review - a short interview with Angelo Greco ...and a Q&A with Wanting Zhao
  7. I don't get the need for such a detailed hierarchy - just think how an "Artist of the Company" must feel: "It's going to take forever to be a Lead Principal, even if I have the talent!" So why would Madison Keesler return to the SFB Corps? Probably because advancement didn't look doable at ENB. I imagine she was dancing the same demi-soloist roles she would be performing at SFB, but a somewhat different repertoire. A great experience, nonetheless. There's a nice long article on the Fjord website about Isabella Walsh, who was just promoted from SFB trainee to the Corps: “What’s really different is in the school you have people looking out for you, watching you progress and giving you constant corrections. All of that goes away instantly when you join the company. No one’s babysitting you; you may not even get a correction daily.” For the astute apprentice dancer, it’s a process of watch and learn. “You have to find a different eye for yourself. You look around in the company, with so many beautiful artists, and you should take from them. I’m a tall dancer, so I study what the tall dancers do and apply it myself.” As for dancers to look up to, there is no shortage of role models at SFB. Principal dancer Sofiane Sylve gets a nod in particular. “I look up to her for everything. She’s a perfect technician, perfect artist. Everything’s always spot on.”
  8. Must be a typo, or, if there has been a change, it's that Peck will stop dancing in favor of choreographing full-time. But I doubt Peck is leaving NYCB. I'm not seeing exactly where you found this quote though - on their Instagram page (it isn't displaying well for me here)? The latest posting is about "Pride Week" in SF, and one of the comments is mistaking Wanting Zhao for Yuan Yuan Tan. OK, sorry - I switched browsers and now I see this was a Twitter posting.
  9. Adding to something I wrote earlier: Ana Sophia Scheller mentioned on Instagram that she has been taking classes with Magaly Suarez (Taras Domitro's mother) and Ibis Montoto in Florida. So there is once again a Cuban connection in all of this. SFB loses a number of Cuban dancers, but gains a principal with ties to Suarez and Domitros. I was on the English National Ballet website to check about Madison Keesler's rank at ENB - it was First Artist. That may sound pretty good but ENB has a fussy hierarchy of ranks: Lead Principals Principals First Soloists Soloists Junior Soloists First Artists Artists of the Company Guest Artists (Maria Kochetkova being one of them) Character Artists Is it just me or does this seem anal-retentive?
  10. We have learned that soloist Francisco Mungamba is headed to Benjamin Millepied's L.A. Dance Project. An exciting change for Francisco - I wish him good fortune.
  11. Best of luck to the dancers. Millepied has money for the company right now, so hopefully he can keep the ball rolling. Dancers in LA have as difficult a time making a living as dancers in SF - if Millepied can offer decent salaries for his artistic staff, then people will come.
  12. I seriously hope Ulrich's review was not the only reason it was brought back. Does audience response count for nothing? I think it does given that Myles Thatcher's Ghost in the Machine was given the last open slot in the 2018 season - not Yuri's latest ballet or Arthur Pita's. (OK, the dancers likely had a lot of say in choosing Thatcher, but audience reviews were definitely favorable). It's interesting that Yuri has no ballets slated for next season. I know that I mentioned before that it would be 'gentlemanly' for him to step aside for the New Works Festival and let others have a chance. I wonder if he's scheduling more work for the Bolshoi, or where?
  13. Millepied does say, "dancers who can do pointe work", but I suppose he may need partners for en pointe dancers too. I haven't heard anything more about what Francisco Mungamba and Anthony Vincent will do, so perhaps one of them? And Jordan Hammond and Lee Alex Meyer Lorey from the women? I kind of thought Meyer Lorey was leaving dance entirely to model. But who knows?
  14. Some interesting comments by Benjamin Millepied in this article that may effect someone connected to SFB (but who?): I noticed on your site you have an audition call out for dancers who, if classically trained, can dance on pointe. I’m actually hiring many dancers this fall to complete the company, with dancers coming from ballet companies, actually — San Francisco Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet. We’re going to start to have dancers who can also do pointe work in the company. It doesn’t mean that everyone, every girl in the company, is on pointe, but having some dancers who are trained in pointe work allows me to have a larger repertory. I don’t want to reduce the potential works we can dance, basically. You’re working with Janie Taylor and Carla Korbes, two great ballet dancers who recently retired. I’m completely attracted to the idea of working with retired dancers; some dancers retire early and are in fantastic shape. Carla and Janie still have a lot to say and want to, and I’m happy to give them an outlet.
  15. Looks like an exhausting piece to dance, both for the principals and for the demi-soloist/Corps dancers who are mostly duplicating the movements of the leads. It's always nice to get to see Big Red dance an extended piece. I do get lost in the typical contemporary ballet puzzle of twists, turns and transformations - some of the movements are overt while others strike me as purely kinetic eye candy that does not telegraph any particular meaning, aside from "energy". But in that sense, the choreography fits fairly well with Richter's score - I always found that to be atmospheric and energetic, similar to incidental cinematic music. Richter dissolves most of Vivaldi's formal structures in favor of pure atmosphere and a reduced/compressed emotional range. Nice background music though for when one isn't feeling up to the challenges of Vivaldi's original score. ;) The beginning of the male dance section at about 28:40 was a low point for me - that needs some work. Once the women reappear the choreography becomes more involved and interesting though I can't say what any of it "means". The first part of the second half of the ballet [59:00] has a somewhat different choreographic look and feel from the first - less wannabe avant-garde and more playful and lyrical. But then we go back to moody experimentalism before finishing with a quiet scene on the "grass" where everything started. The premiere casting is interesting in that the "Corps" dancers are of fairly uniform build, average size, while Katya Kondaurova and Roman Belyakov have the more out-sized physiques. In these surroundings, it is readily apparent how unusually long-limbed she is, with Olympian shoulders, sort of a leaner Marie-Agnes Gillot. Both leads seem quite at home with the choreography. For me, Kondaurova was the first Mariinsky dancer "born" contemporary - there was never the sense that she had to get her head around contemporary roles and change everything about how she danced to make it work. She just understood, while everyone else looked like a 'dear caught in the headlights' dancing contemporary works. Things have obviously improved for the Mariinsky dancers, but really only in the last 3 or 4 years are we seeing things come together from Principals to Corps.
  16. There is fairly complete footage of Chryst dancing the Chinese Conjuror role. I have to say that's one of my favorite characterizations in dance - surprising and freakish as a sideshow conjuror should be. Chryst is stupendous in that role. I don't find the rest of the choreography to be of the same level, but that's life.
  17. I believe the archived video is now available both places (the video is the embedded YouTube video). Anyway, very efficient service. ;) Note: the performance doesn't start until about 7:50 minutes in.
  18. I think I see what you are referring to - when I click on your embedded video I first see this displayed: Live in 17 hours June 19, 7:00 PM GMT+3 Then it changes to: Live in 17 hours June 19, 9:00 AM 9:00am PST would be better for most people on the West Coast.
  19. I've always wanted to see the Parade revival, but for that matter, I'd love to see someone like SFB take on Farrell's Gounod Symphony 'restoration'. Why should that project raise its head for a moment, and then sink back into oblivion? Farrell is not getting any younger - now is the time to transmit the ballet's roles to whomever.
  20. Thanks for the heads up, Drew. Does anyone know what time of day this will air in US/Canada? Let me see: 9am GMT is 5am Eastern Daylight Time, and 2am Pacific Daylight Time? Probably not doable for me unless they archive the video on YouTube. I want to see Kondaurova dance, and I don't mind the Richter piece actually.
  21. Something I just discovered - Jordan Nicole has left the SFB Corps to dance with her husband (and former SFB dancer) Raymond Tilton at Diablo Ballet:
  22. Ah, the "wall walking". ;) That's where the audience gets to see various celebrities "drop" in" to utter some quip - much like the comedians popping in and out of the "Joke Wall" trapdoors on Laugh-In. I especially remember Sammy Davis Jr. popping his head out of a window as Batman and Robin crawled by. But didn't that routine pre-date Laugh-In? The two shows only overlapped for a couple of months.
  23. The rules are different for academics, to be sure. I'm mildly interested to know if Dylan was very purposefully poking fun at "book reports" and literary lectures. But only mildly so. ;)
  24. And was he intentionally making a dig at the academics? Will we ever know? Borrowing phrases that are of interest goes on all the time in Literature and songwriting (folk music especially is fond of recounting what's topical in the language of the people who are involved), but I tend to agree that it's important to give credit where credit is obviously due. Ezra Pound's Cantos are full of both translated quotes and direct references to other writings, and some of these are explicitly credited (in Pound's 'unique' way of incorporating the author/referent into the poem), but other's are a mystery (thus the need for books like, A Guide to the Cantos of Ezra Pound). The constant interweaving of quotes, bits of song, bits of dry history, and Pound's own musings are the point of the Cantos. And Eliot's The Wasteland (edited by Pound) was constructed with a great many "found" phrases and reworkings of lines from the Bible to Shakespeare, Milton, Verlaine, and on and on. The interweaving of all these elements was again, the point of it all. And Eliot was hoping that readers would be interested enough to dig deeper. I see Dylan doing much the same thing in so many of his songs - like it or not. Somehow, there remains this notion that any artwork that doesn't pretend (and it's always pretend) to be wholly original and seemingly beholden to nothing else in the universe, is secondary or just not very good. The Wasteland isn't very good because Eliot 'didn't make it all up himself'. But then again, he did make IT up - The Wasteland poem - and it is what it is. And just what is it? Well that's what we all get to talk about.
  25. People have wondered about whether the SFB dancers will be ready for the 2018 New Works Festival - after a season of dancing. I've just be looking closely at the season dates, and I would say, yes, they will be both rested and rehearsed (provided no one has any major injuries). The last program to be danced by SFB dancers is likely to be Program 5, which ends on March 25th. Program 6 is danced by the National Ballet of Canada (Neumeier's Nijinsky) and that runs from April 3 to April 8th. Programs 7 and 8 (as they are listing the festival) don't begin until April 20th. So the dancers will have a 25 day period to finish rehearsals for the festival - with no other commitments. Seems doable, assuming that rehearsals begin for many of these new works anytime from July of this year to April 2018.