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Everything posted by pherank

  1. 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
  2. pherank

    Peter Martins Retired; Succession Discussion

    It's unlikely that there are any policies in place saying that 'interim' directors cannot promote dancers. Of course the NYCB board could always raise objections to choices made by staff, but I'm not sure how explicit their written policies are about who gets to do what, and when, in this kind of unusual circumstance. An A.D. policy document would be a fascinating document to read.
  3. pherank

    Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Aurora enters the stage... Sasha De Sola: "Throwback to one of my favorite (and possibly most nerve-wracking memories) of this season" https://www.instagram.com/p/BjKs5RdliEX/?taken-by=sashadesola
  4. The excellent Conversations on Dance archive now has a bunch of interviews being added from the San Francisco Ballet's Unbound Festival 2018. COD staff are still processing a number of the interviews, but SFB-specific podcasts can be found here: https://conversationsondancepod.com/san-francisco-ballet/ And the general archive for Conversations on Dance can be found on the "Listen Now" page: https://conversationsondancepod.com/listen-now/ The latest upload is a conversation with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon (from the SFB Unbound Festival), which includes a funny account of how he came to leave the Royal Ballet and join NYCB.
  5. pherank

    Summer 2018 Performances

    A number of the SFB dancers are in Spain together dancing at Volver 2018: https://www.instagram.com/volver.2018/
  6. Thank you , KO'D - I've been meaning to go back and read his book, Working, but maybe now I should just listen to the archive. ;)
  7. I completely agree with you about galas. ;) And for better or worse, Kochetkova (with Sebastian Kloborg) will be dancing a new David Dawson work at Benois : https://www.instagram.com/p/BiufPkYhldA/?taken-by=balletrusse
  8. Thank you for this report, Mnacenani! FYI: There is a "Maria Kochetkova" thread in the Dancers section that hopefully people in Europe will continue to update (since we in the U.S. won't likely be seeing her as much): http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/35390-maria-kochetkova/ Kochetkova seems to enjoy working with choreographers on new pieces, and those tend to be contemporary dance works. And of course, it's not easy to know if a new contemporary ballet will be judged a success, or a trifle. I'm not sure that Masha cares so much about whether the work has lasting value - she just likes the challenge of taking on new choreography, and being created on.
  9. pherank

    Maria Kochetkova

    So, immediately post-SFB, Masha has gone to Amsterdam to work again with David Dawson on a new piece for the upcoming Benoit De La Danse (Moscow, June 5th), and, she's appearing at the Staatsballett Berlin. Masha and Polina Semionova in Berlin:
  10. I may get in trouble for mentioning this, but since a certain reviewer did not love Myles Thatcher's ballet, and made it sound a bit like the issue was Thatcher's choice of themes, there may be a brouhaha. Dores Andre was not happy about this review and posted a statement on Instagram, and other sympathetic readers/commenters seem to think it's time to argue for more 'relevant' ballet that joins with social protest. Ballets in the classical 'grand manner' are not likely to get much attention in this climate. At least the ones that "require no thinking". Personally, I think people may be arguing at cross purposes (surprise, surprise) since it is likely the reviewer doesn't object to Thatcher's themes of gender equality and identity, per se, but to Thatcher's handling of the subject matter, and his choreography in this particular ballet. No one does great work at all times and on all subjects. That's life. And this is not the only person to state they didn't like various things about the Otherness ballet. If it becomes impossible to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a ballet (or artwork) due to its subject matter, there's a problem. There may be some people that think 'mere' ballet is being transcended to make an important political statement or social protest, but politics doesn't 'transcend' art. The fact that artwork may have a political theme, or that artwork can be used in service of a political campaign (even against the artist's intentions), doesn't remove the many functions of art that have nothing to do with today's social issues. Is Otherness effective ballet? Or is it only effective as a social statement? Or is it relatively successful at both things? I have a feeling we're going to get to hear more about this.
  11. pherank

    Discussion of UNBOUND Reviews

    Carla Escoda's summary of the Unbound Festival - SF Ballet Unleashes a Dozen New Works at 'Unbound,' and Pop Wins https://www.kqed.org/arts/13831659/san-francisco-ballet-unleashes-a-dozen-new-works-at-unbound-and-pop-wins "…Together, all four made a powerful argument for the utility and wide-ranging expressiveness of ballet. More broadly, the use of pop and techno music provided fuel for some of the most interesting work in the festival — and, ironically, harkened back to a turbulent time in San Francisco Ballet’s history when artistic director Michael Smuin was ousted for daring to infuse strains of pop and Broadway into the repertoire." Escoda is approving of both Pita's Björk Ballet, and Ochoa's Guernica, both of which didn't fair so well with other dance writers, or forum members: "Pita closed the festival on a high, with genre-smashing Icelandic musician Björk as his muse." "Another keeper is Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Guernica. This was pitched as a themed response to the Syrian genocide, linked to Picasso’s depiction of the destruction of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War. But sometimes too much advance information can undermine a ballet — for as an abstract work, this one proved gripping."
  12. pherank

    Summer 2018 Performances

    Jen Stahl and Luke Ingham are performing Swan Lake Suite with Orange County Ballet Theater at Irvine Barclay Theatre on May 25th.
  13. Referring to the rise and immediate fall of American National Ballet (with a name like that, what could go wrong?), here's an article by Claudia Bauer in Pointe Magazine: https://www.pointemagazine.com/red-flags-ballet-companies-2560585815.html "ANB, which officially dissolved a few months later, is only the most recent example of a company that's come and gone, leaving dancers in the lurch. Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet shuttered in 2015, Silicon Valley Ballet closed mid-season in 2016, and Ballet Pacifica folded in 2007—after 42 years." "...Thompson noticed red flags shortly after starting at ANB, such as rehearsals that seemed random rather than directed toward an upcoming season. "We were essentially given busywork," she says. And the conservatory teaching hours she was expecting? "There were multiple nights where I didn't have any students, which meant I did not get paid." Missed payments or bounced checks are major warning signs. "If they don't even have a bank account and payroll set up, that's a big problem," Braun says. ANB dancers received their agreed-upon salary payments for their five weeks of work, but in unconventional ways: the first payroll in cash and the second through a New York–based dance company, with that state's taxes withheld."
  14. "like sand at the shore" - that's such an inspirational quote. ;) I'm reminded of a talk about the constant negative criticism that dancers live with (from a Conversations on Dance podcast with Ferraro and Breeden) [Jump to 11:40] https://conversationsondancepod.com/2018/04/10/dancers-negativity-and-perspective-post-retirement/
  15. San Francisco Ballet manages a successful "dormitory" for select students: "We offer housing for 28 students in the desirable nearby neighborhood of Pacific Heights. The San Francisco Ballet School Residence features single, double, and triple rooms, on-site residence staff, and a short ride on public transportation from the School. Of course, students may also choose to arrange their own accommodations for independent living. Space in the residence is limited and available by invitation only. Lack of availability does not preclude participation in our program." https://www.sfballet.org/school/about/student-life The problem is, there isn't any help for company members of any U.S. company that I have heard of - it's 'sink or swim' with housing. If there weren't so many dancers looking for paid opportunities, I suppose the companies would have to go to more trouble to provide housing services to dancers. There's need for a Non-Profit organization to aid dancers and classical musicians in finding affordable housing - something like this: https://missionlocal.org/2017/09/nonprofit-launches-program-to-help-artists-find-affordable-housing/
  16. Now that Kochetkova has retired from company life in favor of working with choreographers, galas, and the like - and Karapetyan has retired - SFB's Romeo and Juliet becomes a kind of nostalgia piece. From Pointe Magazine: "Tragedy, romance and world class dancing, all from the comfort of your local movie theater? Sounds like your weekend plans are complete. On May 12, 13, and 15, San Francisco Ballet's Romeo & Juliet will be playing in select movie theaters around the country as part of Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance. Choreographed by SFB artistic director Helgi Tomasson, this version stars Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in the title roles, making it particularly special: Karapetyan retired from SFB in 2017, and Kochetkova gave her final performance with the company just last week. Click here to find a showing near you. " https://www.pointemagazine.com/san-francisco-ballet-at-the-movies-2567985665.html
  17. I can only speak to the California engagements - there are some strategic choices. The theater with the most showings is in Tiburon - a very wealthy community across the bay from San Francisco. No doubt a place where some of the richest SFB patrons live. The rest are mainly clustered around Los Angeles. Very interesting. I think a bigger problem is that this kind of 'art' event draws almost no audience in the U.S., unless it happens in a major city. Movie theaters are a dying business because film distributors are hard at work setting up streaming services that will be available on the day of release. So movie houses will no longer have an exclusive product. Anyone who wants to stay at home and stream a new release can do so for a price - it often costs a group of people a fair amount of money anyway to go see a film together at a theater. Film venues will lose out quickly, sorry to say.
  18. Due to the lack of availability, I recommend buying the DVD on Amazon. ;) The only Southern California showing I noticed was in Anaheim, which means that the students from Anaheim Ballet can go see Kochetkova (a frequent guest-artist at AB), and the kids at the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet (Masha trains with Marat). It's hard to know how these theater choices are made though.
  19. pherank

    Mathilde Froustey

    SFB fans are no doubt looking forward to seeing Mathilde Froustey live on the War Memorial stage. I hope the season goes well for her, and she stays on indefinitely (though she wisely took a sabbatical from the POB). For images of, and by, Ms. Froustey, I recommend her Instagram page: http://instagram.com/mfroustey She also has a Twitter page - that she updates less frequently (and I can't blame her): https://twitter.com/MFroustey At the laundromat (SF Mission District, I believe)
  20. pherank

    Mathilde Froustey

    After the SFB season ended, Froustey flew immediately to Kasan, Tatarstan, Russia to perform in La Bayadère. Here are some photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Biqg9FmH7ES/?taken-by=lapetitefrench_
  21. Exactly. Although there have certainly been important cultural/artistic contributions made outside of the Northeast U.S., the general impression is that, in the U.S., important things happen in New York, especially. And that's because the media finds it convenient to maintain this narrative. 'Nothing is real until it happens in New York'. > The Fjord Review serves an important function in that they review West Coast dance events consistently, and the writers are good. Canada seems to have a similar culture clash between West and East provinces (Quebec making a 3rd opponent in the culture wars). And they have the same situation in which the West Coast communities are often very aware of events in Asia/Pacific, but the East Coast communities look to Europe.
  22. pherank

    Isadora starring Natalia Osipova

    There is a short discussion about the Segerstrom Center's 2018/2019 season here: http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/43644-scfta-201819-season/
  23. You're of course right about Christensen staging the first full-length Nutcracker in the U.S., but the Nutcracker didn't really become a holiday tradition in the U.S. until Balanchine and the NYCB began annual stagings of the Balanchine version. And that was based entirely on his memory of the version danced at the Mariinsky. For better or worse, Balanchine was more influential regarding The Nutcracker, but I have to think it helped matters that SFB was also staging The Nutcracker performances, and it wasn't long before companies across North America were staging The Nutcracker during the Christmas holiday season. Being a West Coast person, I've always been aware that the East Coast pays little attention to developments out West. 😉
  24. I really don't know how Corps dancers in New York and San Francisco survive, except to share a large apartment between 4 or 5 people. This kind of situation is virtually impossible to maintain in a major city: 'The small rep company is now in its third year, and no one gets paid, but Neugebauer loves being an artistic director. In the future she would like to pay the dancers and take a salary herself, but her first priority is operating within PDX's budget. "We only rehearse Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 2:30 pm, so the dancers can have part-time jobs."' A part-time job does not pay a living wage in SF or NYC, probably not in Boston or LA either.
  25. SFB sent out an email to subscribers, and posted a video here: https://www.sfballet.org/explore/articles/2018-Season-Thank-You Note from Sasha De Sola: