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Everything posted by pherank

  1. Wow, the entire opening Chinese Conjurer solo from Parade. How great is that? Gary Chryst is tremendous in this role: the opening leaps/ his ballon, is impressive. The rest of the choreography is not nearly as interesting, imo. I would swear, though, that there is a color version of much of this same footage.
  2. Made for San Francisco Ballet is the title of this program, and there's an early teaser video available for Myles Thatcher's new ballet: Ghost in the Machine 'The LA Times called Helgi Tomasson’s Trio, “elegant and engrossing.” The SF Chronicle said it was “sheer extroversion.” This program features the world premiere SF Ballet dancer Myles Thatcher's second new work for us, Ghost in the Machine. Christopher Wheeldon’s inventive and mystical Within the Golden Hour© completes this meditation on contemporary classicism and ballet at its best.' Myles should get a copyright for his ballet's name too. ;)
  3. Here's the official statement on Vanessa and Davit - "Farewell Performance for Principal Dancers Davit Karapetyan and Vanessa Zahorian: The April 15, 7 pm performance of Swan Lake will be a special Farewell Performance for Principal Dancers (and married couple) Davit Karapetyan and Vanessa Zahorian, who will dance the leading roles. Added to the program will be a video tribute to both dancers." Interesting that Von Rothbart will be a young man - they're not casting the principal characters for this, so far.
  4. LOL For the record, I'd be happy to see even the short statements such as, "I went, and had a nice time." Many thousands of people go to see SFB each season, but we don't get much in the way of written responses. I'm sure many audience members may not be confident in their writing skills, or don't like the idea of having their words hanging about on the forum for years, but I don't think those things prove to be worth worrying about. There are far worse things in the world - this should be one of the fun things to do.
  5. Yes, it is indeed "dark" and emotionally wrenching. I don't really see TLM as being appropriate for a 10 year old, imo. The themes explored are not themes of childhood, but adulthood. "From the Director's Perspective" And a trailer of the Hamburg Ballet's version -
  6. Thank you Mme. Hermine - though difficult to hear, I enjoyed that first humorous story about Vaganova.
  7. Nice work - interesting how many 'artists' decided to depict recognizable things, and how many used only abstract linework.
  8. I was just reading the Hanna Wellbye review of ENB, which includes statements such as, "This is a sensible furrow for Tamara Rojo to plough when presenting 20th-century choreography in the English ballet market: the two Royal companies (London and Birmingham) have the Ashton/MacMillan British heritage repertoire more or less stitched up between them, and American greats like Balanchine and Robbins are – for both practical and stylistic reasons – probably still out of the company's reach in its current form. But by offering this European repertoire, Rojo opens herself up to the risk that her company might not perform it as well as their iconic originators on the Continent did (a particular danger in the case of Forsythe and Bausch), and to the potential hostility of London audiences, who have not always taken well to European choreographers like van Manen and Kylián." This reminded me again of the long-running issues British critics have had with Balanchine ballets. There just seems to be a cultural preference for certain approaches, themes and aesthetics, and Balanchine's works are not, to them, British. Speaking in general terms, the British character does not naturally gravitate towards Balanchine movements/aesthetics. Ironic that his choreography and techniques came to be regarded as so American, given that Balanchine came from Imperial Russia. But he and Danilova both quickly came to love the characteristics of American culture. Also ironic that Balanchine's American nemesis, writer John Martin, talked up American homegrown ballet, but really seemed to be stuck in a very Anglo-American aesthetic - emphasis on the Anglo part. From an article on Ashton that relates to this situation: "…when Kirstein invited Ashton to choreograph for the fledgling New York City Ballet in 1950 -- the result was the extraordinary "Illuminations," which, at the time, the New York critics loved and the British pundits disdained." "It's not easy to summarize Ashton's genius, but perhaps the citation for his Dance Magazine Award of 1970 gets to the heart of the matter: "A choreographer who rounds the corners of classic austerity with a romanticism so tender and so completely British in its good manners that we all proudly deem it international." [Uhhhh, no. "A romanticism so tender and so completely British in its good manners" would not be the part that makes it International. And I'm guessing an English writer made that statement.] "John Martin, who told him, as Ashton has recounted, that there was no place for classical ballet in the United States, which was at least close to the truth at the time. And so, the very year that Balanchine made his first ballet ("Serenade") for the company he and Kirstein had formed here, Ashton returned to England for good." [Thanks goes to John Martin for all his "helping" in building American ballet. I think Balanchine was happy with the way things turned out.]
  9. Cliché and stereotyping as the American way? At least the description makes me want to see what the production was like.
  10. "After 21 years, the Atlanta Ballet’s traditional holiday production of “Nutcracker,” as choreographed by former artistic director John McFall, will have its final run this year. New artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin has commissioned Yuri Possokhov, resident choreographer with San Francisco Ballet, to create a new version of the holiday classic, set for a 2018 premiere." More inevitable changes - hopefully Possokhov will come through with a really worthwhile production. I do wonder if it's a little soon though to redo The Nutcracker given that those productions are so tradition bound. If, after a couple of years, people are really excited about Gennadi's new programs, then it might be a better time to make the change. Just a thought.
  11. Terez, you get the gold star for seeing so many performances this year. I think that's great. But we're going to force you to tell us what you think about the program once you've seen it. ;) The video style definitely packages things in a manner similar to "In the Countenance of Kings", and the music falls roughly within the same category as the earlier Sufjan Stevens music. The video is speaking to a particular audience, imo - teenagers through thirty somethings that only come to the ballet once in a blue moon. But whether Thatcher's ballet actually has the same feel as the video presentation, that's the question.
  12. Promotions for Jennifer Stahl, Esteban Hernandez, and Steven Morse From a SFB email to subscribers: "...Soloist Jennifer Stahl has been promoted to principal dancer and Corps de Ballet members Esteban Hernandez and Steven Morse have been promoted to soloist, effective July 1. Born in Dana Point, California, Jennifer Stahl trained at SF Ballet School before being named an apprentice in 2005, a corps de ballet member one year later, and a soloist in 2013. Since then, she has created roles in works by Forsythe, Morris, Peck, Possokhov, and Thatcher and has performed numerous principal roles. From Guadalajara, Mexico, Esteban Hernandez trained at The Rock School in Philadelphia before joining SF Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2013. He has performed a variety of principal and featured roles, most recently as Henry in Scarlett’s Frankenstein. Steven Morse from Harbor City, California was a trainee at SF Ballet School before joining the Company in 2009. As a corps de ballet member, he created principal roles in Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries and Thatcher’s Manifesto. Please join us in congratulating Jennifer, Esteban, and Steven on their promotions and look for them in upcoming performances of Tomasson's Swan Lake and Made for SF Ballet." A hearty congratulations to Stahl, Hernandez and Morse!
  13. Mathilde's arm dance, at Sensorium 2017:
  14. Does anyone the origins of the Raymonda costume and wire headpiece used by a number of major companies? I never quite understood if the setting of the ballet was Hungary, or Spain. But I just read that it is set in the Provence region of France, though the Saracen Knight would most likely have been coming from Spain. The name "Raymonda" certainly doesn't sound French or Hungarian - the Internet tells me that the masculine form, Raymond, is derived from an Ancient Germanic name (Raimund). Anyway, The costume designs and wire headpiece are very distinctive but I can't immediately relate them to any ethnic garb. The ballet companies must be sharing the design of this popular costume. Perhaps someone knows more about the design and designer of this costume?
  15. The Georgiadis-designed tutu is a stunner, and the headdress is also quite nice. I actually prefer the kokoshnik myself (because I just like the kokoshnik look - not because it is more appropriate - it is not). The wire kokoshnik must have been a pain to affix and dance with though. My understanding is that "Andrew" is a correct translation of the Slavic "Andrei" into English. But Andrei would not be the Hungarian name (Andrej? André?) Here's Elisabeth Platel as Raymonda in the Georgiadis costume:
  16. I'm reviving this thread to point people to the very informative Conversations on Ballet interview with Alastair Macaulay regarding the history of Serenade. This is a very in-depth discussion, with lots of technical bits, but I think fans of this Balanchine ballet will find it to be very worthwhile. 'For the past 30 years Alastair has been researching George Balanchine’s Serenade and has recently complied his work into a Symposium at the New York Public Library entitled “Balanchine’s Serenade: An Evening of Films, Commentary, and Memories.”'
  17. Here, btw, is the promo video for Sensorium 2017. It would be great to hear from anyone that took part in the event.
  18. Yes, very intelligent questions, and they managed time well. I have noticed with that podcast and a couple others that I listened to, that they have an issue with the microphone sound levels (mainly for the interviewers, not the interviewees).
  19. It's good you have family that you can stay with - the hotel, transportation and restaurant charges are immense these days. It's been "bumming me out". It would definitely be easier on the dancers to spread things out a bit - this will be at the end of the season too, so some of them may be banged up. I'm starting to wonder if the rest of the season is likely to be repeats of ballets that the dancers (and audience) already know.
  20. "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."
  21. Thanks Helene - very enjoyable. It's actually good to hear some information about the whole Balanchine to Martins transition period at NYCB, as well as to get more specifics on Boal's influences. I liked hearing about the various teachers and classes offered back in the day.
  22. I've found the following reference online, in Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition by Jennifer Fisher (Google book search) (I don't have any OCR software at the moment to try to convert this to text)
  23. I have to think this was a tactical decision by Tomasson to deal with the many retirements. There is a point when it starts to feel like all the air is being let out of the balloon. He's got to keep people excited about the future, not nervous and worried. To me, it was respectful to promote Stahl before, say, Strongin, even if Strongin is, talent-wise, deserving. That shows the management does not forget the people who have come up through the ranks, step-by-step (so to speak).
  24. It's not over until it's over. ;) Does this mean Tomasson is also trying to pull in a dancer(s) from outside the company and needs to keep a space open? We'll just have to wait and see. Those announcements tend to come in late spring/early summer. Thanks for your thoughts on Morse.
  25. Wow, isn't that interesting? If this is indeed the first instance of the "Nureyev era" Raymonda costumes, then yes, I think we can credit Barry Kay with the costume design. I can't really make out Fonteyn's headpiece in this particular shot, but the demi-soloists(?) behind her are wearing some type of wire kokoshnik. The patterns on the tutus are very similar to the later ones. I would say the overall effect is definitely Slavic - not reminding me of Provence or Hungary in the slightest. ;) Thanks RG!