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pherank

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Everything posted by pherank

  1. Keeping Up With SFB Veterans

    Another great Ferraro and Breeden interview - good find, Helene. The ask all the pertinent questions and know how to keep things moving.
  2. 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. https://www.staatsoper.de/biographien/detail-seite/lind-kristina.html
  3. Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Angelo Greco pirouettes in pointe shoes https://www.instagram.com/p/BaVsB1JnK4I/?taken-by=_angelogreco_ I guess this is where I say, "better not injury yourself needlessly!"
  4. 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
  5. There's a new biography available, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, as talked about in this excellent article in the New Yorker: Joni Mitchell’s Openhearted Heroism By Dan Chiasson https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/joni-mitchells-openhearted-heroism "She was born Roberta Joan Anderson in 1943. Like many pop musicians, she suffered a childhood of utter tedium, a bright star against the faint backdrop of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. On the airwaves, she heard “Mantovani, country and western, a lot of radio journalism,” and, once a day for an hour, “The Hit Parade.” A soulful girl, she watched the trains approach and depart, or pored over the Sears catalogue. (She called it “the book of dreams.”) When Mitchell was eight, she contracted polio and was quarantined, for several months, in a hospital close to home. Her mother came to see her once, on Christmas; her father never did. Polio patients were told to keep perfectly still—it was believed that any movement might cause the disease to spread—so she spent the time alone and on her back. When she was released, her left hand was damaged (it would make conventional guitar playing difficult for her, and led her to experiment with her own, idiosyncratic tunings) and she had lost the speed in her legs. But, she said, she “came back a dancer.” If you can't access the New Yorker article, it is also published on Mitchell's website: http://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=3756 Use the Amazon search box on the Ballet Alert homepage to search for the book!
  6. Well if you think about it, that would show a connection between British and Russian culture that isn't shared with the U.S., for example. But is it a big deal? No, I would say not. Just one of those mildly interesting little things (of which there are so many in life/culture). Frazier's resurrection of the journalist Jack Reed is, imo, more significant, more timely information. It is ironic that Russian scholars must go to the writings of this American journalist to find out the details (and complications) of political and social life in St. Petersburg/Moscow in revolutionary Russia. Reed is largely forgotten in the US - if it weren't for Warren Beatty's film Reds, I would say Reed and Louise Bryant would be entirely forgotten.
  7. This being the 100th anniversary - I recommend this engrossing article from the current Smithsonian magazine: What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution? We journey through Vladimir Putin’s Russia to measure the aftershocks of the political explosion that rocked the world a century ago By Ian Frazier https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-ever-happened-to-russian-revolution-180964768/
  8. Upcoming SFB 2017 workshops for family and kids... Nutcracker Let’s Dance Family Workshop "Our Nutcracker Let’s Dance Family Workshop is equally a perfect way to prepare your youngster to see Nutcracker for the first time or to delight kids who already know our production by heart. Let’s Dance Family Workshops are recommended for families with children ages 5-10. Everyone needs a ticket, regardless of age. Tickets are $20 for children and adults, with a minimum purchase of 1 child and 1 adult ticket required. Children must be accompanied by an adult." https://www.sfballet.org/community/youth-programs/family-workshops/nutcracker Nutcracker Master Class Sunday, November 12, 2017 2 - 4 pm A special Master Class for 11-14 year-olds featuring Company Ballet Master Anita Paciotti and Children's Ballet Master Kristi DeCaminada. When you see SF Ballet’s beloved Nutcracker each December, all the children on stage are students at San Francisco Ballet School. Do YOU want to learn excerpts from the children’s roles? Join Company Ballet Master Anita Paciotti and Children’s Ballet Master Kristi DeCaminada in the studio to learn some of the most well-known choreography from our production!" https://www.sfballet.org/school/master-classes
  9. Mostly it works out in the end, but in the rehearsals we get to see that the learning curve is much higher for certain dancers, and that's probably why a certain percentage of the staff in these companies don't really enjoy being seen on WBD. That's life I suppose.
  10. New Company Roster

    Do you have the URL?
  11. Now that I've had time to re-watch some of WBD on video...I feel the need to comment on the SFB section - just because I know more about those dancers ;) Something that really stood out for me in both the Ochoa and Dawson ballet creations/rehearsals were the issues that arose for the relatively inexperienced Corps (or new Soloist) danseurs (e.g. Wei, Golding, Orza) VS the veteran danseurs (e.g. Ingham, Walsh, Sofranko). It's all part of the normal process of growth and experience, but the dancers inexperienced in ballet creation and lead roles tend to be more passive, and hope only to please, but don't always have much else to offer. I'm sure the young ones feel a bit like a 'deer caught in the headlights', whereas the veterans tend to have things that they want to express in their own dancing and look for opportunities to do that. Choreographer David Dawson says at one point in the video, "you were so desperate to get to the center, like I asked you, that you lost your connection to the music". That's something that doesn't happen with the veterans who have figured out their personal aesthetic and know the kind of artist that they want to be. The more experienced the dancer, the more input they can provide to the choreographer: a good example of that being Dawson wanting to work again with Maria Kochetkova and Sofiane Sylve who both have oodles of experience in creating new works. Sofiane represents the opposite extreme from the inexperienced newbies - she knows what she wants to do, and how she wants to do it, and only wants to be involved in worthwhile projects where everyone is completely focused on producing great work. Watching Sofiane go about things is often a masterclass in itself. Inevitably, the young danseurs struggle with partnering at various points - trying hard just to be in the right place at the right time, and not mess up the lifts, but it can be un-stylish, and lose any sense of 'dance'. When something goes wrong, the inexperienced danseurs don't really know how to solve the issue - things just come apart. But the great partners like a Joseph Walsh, Vitor Luiz or Tiit Helimets, are really physically strong and can save a bad moment quickly with style and aplomb (often while staying on the music). They simply know how to deal with particular problems using particular techniques - always continuing to impart style and elegance to their movements. Hopefully that 'insider' information is always being passed down to the young danseurs. The SFB male principals do tend to be physically stronger (in both upper and lower body) than the young men because they have to be - the amount of lifting that goes on in modern ballets is crazy. I worried about Carlo Di Lanno's lifting abilities initially, when he first arrived at SFB, and now 3 years later, I don't. He's grown considerably in that time. It helps to work with female principals who are very experienced and not about to be made to look bad by their partner. ;) For those that don't know, the SFB artistic staff doesn't stipulate who gets to appear in a new ballet - choreographers can choose who they wish from any level of the company (which is wonderful). But I'm fairly sure choreographers will ask for advice from staff, and review videos of the dancers, if they've never before worked with SFB dancers. And I'm sure Helgi Tomasson tries to spread around the opportunities for everyone from the principals on down to the Corps (at least the results have looked fairly egalitarian in the past). The UNBOUND new works festival that is slated for next season will require everyone in the company to take part, so it's the perfect opportunity for the young dancers to experience ballet role creation (and everyone dreams of that). That is why the live SFB rehearsals for both WBD and the UNBOUND Festival feature such a range of experience and skill levels - everyone has talent, but not everyone has experience dancing lead roles or creating roles in new ballets. Ordinarily, there is a 1st Cast, 2nd Cast, etc. hierarchy in place, but the UNBOUND Festival ballets will be unusual in the way that absolutely all the dancers will take part, and a fair number of Corps dancers will be dancing in PDDs and trios.
  12. Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Diego Cruz (Corps) and Isabella Devivo (newly promoted to Soloist) are appearing in a launch ad for Calispana Eyewear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhDznP6NePs Commercial work seems like the perfect thing for Diego and his unbridled enthusiasm.
  13. most popular composer for dance

    It would be interesting to know what composers, in the last 50 years or so, have been receiving the most commissions for dance works. But I'm not sure if there is any easy way to find that information out.
  14. Former NYCB dancer John Clifford's YouTube page contains many NYCB rarities. Audio and video quality is often poor, but even so, these are some historic performances. For example, a 1966 Concerto Barocco with Suzanne Farrell, Marnee Morris and Conrad Ludlow, a 1968 Apollo with Martins, Marnee Morris, Von Aroldingen and Farrell (the entire performance), Agon with Allegra Kent, Square Dance with Wilde and Magallanes, a 1973 La Valse, and more. The Trust seems to be allowing Clifford to post whatever he can find. Perhaps they have finally realized that this keeps up interest in the Balanchine ballets, and there is little harm done in making these old videos available. https://www.youtube.com/user/jcliff26/videos Someone else has Duo Concertante with Kay Mazzo and Peter Martins (you will most likely see the link in the right hand video thumbnail column), and "Balanchine's Funeral", a mini-documentary - we see many familiar faces in the crowd outside the cathedral. Not sure if this was shot for a New York audience primarily. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FONK5omBIdU
  15. World Ballet Day 2017, Thursday 5 October

    You must be referring to Jahna. You can catch up by going to 2:04:42 in the San Francisco Ballet's 2017 World Ballet Day LIVE Broadcast - Jahna dances in the Annabelle Lopez Ochoa rehearsal. (She can also be seen in the class session). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy-FE7tNQ48 Her first partner has some shaky moments, but things get better with James Sofranko and Max Cauthorn partnering.
  16. Here's an example of a simple, fairly unobtrusive, but effective (for me) video style from WBD 2017: The Norwegian National Ballet full live stream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmD-iYiqhQI The approach isn't going to make every company happy, but it works well enough.
  17. Millepied's LA Dance Project is still very much "balletic", imo, even if they are pursuing a non-pointe shoe, contemporary aesthetic. The choreography that they employ isn't all that different from the contemporary repertoire at major dance companies in North America and Europe. Clifford may be thinking, "that's not ballet", but I'm not sure everyone else is going to agree. I do like Clifford's pointed commentary though. ;)
  18. The Australian Ballet FULL LIVE STREAM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUXxc3mxbiY If someone finds the URL to the Bolshoi segment please post it here.
  19. The Dawson and Rhoden rehearsals were happening just days ago - no doubt SFB had to choose between producing another UNBOUND Festival live broadcast, or waiting a few days for WBD. And it would probably cost too much money to try to do both things. So they recorded the sessions and presented them with the WBD footage. "NBoC's presentations are always the poorest among the participating companies" — it's important to know that it does require an experienced (especially with dance), professional video production crew to bring these things off (expensive!). And that means multiple camera operators, audio operators, a director, and a number of technicians with laptops to monitor everything and make any live edits and produce subtitles, etc. And those people normally require a couple of days (at least) advance time to set everything up: creating a control center to place the computers with necessary software and run miles of cable through the building to the area(s) where the camera and audio will take place. SFB had given over their "shoe" room to the video director and editor/technicians, and that was probably not very comfortable for everyone involved. The SFB ballet building is more cramped for space than many of the newer centers that you will see in the WBD footage. There's no "media center" to deal with these special situations. Here's footage of what the "backstage" area looked like at SFB (audio levels are low): https://www.facebook.com/sfballet/videos/10155466123731293/ And then there's the issue of labor unions (at least in North America) - Does the video production team have to be union certified? Apollomuse may know about this. One list of the BASIC video team positions looks like this: Producer (initial contact for the project) Director First Assistant Director (1st AD) Director of Photography (DP)/Cinematographer Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) Camera Operator First Assistant Camera (1st AC) Lighting Director (LD) Key Grip Audio Technician Production Assistant The point being, that it's not something that is easy to put into place at the last minute, and it probably takes a number of projects with the ballet company to work out the kinks. And things still go wrong. One picture is worth a thousand words - thanks to Sasha De Sola. ;)
  20. Highlights for me in the SFB segment: 1) Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Picasso/Guernica-inspired ballet for SFB's UNBOUND Festival, including getting to see Jahna Frantziskonis dancing in a contemporary ballet, and Natasha Sheehan taking part as well (this will be far outside her comfort zone, but what a tremendous introduction to the world of professional ballet for "tippytoegirl"). Solomon Golding's partnering of Jahna seemed uncertain, not fully confident (which can be scary for the woman). It was better when Jahna was partnered by Sofranko and Cauthorn (no hesitation or lack of energy with those two). The music track had a really interesting "prologue" of creaking sounds. Seeing Madison Keesler dance again at SFB brought a smile to my face. So good to have you back, Madison. 2) The Serenade rehearsal just because I love to see and hear the details about Balanchine works from the répétiteurs (in this case Elyse Borne). The company just began the rehearsals for Serenade so there were kinks to be worked out, but still a joy to watch the movements. 3) Finally got to see Ana Sophia Scheller dancing in SF! Partnered by the human dynamo, Angelo Greco. Now she gets to learn choreography that may at times vary considerably from NYCB repertoire. I had a feeling that Tomasson would pick Scheller for the first cast of Sleeping Beauty. 4) Masha And Sofiane dancing in the new David Dawson ballet. Great contrasting looks. 5) It was hard not to get misty-eyed over the Houston Ballet's video segment thanking supporters for their aid in the Hurricane Harvey aftermath. And a late congratulations to Christopher Stowell being appointed Associate Artistic Director of National Ballet of Canada (formerly San Francisco Ballet Assistant Director and Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theater among many other things). It was good to see his face again, leading the NBofC class.
  21. It is a fair statement, and I can assure you that the word will get to the companies. The problem is, October 4th/5th is not always going to be the perfect time for companies to 'put on a show'. Even SFB, technically, had some per-recorded material this year - they have been doing live broadcasts of their rehearsals for next year's new works festival, and they recorded the last 3 ballets in rehearsal to use for WBD. I don't really have a problem with that because the logistics just get to be too much sometimes - but I know most of the audience expects to see only a live "day at the ballet". The companies, though, plainly want to show more than that - they want to give the world an idea of their repertoire range and plans for the future. WBD is very much a marketing/advertising event for ballet companies, as well as an educational tool, and a fan-appreciation sort of event.
  22. National Ballet of Canada World Ballet Day 2017 segment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_tAz5SrZ8Q
  23. People often wonder who they are looking at in the class sessions, so for SFB, I can identify the following (but please let me know who else you recognize, or if I mislabel any of the dancers). Blurry images are always difficult to work with, and easily half of the Corps dancers I can't put a name with a face. Missing from the class: Maria Kochetkova (performing in Copenhagen), Tiit Helimets, Carlo Di Lanno (appears later in the rehearsals), Sofiane Sylve (appears later in the rehearsals), Joseph Walsh and Frances Chung (performing together in Toronto), and a few others. As Helene pointed out, the rehearsals with Kochetkova, Walsh and Chung were taped earlier to fit dancer's schedules.
  24. World Ballet Day 2017, Thursday 5 October

    I just posted the first links to the archived footage (YouTube) on this thread: http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/42839-world-ballet-day-live-5-october-2017/
  25. As in the past, the Royal Ballet is first to post its segment from WBD Live 2017. World Ballet Day – The Royal Ballet (2017) Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmhlamsHW04 World Ballet Day – The Royal Ballet (2017) Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJrS3oAJ3Eg Oops - SFB has posted their segment as well (probably without edits!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy-FE7tNQ48
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