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New Member from San Francisco


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#1 jps

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 07:16 PM

I've been enjoying this board for the past few months. The amount of casual erudition, warmth and good humor displayed here is amazing. I'm a San Francisco psychologist and teacher of psychology with a strong interest in the arts and spirituality. I feel very fortunate to have San Francisco Ballet as my local "big" company, along with our smaller regional companies (I'm still mourning the loss of Oakland Ballet, but I highly recommend "Company C Contemporary Ballet," directed by a former NYCB dancer, Charles Anderson, which will be at the Joyce SoHo Theater in New York July 20-23, followed, of course, by SFB at Lincoln Center, July 25-30. Don't miss "Artifact Suite"! SFB totally turned on).

I found this site through a search for writings by Paul Parish, the most insightful critic of San Francisco Ballet I've ever read (a frequent poster here—always interesting).

I recently returned from a week of ballet in New York City. I had seen Diana Vishneva dance Aurora with the Kirov in Berkeley last Fall; it was one of those unforgettable performances that impelled me to return to NY to see her dance Giselle with Angel Corella last month. Their Giselle was one of the most lyrical and fullest expressions of Giselle I've ever seen. I also got a chance to see two NYCB Balanchine programs. I feel I really "get" Balanchine in a very special way when I watch NYCB. I enjoyed seeing a new generation of fine NYCB dancers (like Ana Sophia Scheller, Sterling Hyltin, and Teresa Reichlen). But it was a last-minute, unplanned performance that turned out to be the one I will never forget: Julio Bocca and Alessandra Ferri dancing Manon, in their next-to-last performance after decades of partnering each other. For me this was one of those places where dancing becomes inexpressibly beautiful, heartbreaking and joyous.

It's nice to be able to say things like this to people who know what I'm talking about. Thank you for being here.

#2 carbro

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 08:11 PM

Lovely introduction, jps, and welcome to BalletTalk. :clapping:

I look forward to the visit by your "'big' local company" later this month, and I'll check into CCCB, a company I'm not familiar with.

Paul Parish's writings are most definitely worth seeking out, and I'm glad they brought you here. Please feel free to expand on your impressions of the ballets you saw in New York recently -- or anything else.

#3 bart

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 07:53 AM

Welcome, jps. I couldn't agree more with the points you make (especially about Paul Parish), and I am really looking forward to your comments on the ballet scene in San Francisco and elsewhere.

#4 jps

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 09:56 PM

Thanks for your welcome, Carbro. I've especially appreciated your past comments on Gelsey Kirkland and Diana Vishneva. By the way, in my experience Diana gives all she has even in the provinces (like Berkeley); she doesn't save herself for the glorious venues (like the Metropolitan).

#5 jps

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:04 AM

Thanks, bart. I appreciate your welcome and the great topcis you introduce (like the current one on the relative value of technique). This board is like an advanced seminar in dance theory, history and practice. I've learned an amazing amount since I began reading it a few months ago--and it's such a painless way to learn. But I'm still slightly intimidated. Thanks for saying hello.

#6 Paul Parish

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 09:14 AM

hello, jps, and welcome. Thanks for your kind words.

Glad you've found BA. This is a great community; some (if I start naming them the list will goon way too long are absolute authorities in their fields; others of us are just hungry eager students who need to compare notes about what we've seen and what we feel and what we want to know more about.

Dance is SO local that this international community gives us a chance to find out what happened in St Petersburg, London, Paris, NYC, SanFrancisco, Chicago right on top of things... but there are NEVER eneough reports.SO please tell us about things you've seen. BA is crowded with people who really care about dance performances and are hungry for details about performances that the newspaper critics, for one reason or another -- usually space -- don't include. This is a great place to "think out loud." Don't be scared. Yes, people will pick up an exciting idea, sometimes by the wrong handle, and tear off on a tangent -- we ALL do it (well, not rg, but he's a model of circumspection).

I've been fascinated by people's responses to Vishneva. Did you see Joan Acocella's thoughts about her Giselle in the New Yorker? Really inrteresting -- did you feel what she felt? What was it YOU felt? Can you be more particular? There's something about her that gets way under people's skin. I sure wish i could see her myself....

#7 Giannina

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 02:08 PM

If I knew ANYTHING about computers I'd know how to move the above post to a more appropriate forum. Unfortunately, I don't. So:

Paul and jps: this is a very interesting topic. Since the Welcome forum is for welcoming only it does not get much traffic. Therefore I think it would be better to pursue this topic on the Dancers forum. Paul, if you could re-state your questions about Vishneva on Dancers I'm sure the discussion will start. jps, you can look for it there.

Giannina (no rocket scientist)

#8 carbro

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:57 PM

Giannina, since you've opened a new thread on Diana Vishneva here (thanks!), I will close this thread.


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