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#1 PeggyR

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:54 AM

Here's the casting from the SFB website:

Washington, D.C.--Program A Opening Night
Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 7:30pm

WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR^
Conductor: Martin West

Katita Waldo, Damian Smith
Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-François Vilanoba
Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada

INTERMISSION

JOYRIDE^
Conductor: Martin West

Sarah Van Patten, Elizabeth Miner, Jennifer Stahl, Dana Genshaft
Gennadi Nedvigin, Pascal Molat, Martyn Garside, James Sofranko

INTERMISSION

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Theme: Lily Rogers, Daniel Deivison
2nd Theme: Elana Altman, Brett Bauer
3rd Theme: Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun, Anthony Spaulding
Melancholic: Taras Domitro
Sanguinic: Vanessa Zahorian, Joan Boada
Phlegmatic: Pierre-François Vilanoba
Choleric: Sofiane Sylve


Washington, D.C.--Program A Evening
Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 7:30pm

WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR
Conductor: Martin West

Katita Waldo, Damian Smith
Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-François Vilanoba
Tina LeBlanc, Joan Boada

INTERMISSION

JOYRIDE
Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Rachel Viselli, Elana Altman, Frances Chung
Gennadi Nedvigin, Nicolas Blanc, Garen Scribner, James Sofranko
INTERMISSION

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Theme: Lily Rogers, Daniel Deivison
2nd Theme: Jennifer Stahl, Brett Bauer
3rd Theme: Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun, Anthony Spaulding

Melancholic: Pascal Molat
Sanguinic: Lorena Feijoo, Tiit Helimets
Phlegmatic: Ivan Popov
Choleric: Elana Altman


Washington, D.C.--Giselle Opening Night
Friday, November 28, 2008, 7:30pm

GISELLE
Conductor: Martin West
Giselle: Maria Kochetkova
Albrecht: Joan Boada
Hilarion: Pascal Molat
Myrtha: Sarah Van Patten


Washington, D.C.--Giselle Matinee
Saturday, November 29, 2008, 1:30pm

GISELLE
Conductor: Gary Sheldon

Giselle: Tina LeBlanc
Albrecht: Gennadi Nedvigin
Hilarion: Pascal Molat
Myrtha: Rachel Viselli


Washington, D.C.--Giselle Evening
Saturday, November 29, 2008, 7:30pm


GISELLE
Conductor: Martin West

Giselle: Yuan Yuan Tan
Albrecht: Tiit Helimets
Hilarion: Damian Smith
Myrtha: Sofiane Sylve


Washington, D.C.--Giselle Matinee
Sunday, November 30, 2008, 1:30pm


GISELLE
Conductor: Gary Sheldon

Giselle: Vanessa Zahorian
Albrecht: Davit Karapetyan
Hilarion: Damian Smith
Myrtha: Elana Altman


Washington, D.C.--Giselle Evening
Sunday, November 30, 2008, 7:30pm


GISELLE
Conductor: Martin West

Giselle: Lorena Feijoo
Albrecht: Ivan Popov
Hilarion: Damian Smith
Myrtha: Sofiane Sylve


* Designates premiere in a role.
Casting subject to change.

#2 Memo

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Posted 21 November 2008 - 09:01 AM

I would love to see all of those Giselles. Should be really beautiful. :blush:

#3 Andre Yew

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:11 PM

I would love to see all of those Giselles. Should be really beautiful. :wub:


If you can only see one, see Tina Leblanc. I am intrigued by Vanessa Zahorian's Giselle, but I've never seen her dance the role.

--Andre

#4 dirac

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:19 PM

What Andre said.

#5 Helene

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 07:26 PM

Any chance to see LeBlanc in anything is worth it, and she's partnered with my favorite male dancer in the company, Gennadi Nedvigin. (I've got incense burning in the hope that she'll dance Odette/Odile and he'll partner her in one of the two "Swan Lakes" I'll see in February.) If there's absolutely no way to make that performance, Maria Kochetkova is a beautiful dancer, but I don't have enough of a sense about her to guess what her Giselle would be like.

#6 Memo

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 08:52 PM

I saw her in the Golden Hour in costa mesa and she was stunning. Fastest bourees ever, plus her partering is so seamless she really showed the younger dancers how to move.

#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:00 PM

I've seen Lorena Feijoo's Giselle-(here in Miami with the Cuban Classical ballet of Miami). Interesting to note that she was never offered the role while she was a member of Ballet Nacional de Cuba, as she was never one of the "lucky" ones...(and never becoming a Principal back then and there), althought being very popular within the balletomanes circles. Her Giselle might not be technically the best of this world, but her charisma wins you right away. I guess she still displays some hints of Mme's schooling...

#8 Memo

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 11:35 PM

Miss Feijoo danced 4 T's in Costa Mesa on Sunday and was beautiful. I also saw her dance with Jose Carreno at a Gala back in April, I enjoyed watching her very much.

#9 Paul Parish

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:21 PM

We've got marvelous Giselles here in San Francisco, and they're VERY different. You kinda can't lose -- Kochetkova has unbelievable elevation -- when she mimes "I love to dance,' it takes your breath away. She's a natural for the role, IS young, looks younger. Tina makes a virtue out of the conflict between her spirit and her own body, which she's turned from being a powerhouse allegro thing into a fascinatingly expressive instrument -- she has had to find ways to create length and breath and nuance in adagio and moderate tempi and plays with the descent from pointe, so her body goes up as she comes down. In the great adage, her back lengthens and breathes and seems made of smoke.... myself, I LOVE dancers who transfigure themselves when they move, and she is tops at that, and also has a real feel for Giselle as a rare soul -- it's rather a Russian way, and I love it. Feijoo is also a great soul, more real in hte first act (you can believe she's plucked a chicken), great-hearted in the second. None of them is willowy, but they've all moved me.

We've also got wonderful Myrthas -- Sarah van Patten has depths of sadness in her portrayal, and Sofiane Sylve is incontrovertible, tremendous, a force of Nature like a waterfall -- so it's quite a confrontation. And both of them can jump.

#10 Ceeszi

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 08:30 AM

Well - it doesn't get much better than this!

I am on vacation. I had a great Thanksgiving dinner last night. I am visiting my sister for a few days outside of DC. And I am taking her to the ballet tonight. I have not been to the ballet since July and it was Ananiashvili's last Giselle at the Met. After reading all the posts, I am really looking forward to tonight's Giselle with Kochetkova. You have put a smile on my face just thinking about tonight. I will try to post when I go back to my sister's.

#11 Ceeszi

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 08:12 AM

How happy I am that I went last night to see the opening performance of Giselle from the San Francisco Ballet. As I posted above, the last time that I went to the ballet was back in July, when I saw Giselle with Nina Ananiashvili and Jose Manuel Carreno. I usually try not to compare ballet performances, but it is easier to do with productions of the same ballet from different companies. The two obvious differences between this Giselle and the ABT's Giselle were the traditional Peasant pas de deux was choreographed as a Peasant pas de cinq (two men and three women) AND at the beginning of Act Two, we actually had flying Wilis!

I felt that the overall production was superb! I felt that the corps - the Peasants in Act I and the Wilis in Act II were very tight - much tighter than ABT has been lately. I felt that the only weakness was the Peasant pas de cinq. Lately, this section of the ballet has been my complaint about Giselles that I have seen. I was spoiled by my first performance of Giselle back in 2005. The Peasant pas de deux was danced by Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes. I have seen three Giselles after that (including last night) and no one (pas de deux or pas de cinq) has danced the part as well as Cornejo and Reyes. That was magical!

First of all, I did not like the whole concept of the pas de cinq. At the beginning, I could not tell if they were off or if they were just using staggered choreography. It looked very sloppy at the beggining. The two men were Taras Domitro and Isaac Hernandez and the three women were Frances Chung (who I felt was the standout of the five), Clara Blanco and Elizabeth Miner. One of the men (I can not tell you whether it was Domitro or Hernandez, but it was the second soloist) had to put his hand down to steady himself at one point.

But again, that was my only complaint about the overall production. Pascal Molat was a very good Hilarion. He acted the part well and he had a very good solo in Act II. What a treat that I had the opportunity to see Sofiane Sylve as as Myrtha. I live in New York, but I am not a fan of NYCB. I prefer the classics, so I usually stick with ABT and galas. I have only seen Sofiane Sylve dance once before at the Stars of the 21st Century Gala in February of 2006. She was a beautiful Myrtha, probably one of the best that I have seen. The dance of the Wilis was wonderful and as I posted before the Wili corps was outstanding!

Our two leads were danced by Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada. Boada is right up there with the other Albrechts I have seen - Julio Bocca, Angel Corella, and Jose Manuel Carreno. In his acting of the part, he was able to prevent Albrecht becoming the heel of the story. And his dancing, especially in Act II was wonderful. Kochetkova was radiant throughout the ballet. She is a beautiful dancer and her acting of the part was superb. Whether she was the young innocent girl in Act I, the girl going insane before our eyes, or the forgiving soul, who is resisting becoming a Wili, she was believable. She and Boada received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Overall - a very good production!

#12 Natalia

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 04:38 AM

I attended the Tuesday, Nov. 25, opening triple bill -- Four Ts, Joyride & Golden Hour -- of this tour but left on vacation immediately after and was not able to post anything til now.

Quick thoughts, as I've commented on these same ballets as I saw at the recent NY City Center tour. Luckily, I saw mostly-different soloists casted in DC, giving me a chance to compare.

FOUR Ts - The big revelation here, compared to the NYC cast that I saw, is Cuban sensation Taras Domitro's Melancholic, not least due to his gorgeous flexible back. Better yet, Domitro is a mesmerizing performer! Sofiane Sylve -- ever-lovely but a tad out of shape nowadays -- was a lumbering Choleric with weak chaine turns. Overall, San Fco's rendition of this ballet is my favorite around, besting the zippy-but-sloppy Miami and the weakish NYCB. The San Fco ensemble remains spot-on, moving as one.

JOYRIDE - As in NYC, this remains my least favorite ballet from among the troupe's 75th Anniversary new offerings. Yukride would be a more apt title. Truly ugly music, choreography, costumes, message, etc. Worst of all, the best of the femaledancers who I saw in NY -- Sarah Van Patten as the leading Girl in Gold -- was out (injured?) and substituted by the increasingly-bland Vanessa Zahorian, who used to be such a delight years ago when she was a top student at DC's Kirov Academy of Ballet. On the positive side, blonde Elizabeth Miner remains as fantastically energetic as when I saw her in NY. Overall, eight great dancers put to poor use.

WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR - Wheeldon at his most sublime. As I predicted a month ago when viewing all of the San Fco programs at NY City Center, this was Da Hit of the triple bill in DC. Huge volley of 'bravos' and partial standing-o from where I sat. This is what ballet should always be - inspiring and uplifting. Only complaint: Tina LeBlanc -- who I saw in NYC --did not dance the 3rd pdd...instead, we got the "doll-pretty"-but-mediocre Maria Kochetkova, who botched the bourees that LeBlanc had performed so sublimely one month earlier. Either cast LeBlanc or a dancer as exquisite as she is in the 3rd pdd -- or cast nobody at all.

p.s. - Does anybody know who, among the four corps men, danced the brief, explosive pdd to Vivaldi music, immediately following the first female-male pdd? The 4 corps guys listed in the playbill are Benjamin Stewart, Garen Scribner, Martyn Garside & Anthony Spaulding. This short male pdd is a crown jewel within this ballet.

#13 Paul Parish

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 12:08 AM

Thanks for your report,Natalia. I wasn't there, so I don't KNOW who danced the male pdd you ask about -- but I can maybe help you figure it out by process of elimination.

Garen Scribner and Martyn Garside could well be paired, and it seems to me often are -- though they're quite different physically, their coloring is similar and there's something similar in their attack and phrasing. both have feet like daggers and are VERY musical. Garsyde has very generous port de bras, sumptuous would not be too strong a word (English training). Garside is wirier, but both are very clean and thrilling in the onslaught of a step/phrase.

If one of htem looked like president-elect Obama, that was Anthony Spaulding. He is strong enough to patrner Sofiane Sylve without disappearing. Dances big, clean, clear, passionate, has star quality.

Benjamin Stewart is the chunkiest and the cutest -- he's got a big range, he's hte best jazz dancer in the company, really has hte moves, the spontaneity, the feeling, and hte timing, but dances classically just fine, strongest in demicaractere but also dances with nobility if hte role calls for it.



I attended the Tuesday, Nov. 25, opening triple bill -- Four Ts, Joyride & Golden Hour -- of this tour but left on vacation immediately after and was not able to post anything til now.

Quick thoughts, as I've commented on these same ballets as I saw at the recent NY City Center tour. Luckily, I saw mostly-different soloists casted in DC, giving me a chance to compare.

FOUR Ts - The big revelation here, compared to the NYC cast that I saw, is Cuban sensation Taras Domitro's Melancholic, not least due to his gorgeous flexible back. Better yet, Domitro is a mesmerizing performer! Sofiane Sylve -- ever-lovely but a tad out of shape nowadays -- was a lumbering Choleric with weak chaine turns. Overall, San Fco's rendition of this ballet is my favorite around, besting the zippy-but-sloppy Miami and the weakish NYCB. The San Fco ensemble remains spot-on, moving as one.

JOYRIDE - As in NYC, this remains my least favorite ballet from among the troupe's 75th Anniversary new offerings. Yukride would be a more apt title. Truly ugly music, choreography, costumes, message, etc. Worst of all, the best of the femaledancers who I saw in NY -- Sarah Van Patten as the leading Girl in Gold -- was out (injured?) and substituted by the increasingly-bland Vanessa Zahorian, who used to be such a delight years ago when she was a top student at DC's Kirov Academy of Ballet. On the positive side, blonde Elizabeth Miner remains as fantastically energetic as when I saw her in NY. Overall, eight great dancers put to poor use.

WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR - Wheeldon at his most sublime. As I predicted a month ago when viewing all of the San Fco programs at NY City Center, this was Da Hit of the triple bill in DC. Huge volley of 'bravos' and partial standing-o from where I sat. This is what ballet should always be - inspiring and uplifting. Only complaint: Tina LeBlanc -- who I saw in NYC --did not dance the 3rd pdd...instead, we got the "doll-pretty"-but-mediocre Maria Kochetkova, who botched the bourees that LeBlanc had performed so sublimely one month earlier. Either cast LeBlanc or a dancer as exquisite as she is in the 3rd pdd -- or cast nobody at all.

p.s. - Does anybody know who, among the four corps men, danced the brief, explosive pdd to Vivaldi music, immediately following the first female-male pdd? The 4 corps guys listed in the playbill are Benjamin Stewart, Garen Scribner, Martyn Garside & Anthony Spaulding. This short male pdd is a crown jewel within this ballet.



#14 Natalia

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:47 AM

Thanks for the descriptions, Paul. Between your writings and my scribblings in the playbill, I am now pretty certain that the two featured men in the brief male pdd were the tall, dark-haired Martyn Garside (in rust-colored unitard) and the shorter, light-brown haired Benjamin Stewart (green unitard). The guy-in-green among the corps men was the shortest & 'chunkiest' of the four and, as you say, has cute face & jazzy moves...almost Farouk-Ruzimatov-like flexibility but without Farouk's wiry body.

I now remember the very tall, caramel-complexioned Spaulding from the earlier FOUR Ts, where he did a great job as 3rd Theme, partnering Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun. Spaulding did not dance the male pdd in GOLDEN HOUR.

The 4th guy in the quartet -- Garen Scribner, by elimination -- was more svelte than guy-in-green Stewart.

#15 Paul Parish

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 06:16 PM

Natalia, it sounds like you've got it right. I bet that's who's who -- and Martyn Garsid and Benjamin Stewart would be an interesting pair to see dance togther. Both really know how to dance with their torsos, and seem to love it. Stesart really can do jazz shoulders. it's a fabulous thing to see - -and garside's work through the ribs and spine can be extraordinarily beautiful. One of the most beautiful thinkgs all last year was his epaulement in Mark Morris's "Drink to me only with thine eyes."


Thanks for the descriptions, Paul. Between your writings and my scribblings in the playbill, I am now pretty certain that the two featured men in the brief male pdd were the tall, dark-haired Martyn Garside (in rust-colored unitard) and the shorter, light-brown haired Benjamin Stewart (green unitard). The guy-in-green among the corps men was the shortest & 'chunkiest' of the four and, as you say, has cute face & jazzy moves...almost Farouk-Ruzimatov-like flexibility but without Farouk's wiry body.

I now remember the very tall, caramel-complexioned Spaulding from the earlier FOUR Ts, where he did a great job as 3rd Theme, partnering Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun. Spaulding did not dance the male pdd in GOLDEN HOUR.

The 4th guy in the quartet -- Garen Scribner, by elimination -- was more svelte than guy-in-green Stewart.




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