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San Francisco Ballet 2009Program 1


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#1 PeggyR

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:24 PM

Update 1/27: Added casting for January 30
Update 1/29: Added casting for February 1

Here's the link for updates: http://www.sfballet....ets/casting.asp

I've added choreographer and composer information. Additional casting will be added as information becomes available.

Program 1 Opening Night
Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 8pm


PRISM
Choreography: Helgi Tommasson
Composer: Beethoven (Piano Concerto No. 1)
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Movement: Kristin Long, Ruben Martin, Hansuke Yamamoto
2nd Movement: Sofiane Sylve*, Ivan Popov*
3rd Movement: Taras Domitro

INTERMISSION

World Premiere
DIVING INTO THE LILACS
Choreography: Yuri Possokhov
Composer: Boris Tchaikovsky (who???) (Sinfonietta for String Orchestra)
Conductor: Martin West

1st Movement: Ensemble
2nd Movement: Maria Kochetkova*, Pascal Molat*
3rd Movement: Yuan Yuan Tan*, Anthony Spaulding*
4th Movement: Lorena Feijoo*, Joan Boada*

I Googled Boris T. and found some information: born 1925, died 1996; studied with Shostakovich and Miaskovsky; no relation to Pyotr Ilych.
INTERMISSION

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Choreography: George Balanchine
Composer: Hindemith (Theme with Four Variations for String Orchestra and Piano)
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: Sarah Van Patten, Ruben Martin
Phlegmatic: Pierre-François Vilanoba
Choleric: Sofiane Sylve



Program 1 Evening
Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 7:30pm


PRISM
Choreography: Helgi Tommasson
Composer: Beethoven (Piano Concerto No. 1)
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Movement: Tina LeBlanc, Ruben Martin, Hansuke Yamamoto
2nd Movement: Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-François Vilanoba
3rd Movement: Taras Domitro

INTERMISSION

DIVING INTO THE LILACS
Choreography: Yuri Possokhov
Composer: Boris Tchaikovsky (Sinfonietta for String Orchestra)
Conductor: Martin West

1st Movement: Ensemble
2nd Movement: Maria Kochetkova, Pascal Molat
3rd Movement: Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding
4th Movement: Lorena Feijoo, Joan Boada

INTERMISSION

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Choreography: George Balanchine
Composer: Hindemith (Theme with Four Variations for String Orchestra and Piano)
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

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

Melancholic: Pascal Molat
Sanguinic: Vanessa Zahorian, Joan Boada
Phlegmatic: Davit Karapetyan
Choleric: Elana Altman

Program 1 Evening
Friday, January 30, 2009, 8pm


PRISM
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Movement: Vanessa Zahorian, Pascal Molat, Mateo Klemmayer*
2nd Movement: Sarah Van Patten, Brett Bauer
3rd Movement: Hansuke Yamamoto

INTERMISSION

DIVING INTO THE LILACS
Conductor: Martin West

1st Movement: Ensemble
2nd Movement: Maria Kochetkova, Pascal Molat
3rd Movement: Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding
4th Movement: Lorena Feijoo, Joan Boada

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: Lorena Feijoo, Ruben Martin
Phlegmatic: Ivan Popov
Choleric: Sofiane Sylve



Program 1 Matinee
Sunday, February 01, 2009, 2pm


PRISM
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Movement: Vanessa Zahorian, Ruben Martin, Mateo Klemmayer
2nd Movement: Sofiane Sylve, Ivan Popov
3rd Movement: Taras Domitro

INTERMISSION

DIVING INTO THE LILACS
Conductor: Martin West

1st Movement: Ensemble
2nd Movement: Maria Kochetkova, Pascal Molat
3rd Movement: Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding
4th Movement: Lorena Feijoo, Joan Boada

INTERMISSION

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Natal’ya Feygina

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

Melancholic: Pascal Molat
Sanguinic: Vanessa Zahorian, Joan Boada
Phlegmatic: Davit Karapetyan
Choleric: Lily Rogers*

#2 sf_herminator

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:29 PM

I attended opening night for Program 1 and wanted to post a few thoughts.

Prior to the performance, the Meet the Artist interview was with Tina LeBlanc. She spoke about her career and her future plans in working with the ballet school.

Prism - I remember I loved this ballet when I first saw it a few years ago. This time I thought it was just OK - then Taras Domitro entered for the final movement. This man is amazing. Flying through the air, he seems to defy gravity. You could hear the audience gasp as he would spin and jump and land as light as a feather. I was impressed with him at the gala - even more so now and cannot wait to see what else he does this season.

Diving Through the Lilacs - The scenery in the back is one of the most visually stunning I can remember. The first movement contained unique and beautiful shapes. The dancers were wonderful. The choreography is great. However, I don't find the music that memorable. I will need to see this a second time before I give a final verdict.

The Four Temperaments - A few casting changes from what was originally listed: Pascal Molat danced Melancholic, Davit Karapetyan danced Phlegmatic. I thought it was well danced and I liked it better than I remember. I was very happy to see Nutnaree dancing again. I will have to go again to see Taras dance Melancholic - perhaps next week.

#3 Quiggin

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:26 AM

Light as a feather--as above--and generous to a fault. Taras sort of surveys what he is going to do and does it and stands back with time to spare afterwards. He has all sorts of endearing quirks.

Maria Kochetokova also has been great this season, in Nutcracker and in Raymonda. She sort of crinkles her nose like Balanchine or Bewitched and crinkles her feet in some delightful equivalent way. She partnered nicely with Pascal Molat in Yuri Possokhov's Lilacs which had some quick and witty choreography to it and made the dancers look great. Lorena Freijoo was open and brilliant and wonderful.

The Four Temperaments was good and solid--like all us San Franciscans are--a nice account. It didn't have the existential tension it might, you didn't feel people trying to tear themselves away from their..."context"... and being impelled to pull back. Sarah Van Patten was good in Sanguinic but I don't think Ruben Martin understood the tone--he was trying to be a good and attentive partner. Sofiane Sylvie was a fine Choleric-ess. The background at the end was blue, not yellowy orange as in the PBS tape, and I missed that.

#4 Quiggin

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 02:17 AM

The Four Temperaments has gotten better over the week. It’s done in a delicate hard-lead pencil line and parts of it are only sketched-in, but that’s ok--by the end it’s rather moving.

For me this ballet is about four personality types trying to locate themselves, piece by piece, body part by body part, arc by arc. That is why the hand in Phlegmatic should look so strange and foreign to its owner when he first sees it, which Ivan Popov does not quite do. He rather looks beyond it. And the dance in San Francisco’s Phlegmatic is not quite the elegant and sarcastic, Mahler-like thing that the performers should instead be giving themselves over to.

Sofiane Sylve is consistent, nicely buoyant and sort of brilliant in Choleric, and Ruben Martin does a wonderful spiral twist in Sanguinic, but best of all, quietly so, is the Melancholic person.

Taras Domitro does this part. Earlier in the evening he does some Don Quixote-ish stunningly articulate greyhound leaps around the stage in Helgi Tomasson’s “Prism,” but as Melancholic he leaps in onto stage and as quickly sinks the leap in half. He then begins his philosophical investigations. His arm flailing is much gentler than Bart Cook’s, but the little twitches, foot to thigh, are perfectly struck and then there are jumps and beats, like sudden trills or rills or twists of water, and then a kick as high as his forehead that describes a perfect arc. Arlene Croce says there is some Apollo within Melancholic and here there is, especially in the soft edged interchange (he’s the younger Apollo) with the six women who haunt or amplify Melancholic's thoughts. Another difference from Bart Cook is that when Taras bends backwards, he is hinged at the bottom of his ribcage rather than elastically at the waist and it gives the effect of him completely turning himself inside out--or almost breaking himself in two.

Something else about the SF Ballet The Four Temperaments is that--except for the end, again very moving---it has a rather tenative relation to the space it inhabits--rather than possessing and repossessing it as it should, especially the spiral of Sanguinic. Take a look at the first Sanguinic dancers, Mary Ann Moylan and Todd Bolender, in the little black and white clip included in Six Ballerinas/Mr B. Their arc tightens and tightens and is completely controlled by the steering of the ballerina bringing her hands together and overcoming (and shorting out) all sorts of free floating existential tension in doing so.

#5 iwatchthecorps

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 09:29 AM

I attended the Feb 7, 2pm show. It was nice to be back in the opera house. I had not had the opportunity to see SF Ballet for several years. Since I have become interested in Balanchine, I was there to see 4Ts. Prism opened the show and I must say that I really liked the choreography. This ballet was first performed by City Ballet in 2000. I read that Tomasson's choreography reflected his experience with Balanchine....I believe that to be the case. In the past, I have not fully enjoyed the performance of Yuan Yuan Tan. She seemed to be perfectly cast in the second movement in a slow tempo that allowed her to show her technique and extension. One impression that I had of the corps was that the tall girls were really tall (too tall for the boys?). Finally, I felt a sense that the ballet was not quite together (more on that under 4Ts). Taras Domitro was quite impressive to me as he flew across the stage. I suspect that he will fast become an audience favorite.

Diving into Lilacs was second on the program and I really don't have a strong opinion one way or the other on this ballet.

Then came the ballet that I came for, 4Ts. I was particularly excited about this because I had recently seen Miami City Ballet do this in Fort Lauderdale and it is very fresh in my mind. I was also interested in seeing how a company that is not completely immersed in Balanchine style executes.

When I saw MCB, I saw synchronicity, attack, sharpness, and energy. I remember that my eyes were riveted to the stage throughout the entire performance.

Things were a bit different at SFB. The corps parts seem flat and lacking energy. There were subtle things like differences in how the dancers arms and hands finished a movement or a pose. I never realized how critical these details were to my enjoyment of the ballet (even though I am a ballet novice). In Melancholic, when the 4 girls enter from the right side with big kicks and advance toward the center of the stage, the SF dancers were spread out more than the MCB dancers and this lessened the impact of these giant kicks, another example of a detail.

Another point that I would like to make is that I did not feel that the dance was intimately connected with the music as SFB. When I watch MCB dance I am often struck about how the dance articulates the music. I think that Balanchine said, "see the music and hear the dance." I think that this reveals Balanchine's strength and makes the ballet more interesting and fun to watch. The music and the dance at SFB seemed to only tentatively connected which is too bad because SFB can still afford an orchestra and MCB has had to return to recorded music for economic reasons.

All in all it was a fun afternoon and I am glad that I attended.

#6 PeggyR

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 12:14 PM

I saw the same performance as iwatchthecorps.

Although I disliked Prism (ballet class in pretty costumes), I agree about Yuan Yuan Tan looking particularly lovely and Tina le Blanc, as always, was a joy to watch. Based on Quiggin's interesting comments about Taras Domitro's Melancholic, it sounds as if there's an intriguing artist lurking somewhere but Prism did nothing to bring it out. I hope he doesn't end up being all about the jumps.

For me, Prism would be tedious no matter who danced it, while Diving Into The Lilacs appears to be a ballet that could bear repeated viewings to see what a different cast would do with it. Hansuke Yamamoto looked particularly good here: very masculine and his dancing looks much improved over last season.

Like iwatchthecorps, I was here mainly to see 4Ts, and I also had some issues with SFB's performance. Since I haven't been lucky enough to see MCB's version, my only basis for comparison is the Choreography by Balanchine DVD. The video version, frankly, gives me the creeps -- very Night of the Living Dead-ish: the women in Melancholic hunting lunch and Bart Cook's on the menu; and at the end of Choleric, spidery creatures swarming the stage...gives me the shivers to think about it. By contrast, the SFB corps looked like they were picking flowers, and in Sanguinic the usually admirable Lorena Feijoo didn't seem to 'get' the Balanchine style.

But, a great ballet is a great ballet and 4Ts can withstand a less than ideal performance.


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