sf_herminator

Program 3 2011

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Casting for the first four performances of Program 3: [http://www.sfballet.org/performancestickets/casting.asp]

PROGRAM 3 Opening Night

Thursday, February 24, 2011, 8:00 PM

CLASSICAL SYMPHONY

Choreography: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin

Frances Chung*, Isaac Hernandez*

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia Castilla

INTERMISSION

NANNA'S LIED

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Nanna: Sarah Van Patten

Johnny: Anthony Spaulding*

Jacob Schmidt: Val Caniparoli

INTERMISSION

ARTIFACT SUITE

Choreography: William Forsythe

Piano: Margot Kazimirska

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Lorena Feijoo, Pascal Molat

Elana Altman

PROGRAM 3 Matinee

Saturday, February 26, 2011, 2:00 PM

CLASSICAL SYMPHONY

Choreography: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin

Frances Chung, Isaac Hernandez

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia Castilla

INTERMISSION

NANNA'S LIED

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Nanna: Maria Kochetkova*

Johnny: Ruben Martin Cintas*

Jacob Schmidt: Val Caniparoli

INTERMISSION

ARTIFACT SUITE

Choreography: William Forsythe

Piano: Margot Kazimirska

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Lorena Feijoo, Pascal Molat

Mariellen Olson*

PROGRAM 3 Evening

Saturday, February 26, 2011, 8:00 PM

CLASSICAL SYMPHONY

Choreography: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Maria Kochetkova, Hansuke Yamamoto

Clara Blanco, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia Castilla

INTERMISSION

NANNA'S LIED

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Nanna: Yuan Yuan Tan

Johnny: Damian Smith*

Jacob Schmidt: Val Caniparoli

INTERMISSION

ARTIFACT SUITE

Choreography: William Forsythe

Piano: Margot Kazimirska

Sofiane Sylve, Vito Mazzeo*

Frances Chung*, Jaime Garcia Castilla

Elana Altman

PROGRAM 3 Evening

Tuesday, March 01, 2011, 8:00 PM

CLASSICAL SYMPHONY

Choreography: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Maria Kochetkova, Hansuke Yamamoto

Frances Chung, Isaac Hernandez

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia Castilla

INTERMISSION

NANNA'S LIED

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Nanna: Sarah Van Patten

Johnny: Anthony Spaulding

Jacob Schmidt: Quinn Wharton*

INTERMISSION

ARTIFACT SUITE

Choreography: William Forsythe

Piano: Margot Kazimirska

Sofiane Sylve, Vito Mazzeo

Frances Chung, Jaime Garcia Castilla

Elana Altman

* Denotes premiere in role.

Casting subject to change.

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I had to post my views on Program 3:

When the season was announced last year, the return of Artifact Suite was one of the things I was looking forward to. I was also surprised to see it coming back so soon. It was last performed in 2007 and has become one of those pieces that I would go see no matter what. However, it is not everyone's cup of tea. I remember seeing people walk out after the first time the 'fire curtain' dropped and more people walk out during the 2 minute break between the Chaconne and the piano pieces.

Prior to tonight's performance, the Meet the Artist interview was with Repeptituer Jodi Gates. She staged Artifact Suite for this season. Among the intriguing facts about the piece:

  1. The eight pieces that make up the second half of Artifact Suite are actually interspersed throughout the full-length Artifact
  2. The piece played during the two minute break between the Chaconne half and the Eva Crossman-Hecht pieces is the Chaconne played backwards. It was also mentioned that many Bach pieces can be played backwards (in this case I think they mean the music or score is read right to left instead of left to right).
  3. The break is used for the dancers to change from the mustard colored costumes to the green costumes
  4. Artifact 2 is just the Chaconne part by itself
  5. When asked what specific recording of Bach's Chaconne was used for the first half, Ms. Gates could not name it. However, she said it could be Googled. I tried to find it but could not.
  6. The pieces by Eva Crossman-Hecht are based on different passages in Bach's Chaconne

Briefly on the first two pieces: I enjoyed Classical Symphony as much as I did during last year's premiere. I love how Possokhov really used the music in the choreography. The men seemed as if they were jumping into the sky. Vannessa and Gennadi were wonderful as the lead couple. Nanna's Lied is a great vehicle for whoever is dancing the lead (Sarah Van Patten tonight). However, for me it just seemed to drag on longer than it should have.

For me, this program is all about Artifact Suite - and it did not disappoint. The first half is all about the two couples with their push/pull duets. Lorena and Pascal were magnificent as always. Tonight was the first time I saw Yuan Yuan and Damian. A different look for them, but they showed why they work wonderfully together. The second half is all about the corps. The women in Dance of the Thousand Piques and the men at the start of Herd Dance had me on the edge of my seat. Watching it tonight I saw the connection to in the middle, somewhat elevated. Because of the music, I also saw a connection to Wheeldon's Continuum and Polyphonia which were set to Ligeti piano pieces. I thought it was a shame to see people walk out - but their loss. I think this is dancing at its most thrilling. I will definitely be seeing this program at least two more times. I look forward to seeing other pairs (Sofiane Sylve and Vito Mazzeo, Frances Chung and Jaime Garcia Castilla). Mariellen Olson will be the Single Female Figure at this Saturday's matinee.

And extra kudos to the dancers who danced in either 'Classical' or 'Nanna's Lied' AND Artifact - especially to Elana Altman who went from heels (as one of the women in Nanna's Lied) to bare feet (as the Single Female Figure in Artifact).

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I attended last night as well - what a great night of dance! Am a visitor to the city and had not seen the company live before, so it was a real treat. Artifact Suite was wonderful, and all that I had hoped it would be (minus the people leaving early of course).

Going tonight for Program 4! How wonderful to be able to go to the ballet on two consecutive nights and see different programs!

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I attended last night as well - what a great night of dance! Am a visitor to the city and had not seen the company live before, so it was a real treat. Artifact Suite was wonderful, and all that I had hoped it would be (minus the people leaving early of course).

Going tonight for Program 4! How wonderful to be able to go to the ballet on two consecutive nights and see different programs!

I was also there tonight for Program 4 - another great night of dance!! I'll be posting in a new topic. Hope you enjoyed as well.

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I did enjoy, very much. Sadly left a parcel (something I bought at the gift shop) underneath my seat. Honestly. Can't believe it. I fly out tomorrow morning. Lost and found apparently doesn't answer phone calls on the weekend.

Any suggestions?

Sorry - quite off topic.

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I did enjoy, very much. Sadly left a parcel (something I bought at the gift shop) underneath my seat. Honestly. Can't believe it. I fly out tomorrow morning. Lost and found apparently doesn't answer phone calls on the weekend.

Any suggestions?

Sorry - quite off topic.

Sorry to hear :unsure: Maybe try calling the box office or the gift shop - not sure if that will help. Hope you are able to get it back.

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Saw the matinee today. Agree that Artifact Suite is one of the best pieces in their rep and beautifully performed by the company. It's a work of a true master and makes a lot of the homegrown SFB works look very boring and middlebrow by comparison. Honestly, I don't think I could ever see too much Forsythe.

Nanna's Lied I wanted to see because Maria was making her debut in it. She did a good job and her demise in the piece is beautifully done (although I'm not sure she looks right for the period). But having seen it for 7-8 years, I forgot what an unfinished piece it is. Really, Helgi could have done a lot more with the Kurt Weill songs. Still like the set with the huge rotating panels which remind me of the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or other gothic UFA films, but the dance just isn't there. He should have reworked it a little before bringing it back.

Yuri's Classical Symphony isn't a ground breaking work, but it's fun to see, has a lot of enjoyable balletic quotes and puns and was wonderfully performed. Especially thought Gennadi and Vanessa did a great job with their parts along with Isaac Hernandez and Dores Andre. It's dedicated to the great Bolshoi dancer and teacher Peter Pestov who's produced so many great dancers through the years, recently had a big gala in NYC and I'm glad to see him get his due.

Btw, is it my imagination or are the usher crew at the Opera House getting more and more pushy and obnoxious? I'm truly not enjoying my visits there and it saddens me the atmosphere has changed. There were only a handful of people at standing room and they were still being hassled by some of the ushers and I'm sick of it. Much as I love dance I'm thinking of calling this season quits and going to other companies (like the Royal Danish Ballet coming to Berkeley in May).

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Saturday matinee

My problem with Nana's Lied was that Nana's choreography didn't strike me as particularly interesting. Kochetkova was very good, but I suspect the role needs someone who seeps drama from her pores to make Nana anything more than a stock character. I'm going Friday night to see what our resident drama queen, Sarah Van Patten, does with it.

Loved revisiting the vivid Classical Symphony; it's fluff, but it's cashmere fluff, and with that cast (the talented Steven Morse from the corps de ballet stands out every time he's on stage), it's great fun.

As to Artifact Suite -- are you telling me there's a whole ballet that consists of an entire evening of this?????? Loved it, but really wish someone had warned me what was coming: I'd have worn a crash helmet.

What I found fascinating was the contrast between Tan and Feijoo in the two pdd couples. These two dancers are so different physically and temperamentally that they might be different species. Tan is perfect for this: very long and lean, exceptionally flexible and extended (she elicited gasps when she did a couple of 'ten after the hour' extensions). Feijoo, by contrast, is rounder, far less flexible and with 'normal' extensions: not what you might consider to be ideal. But she brings a pulse to the choreography that Tan misses. Tan is gorgeous but Feijoo is intriguing: seeing her in the role again is the other reason I'm going back Friday. (Her plus the excellent corps de ballet. :clapping: )

I remember seeing people walk out after the first time the 'fire curtain' dropped and more people walk out during the 2 minute break between the Chaconne and the piano pieces.

Nobody walked out that I saw, but while leaving after the performance, I heard a lot of comments along the lines of "...I never, ever want to see that again...".

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Saturday matinee

My problem with Nana's Lied was that Nana's choreography didn't strike me as particularly interesting. Kochetkova was very good, but I suspect the role needs someone who seeps drama from her pores to make Nana anything more than a stock character. I'm going Friday night to see what our resident drama queen, Sarah Van Patten, does with it.

What I found fascinating was the contrast between Tan and Feijoo in the two pdd couples. These two dancers are so different physically and temperamentally that they might be different species. Tan is perfect for this: very long and lean, exceptionally flexible and extended (she elicited gasps when she did a couple of 'ten after the hour' extensions). Feijoo, by contrast, is rounder, far less flexible and with 'normal' extensions: not what you might consider to be ideal. But she brings a pulse to the choreography that Tan misses. Tan is gorgeous but Feijoo is intriguing: seeing her in the role again is the other reason I'm going back Friday. (Her plus the excellent corps de ballet. :clapping: )

I remember seeing people walk out after the first time the 'fire curtain' dropped and more people walk out during the 2 minute break between the Chaconne and the piano pieces.

Nobody walked out that I saw, but while leaving after the performance, I heard a lot of comments along the lines of "...I never, ever want to see that again...".

Agree with you about Nana's Lied... it's a half-baked piece and the movement is really nothing special (but is any of Helgi's?) I haven't seen Sarah Van Patten in it, but I can totally imagine she's the one company member who could make something of it. It's very rare I see a work by Helgi where I don't think... "if he reworked this a few times it would be waaay better."

I've seen Artifact Suite 3 times and loved every time. Goes to show you! :) Agree with your description of Tan vs. Feijoo. But I do think there are certain people at SFB who dance Forsythe way better than others. Kristen Long (who seems to be on leave?) is amazing. I honestly think she's one of the best ballerinas in the world while dancing contemporary work. Muriel Maffre was amazing. Sofiane Sylve would be amazing. Yuan Yuan, as flexible and beautiful as she is, tends to be a kind of 'passive dancer'... not much attack.

People leaving a performance doesn't surprise me in the least because a) there are a lot of incredibly rude people going to SFB who really know nothing about ballet; b) even though SFB isn't any kind of daring or cutting edge company (far from it) many of their audience members are really more into showmanship or 'easily digested' pleasant pieces. They don't like getting their tummies in a knot while seeing anything. For me, no one is more brilliant than Forsythe at using groupings of dancers, or creating movement for an entire company which behaves as a single organism. I wish most of the SFB product had 1/10th his creativity and magic. From other fragments I've seen of the full evening of Artifact, many of the other pieces not included in the suite are extremely different in style.

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Btw, is it my imagination or are the usher crew at the Opera House getting more and more pushy and obnoxious? I'm truly not enjoying my visits there and it saddens me the atmosphere has changed. There were only a handful of people at standing room and they were still being hassled by some of the ushers and I'm sick of it. Much as I love dance I'm thinking of calling this season quits and going to other companies (like the Royal Danish Ballet coming to Berkeley in May).

Gina - No, it is not your imagination. I saw Program 2 on a Tuesday night. Bought a standing ticket (another one of my peeves - now $20 since 2009 and apparently now $30 for story ballets!!! there's another thread which I must comment on with my thoughts). Back to the topic: The main reason I went (in addition to seeing Lorena in RAkU after seeing Yuan Yuan in the premiere) was to see a different cast of Symphony in C. For some reason the ushers on the left side where I was standing were up in arms about one of the other patrons and kept on talking about it 10 minutes into the performance!!! I kept looking back giving dirty looks - of course to no avail. Then there were some patrons who had arrived late at the start of Symphonic Variations so of course they had to stand in the back. When it was over the patrons rushed to find their seats but were chased down by one of the ushers. Was that really necessary? BTW - I am also going to see the Royal Danish Ballet when they are coming and looking forward to seeing them as I haven't seen many of the European companies.

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I've said this elsewhere, but I'll say it again: Artifact Suite is a landmark dance piece. No one will (or should) make a dance piece the same way again after seeing this piece. It is unique in the ambition of its scale (very large), and how well it achieves its theatrical effects with the minimum of means. You can clearly see all the way back to Petipa through Balanchine in this piece, and how Forsythe moves that tradition forward by fusing it with post-modernist sensibilities. Is it for everyone? No, but everyone needs to see it.

Speaking of Forsythe dancers, I was really pleasantly surprised at how well Frances Chung moved in this piece in the initial yellow section, especially dancing next to Sofiane Sylve. You expect Sylve to be very strong, and she is, but Chung kept up with her.

I also liked Classical Symphony, and think it's a great showpiece for the company, and it's also good, witty choreography. Maria Kochetkova was simply amazing in it: it was like someone lit her on fire, and shot her out of a canon. At this point, I can see her dance anything (even Helgi ballets like the inoffensive, bland Trio) and enjoy it. She obviously is one of the strongest dancers in the company (and that's saying a lot!), but she also has a generosity of spirit in her dancing that makes her very appealing to watch. I'm reminded of Tina Leblanc when I see her dance.

I fell asleep during Nanna's Lied. I guess I could have gone out and gotten coffee or something and come back in time for Artifact Suite.

--Andre

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Casting (http://www.sfballet.org/performancestickets/casting.asp)for the final 3 performances of Program 3:

PROGRAM 3 Evening

Friday, March 04, 2011, 8:00 PM

CLASSICAL SYMPHONY

Choreography: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Maria Kochetkova, Hansuke Yamamoto

Frances Chung, Isaac Hernandez

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia Castilla

INTERMISSION

NANNA'S LIED

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Nanna: Sarah Van Patten

Johnny: Anthony Spaulding

Jacob Schmidt: Quinn Wharton

INTERMISSION

ARTIFACT SUITE

Choreography: William Forsythe

Piano: Margot Kazimirska

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Lorena Feijoo, Pascal Molat

Elana Altman

PROGRAM 3 Matinee

Sunday, March 06, 2011, 2:00 PM

CLASSICAL SYMPHONY

Choreography: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin

Clara Blanco, Daniel Deivison

Dores Andre, James Sofranko

INTERMISSION

NANNA'S LIED

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Nanna: Maria Kochetkova

Johnny: Ruben Martin Cintas

Jacob Schmidt: Val Caniparoli

INTERMISSION

ARTIFACT SUITE

Choreography: William Forsythe

Piano: Margot Kazimirska

Sofiane Sylve, Vito Mazzeo

Lorena Feijoo, Pascal Molat

Mariellen Olson

PROGRAM 3 Evening

Wednesday, March 09, 2011, 7:30 PM

CLASSICAL SYMPHONY

Choreography: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin

Frances Chung, Isaac Hernandez

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia Castilla

INTERMISSION

NANNA'S LIED

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Conductor: Emil de Cou

Nanna: Sarah Van Patten

Johnny: Damian Smith

Jacob Schmidt: Val Caniparoli

INTERMISSION

ARTIFACT SUITE

Choreography: William Forsythe

Piano: Margot Kazimirska

Elana Altman, Quinn Wharton

Maria Kochetkova*, Joan Boada

Mariellen Olson

* Denotes premiere in role.

Casting subject to change.

Going Sunday to see Sofiane and Vito and Wednesday for my wish which has come true - Maria and Joan!! Also great to see Elana and Quinn dancing the tall couple. Only wish I could have seen Frances and Jaime this past Tuesday....

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I fell asleep during Nanna's Lied. I guess I could have gone out and gotten coffee or something and come back in time for Artifact Suite.

As with so many ballets of this "ilk" once the orignal cast is no longer available (IMHO) it should be retired from the repertory. "Nana" was tailored/created to a specific dancers abilities and talent and knowing the original "Nana" very well, what she brought to the role also reflected where she was at professionally and more importantly (and painfully), personally. My heart broke watching her "open that vein" publicly. However...... life experience (good AND bad) can be so beneficial to ones art form. :sweatingbullets:

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I fell asleep during Nanna's Lied. I guess I could have gone out and gotten coffee or something and come back in time for Artifact Suite.

As with so many ballets of this "ilk" once the orignal cast is no longer available (IMHO) it should be retired from the repertory. "Nana" was tailored/created to a specific dancers abilities and talent and knowing the original "Nana" very well, what she brought to the role also reflected where she was at professionally and more importantly (and painfully), personally. My heart broke watching her "open that vein" publicly. However...... life experience (good AND bad) can be so beneficial to ones art form. :sweatingbullets:

I did not know Loscavio personally, but she was one of the greatest dancers anywhere, ever, and her abrupt departure for Hamburg was a tragedy. I saw her many times, most dazzlingly in Ballo, Rubies, Tarantella, Theme and Variations...and above all in the turning variation from Who Cares?, in which she is the only dancer I've ever seen or heard of other than Marnee Morris, the creator of the role, to do each and every gorgeous impossible original step.

Her candor, technical brilliance, fire, honesty, and charisma onstage were riveting in every part. I am sure that Nanna's Lied was amazing with her; it may also have had better singing than the lamentably inadequate, utterly esthetically bankrupt performance I heard in the recent run (with Van Patten, who was in fact good). Lenya is irreplaceable, of course, but even so. The ballet is not something which imposes itself; it's intended to be elliptical and suggestive rather than clear, I believe. perhaps it should be retired, since so many audience members seem unwilling to give it any benefit of the doubt.

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I fell asleep during Nanna's Lied. I guess I could have gone out and gotten coffee or something and come back in time for Artifact Suite.

As with so many ballets of this "ilk" once the orignal cast is no longer available (IMHO) it should be retired from the repertory. "Nana" was tailored/created to a specific dancers abilities and talent and knowing the original "Nana" very well, what she brought to the role also reflected where she was at professionally and more importantly (and painfully), personally. My heart broke watching her "open that vein" publicly. However...... life experience (good AND bad) can be so beneficial to ones art form. :sweatingbullets:

I did not know Loscavio personally, but she was one of the greatest dancers anywhere, ever, and her abrupt departure for Hamburg was a tragedy. I saw her many times, most dazzlingly in Ballo, Rubies, Tarantella, Theme and Variations...and above all in the turning variation from Who Cares?, in which she is the only dancer I've ever seen or heard of other than Marnee Morris, the creator of the role, to do each and every gorgeous impossible original step.

Her candor, technical brilliance, fire, honesty, and charisma onstage were riveting in every part. I am sure that Nanna's Lied was amazing with her; it may also have had better singing than the lamentably inadequate, utterly esthetically bankrupt performance I heard in the recent run (with Van Patten, who was in fact good). Lenya is irreplaceable, of course, but even so. The ballet is not something which imposes itself; it's intended to be elliptical and suggestive rather than clear, I believe. perhaps it should be retired, since so many audience members seem unwilling to give it any benefit of the doubt.

jsmu -

I will be sure to pass on this post to Elizabeth. I first saw her in class when she was seven years old (her older sister was a wonderful dancer too) and we all knew she had "it" then.

Hamburg was a wonderful place for her to be. As you may know it is a company that celebrates dancers as the get older and the repertory suited all of her (formidable) talents quite well. Plus she met and married a wonderful man (a dancer) and has two gorgeous children AND she's a terrific mom and very happy retired and living in place she loves very much. I do miss her greatly.

Best,

B

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jsmu -

I will be sure to pass on this post to Elizabeth. I first saw her in class when she was seven years old (her older sister was a wonderful dancer too) and we all knew she had "it" then.

Hamburg was a wonderful place for her to be. As you may know it is a company that celebrates dancers as the get older and the repertory suited all of her (formidable) talents quite well. Plus she met and married a wonderful man (a dancer) and has two gorgeous children AND she's a terrific mom and very happy retired and living in place she loves very much. I do miss her greatly.

Best,

B

Brioche, that's extremely kind of you--I appreciate it tremendously. I always regretted not having been able to tell her how much beauty and irrepressible joy her dancing gave me. I'm glad to hear that she is happy in Hamburg--really, I meant the tragedy was ours, to lose such a great ballerina...:-)

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As to Artifact Suite -- are you telling me there's a whole ballet that consists of an entire evening of this?????? Loved it, but really wish someone had warned me what was coming: I'd have worn a crash helmet.

Actually, there isn't - the full version is significantly different. What got excised was mostly theater - two speaking characters, a full section (the third, weakest, portion) the character of the "mud woman" is more robust (the solo woman - who in the full version is in fact caked with mud) and the remainder has been rearranged. Parts of the first section of the full ballet are at the end of the suite.

I happen to like the Suite, and love the full ballet. I'd like SF to tackle the full version. It's demanding for the audience and occasionally pretentious as well, but it has a courage no work has had for decades.

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