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Program 4 2011All Tchaikovsky


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#1 sf_herminator

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:21 PM

Casting for Program 4: (http://www.sfballet....ets/casting.asp)

PROGRAM 4 Opening Night
Friday, February 25, 2011, 8:00 PM

THEME AND VARIATIONS
Choreography: George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung, Taras Domitro

INTERMISSION

SF Ballet Premiere
WINTER DREAMS
Choreography: Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Michael McGraw

Masha, Vershinin: Sofiane Sylve*, Tiit Helimets*
Irina, Olga: Maria Kochetkova*, Lorena Feijoo*
Kulygin: Damian Smith*
Tusenbach, Solyony: Garen Scribner*, Vitor Luiz*

INTERMISSION

World Premiere
TRIO
Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian*, Vitor Luiz*
Sarah Van Patten*, Tiit Helimets*
Vito Mazzeo*
Maria Kochetkova*, Gennadi Nedvigin*





PROGRAM 4 Matinee
Sunday, February 27, 2011, 2:00 PM
THEME AND VARIATIONS
Choreography: George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro

INTERMISSION

WINTER DREAMS
Choreography: Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Michael McGraw

Masha, Vershinin: Yuan Yuan Tan*, Vito Mazzeo*
Irina, Olga: Maria Kochetkova, Lorena Feijoo
Kulygin: Damian Smith
Tusenbach, Solyony: Garen Scribner, Vitor Luiz

INTERMISSION

TRIO
Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Conductor: Martin West

Lorena Feijoo*, Jaime Garcia Castilla*
Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets
Vito Mazzeo
Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin





PROGRAM 4 Evening
Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 7:30 PM
THEME AND VARIATIONS
Choreography: George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin

INTERMISSION

WINTER DREAMS
Choreography: Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Michael McGraw

Masha, Vershinin: Yuan Yuan Tan, Vito Mazzeo
Irina, Olga: Frances Chung*, Vanessa Zahorian*
Kulygin: Damian Smith
Tusenbach, Solyony: Quinn Wharton*, Anthony Spaulding*

INTERMISSION

TRIO
Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Joan Boada*
Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets
Vito Mazzeo
Frances Chung*, Taras Domitro*




PROGRAM 4 Evening
Thursday, March 03, 2011, 8:00 PM
THEME AND VARIATIONS
Choreography: George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro

INTERMISSION

WINTER DREAMS
Choreography: Sir Kenneth MacMillan
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Michael McGraw

Masha, Vershinin: Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets
Irina, Olga: Maria Kochetkova, Lorena Feijoo
Kulygin: Damian Smith
Tusenbach, Solyony: Garen Scribner, Vitor Luiz

INTERMISSION

TRIO
Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Conductor: Martin West

Lorena Feijoo, Vitor Luiz
Dana Genshaft*, Ruben Martin Cintas*
Anthony Spaulding*
Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin

* Denotes premiere in role.

Casting subject to change.

#2 sf_herminator

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:56 PM

Tonight was the premiere of Program 4 (can't believe we at the halfway point of the season when these program finish!!). All programs used glorious music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. We had Balanchine's majestic Theme and Variations, the SF Ballet Premiere of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Winter Dreams, and Trio - a new piece by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson.

It seems prior to opening tonight, the order of the pieces kept changing. In the Program Book, it listed Theme and Variations, Trio, and Winter Dreams. When the casting was first announced, the order was Trio, Winter Dreams, and Theme and Variations. The current order is what is listed on the website and the casting sheet when I arrived tonight.

When the curtain went up on Theme and Variations, the audience oohed and aahed at the sight of the women in their blue bodice and white tutus, the blue background, and the chandeliers. Frances Chung (in all white) and Taras Domitro danced the lead couple. They made a wonderful pair. Taras is an amzaing jumper and spinner, which he showed in his solo. The corps women were wonderful with their intertwining moves. It ended gorgeously when the corps men joined the women.

Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Winter Dreams is based on Anton Chekhov's Three SIsters. Dancing the three sisters were Sofiane Sylve (Masha), Maria Kochetkova (Irina) and Lorena Feijoo (Olga). I am not familiar with the story and I won't try to summarize, but I think the piece conveyed the story and the dancing/acting was wonderful. The music (a number of piano pieces) alternated between piano (played by Michael McGraw) and a band featuring balalaikas that was onstage in the background. Two of the wonderful surprises were performances by Anita Paciotti as Anfisa (I think she is the mother of the sisters). There was a sequence in which she danced with the sisters. Then there was (I believe) Dr. Chebutykin, who had a drunk duet with a chair. Ricardo Bustamante was great as he tumbled on the floor while manipulating the chair with his feet!!! On a personal note, my enjoyment of the piece was somewhat diminished because a very tall and very large gentleman was seated in front of me and kept shifting from side to side which would block my view and I would have to shift side to side, up and down, and back and forth. My favorite part was when the entire cast paired off and danced to Valse sentimentale.

Trio is Mr. Tomasson's new piece set to Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence. The piece is divided into three movements. The first movement has one lead couple and five corps couples. The lead was danced by Vanessa Zahorian and Vitor Luiz. Vanessa just tore thru her parts and Vitor was there to match her. My favorite part in this section was when the corps dancers broke into a few trios. The second movement featured Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets, and Vito Mazzeo. Sarah and Tiit continue the great work they have been doing together this season (after their Gala Pas De Deux and Giselle). It started as a duet and then became a trio as Vito tried to come between them and then it seemed to be a back and forth. The last movement was led by Maria Kochetkova and Gennadi Nedvigin. The five corps women from the first movement returned followed by five new corps men (I thought this was an interesting twist). The costumes were gorgeous, especially in the first movement (burgundy for the lead couple, violet for the other couples).

Overall, another great night of dancing and I look forward to seeing this program one more time.

#3 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 09:52 AM

Taritas was always great. He's one of those small dancers that becomes big onstage. His gypsy in the CNB's DQ DVD is out of this world! Glad to know he's being given more princely roles and not merely relegated to the jumpers and spinners. :clapping:

In Coppelia, pre-defection times with Annette Delgado


In Don Quijote, also in Havana, with Yolanda Correa


In Don Quijote, as the Gypsy.


#4 Paul Parish

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 12:38 AM

Thanks for posting these, Christian.
WOnderful stuff.

#5 jsmu

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 02:29 PM

I saw several performances of Programs 3 and 4, last week.

First, I'm astounded at what a darling of most audience members Maria Kochetkova seems to be; I find her stage presence horrid: brittle, utterly artificial, insincere, manufactured, and what is worse (especially in such a company of strong women) her technique is sadly lacking. Her port de bras, mannered and contrived at best, is dreadful in her turns (many of which are harrowing experiences and off-balance when this is clearly not the intention of the choreographer, as in Theme and Variations); her arms actually seem to twist and do various tense things against her body during the turns themselves, and she also hunches her shoulders during them. The fact that Tomasson casts her in everything is appalling; to give such a dancer plum roles like T&V with other dancers in the company like Sofiane Sylve?!??!?!! The only thing I saw Kochetkova do which seemed adequate was the Prokofiev--every bit of which choreography I cordially loathed. However, twisted, fast, smudged off-axis spins (those are not pirouettes) seem to suit her.

That said, I thought almost every other dancer who appeared was excellent, and some, like Frances Chung, were divine. I fortunately did see Vanessa Zahorian in T&V, and remembered what the turns and pas de deux were supposed to look like, but am very sorry that I did not get to see Chung in it, which I think must have been superb. Everything I saw Chung do, even Artifact Suite (yawn), was near-definitive: her flirtatious, young, gossamer Irina in Winter Dreams, who was a bit giddy and yet very vulnerable and utterly devastated by the denouement; her wonderful jumping in the 'variation' in Trio, which makes one long for a revival of Ballo just for her, including a Plisetskaya kick-your-head jete which rivalled Maya on film...

Everyone was good in Winter Dreams, which had a near-dream cast of Zahorian as Olga (she is equally convincing in a 'mature role'), Yuan Yuan Tan as Masha, and Chung as Irina; the balalaika/mandolin/guitar group is one of the most delicate and evocative things I've heard as a ballet score, and the set design was great as well. this ballet is very unlike most MacMillan--it is far more intimate, quiet, internalized, and I think for that reason far more difficult.

The dancing in Trio was stellar: Zahorian burned up the stage in the first movement, and Joan Boada, her partner, was at once gracious, chivalrous, studly, and gallant. He is obviously one of the Best Partners in this or any other company, and he allowed Zahorian to take lots of chances, which is exciting. Van Patten was excellent in all the flings and throws and turns wrapped around one of the two men in the second movement, though the choreography was , er, recycled and derivative to say the least. Taras Dimitro was nearly as technically miraculous as Chung in the third and fourth movements, and as has been said elsewhere on this site, he dances BIG--devouring space and the stage, with a marvelous presence. He and Chung were great together; sadly there was hardly any pas de deux work for them in Trio.

I've spoken a bit about Nanna's Lied elsewhere, so shan't repeat it here.

The fire curtain schtick in Artifact Suite is so juvenile and so stupid as to make one wonder why one likes any of Forsythe's choreography, but some of his images are interesting. Sofiane Sylve was, as usual, a paragon in her part.

Two of the demis in T$V were especially vibrant; I believe Sasha de Sola was one. what a ballet that is, and how lovely the corps was in the English horn variation in which they 'partner' the ballerina.

#6 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 05:15 PM

... and how lovely the corps was in the English horn variation in which they 'partner' the ballerina.


Definitely one of the most beautiful parts of the ballet for its powerful simplicity...


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