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Coppelia (Program 5)19-27 March


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#1 Helene

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:19 PM

San Francisco Ballet will perform George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova's "Coppelia", a co-production with Pacific Northwest Ballet, from 19-27 March.

On the website, there is a link to the "Behind the scenes" trailer for the production, in which Judith Fugate, who was in the original cast as Swanhilda's friend who finds Dr. Coppelius' key and is staging the ballet as she did for PNB, and Swanhildas Vanessa Zahorian, Maria Kochetkova, and Frances Chung and Franz's Vitor Luiz, Gennadi Nedvigin, and Tamas Domitro speak and rehearse. Is that Val Caniparoli rehearsing Dr. Coppelius?

The clips are from PNB's production: Swanhilda-Mara Vinson, Franz-James Moore (who's from San Francisco), Jeffrey Stanton-Dr. Coppelius (danced with SFB before joining PNB), and Spinner-Chalnessa Eames. (Eames is wearing the black and white deco dress when Fugate talks about how she danced a third act solo at NYCB.)

Full casting isn't up yet, but will appear here when it is:
http://www.sfballet....ets/casting.asp

There are wonderful solos for women in the third act and some juicy doll parts in the second act for men.

#2 PeggyR

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:06 PM

Here's a cute, 30-second promo showing Madison Keesler being made up as Coppelia.

Coppelia promo

#3 PeggyR

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 05:32 AM

Casts for the first two performances are up (sorry, can't do links on the browser I'm using at work, but Helene has provided one above):

SF Ballet Premiere
COPPÉLIA
Choreography: Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine


PROGRAM 5 Opening Night
Saturday, March 19, 2011, 8:00 PM

Swanilda: Maria Kochetkova*
Franz: Gennadi Nedvigin*
Dr. Coppelius: Damian Smith*

PROGRAM 5 Matinee
Sunday, March 20, 2011, 2:00 PM

Swanilda: Vanessa Zahorian+
Franz: Taras Domitro+
Dr. Coppelius: Ricardo Bustamante*

+premiere in this production
*Denotes premiere in role.
Casting subject to change.

I'm really glad to see Nedvigen getting an opening night; he's one of the unsung heros (heroes???) of the company. Zahorian/Domitro should be great -- they bring out the best in each other.

#4 Helene

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:15 AM

Ah, that was Bustamente, not Caniparoli in the video.

I think this program is going to rock. I wish I could see it.

I'm really glad to see Nedvigen getting an opening night; he's one of the unsung heros (heroes???) of the company. Zahorian/Domitro should be great -- they bring out the best in each other.

Yes, yes, yes -- he is a beautiful dancer. I'm glad he's getting the respect of opening night -- I thought it would be Zahorian/Domitro, who were prominent in the promos -- but sad that he's not dancing the matinee, because I could have been there :(

#5 PeggyR

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:56 AM

...I thought it would be Zahorian/Domitro, who were prominent in the promos...

Actually, the promos that I've seen were with Zahorian and Vitor Luiz (maybe Domitro was in something I missed). I'm hoping Luiz turns up with Chung; the two of them danced a good T&V together a couple of weeks ago.

Also, I'm wondering if Artem Yachmennikov is going to show up as Franz. He's danced it before elsewhere (different production, of course), and I've been surprised that he doesn't seem to have been cast in anything since the opening night Giselle. Based on what I've seen of him (that opening Giselle and a Nutcracker GPdD last year), he's a pretty good actor, with good stage presence and plenty of floppy-haired charm (think a young Hugh Grant in tights...or maybe not). I have some reservations about his overall classical technique (turns seemed to be a problem in both performances, but maybe he was just having a couple of 'off' days), but I've been hoping to see/hear what he does with Franz.

#6 Helene

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 11:13 AM

:blushing: You're right -- it was Zahorian with Luiz in the promo.

#7 PeggyR

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

Casting for the entire Coppelia run:

SF Ballet Premiere

COPPÉLIA

Choreography: Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine

Opening Night

Saturday, March 19, 2011, 8:00 PM


Swanilda: Maria Kochetkova*

Franz: Gennadi Nedvigin*

Dr. Coppelius: Damian Smith*

Sunday, March 20, 2011, 2:00 PM

Swanilda: Vanessa Zahorian+

Franz: Taras Domitro+

Dr. Coppelius: Ricardo Bustamante*
 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 8:00 PM
Swanilda: Vanessa Zahorian

Franz: Taras Domitro

Dr. Coppelius: Ricardo Bustamante    


Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 7:30 PM
Swanilda: Frances Chung*

Franz: Vitor Luiz+

Dr. Coppelius: Damian Smith



Thursday, March 24, 2011, 8:00 PM

Swanilda: Vanessa Zahorian

Franz: Joan Boada+

Dr. Coppelius: Ricardo Bustamante
 


Friday, March 25, 2011, 8:00 PM

Swanilda: Maria Kochetkova

Franz: Gennadi Nedvigin

Dr. Coppelius: Damian Smith  



Saturday, March 26, 2011, 2:00 PM

Swanilda: Frances Chung

Franz: Vitor Luiz

Dr. Coppelius: Damian Smith   
 
Saturday, March 26, 2011, 8:00 PM

Swanilda: Vanessa Zahorian

Franz: Joan Boada

Dr. Coppelius: Ricardo Bustamante

Sunday, March 27, 2011, 2:00 PM

Swanilda: Maria Kochetkova

Franz: Gennadi Nedvigin

Dr. Coppelius: Damian Smith

+premiere in this production
* Denotes premiere in role.

Casting subject to change.

#8 Quiggin

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:31 PM

Wonderful production of Coppelia - one of best finished I've seen SF Ballet do. A huge feast of a ballet Balanchine & Danilova serve up, old French butter & cream dish after dish third act. Beautifully scalloped czardas in first act take your breath away. Madness  of Discord & War is like Mark Morris before MM, Clara Blanco's Spinner/Work finely done. Vanessa Zahorian ws fast, fluent, brilliant, wonderful throughout, Taras Domitro a great Franz & lovely dancer & authentic link to Cuban alternative version which may come from ABT or US Ballet Russes of 1940's...Does anyone know its origin? Interestingly Denby says that Balanchine worked on US Monte Carlo BR version - "cleaned it up in 1945." I think Balanchine/Danilova leaves out the lovely violin pas where Swanhilda advances in a series to Franz's arm - instead it's given to Sw as a solo.

Anyway Denby says that Coppelia is to Twelfth Night as Giselle is to Hamlet and it was a great privilege to have seen this year Vanessa Zahorian & Taras Domitro so effectively do both. That said this production - despite its excess of richnesses - worth seeing with other casts. Frances Chung has been dancing very freely this year, especially in Theme & Variations - in little delightful bursts "like a bird splashing in water," and Joan Boada, brilliant in HT's Trio, is another connection to Cuban/BR? Coppelia.

disclaimer- sent off tiny argumentative keybord of iPod    

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:15 PM

Taras Domitro a great Franz & lovely dancer & authentic link to Cuban alternative version which may come from ABT or US Ballet Russes of 1940's...Does anyone know its origin?


Quiggin, the Cuban Coppelia goes back to 1948, and it was staged by Leon Fokine. That's the version Alonso staged in 1956 at the Greek Theatre in LA, from where Enrique Martinez took it to Ballet Theatre. Alonso left BT after that and joined BRdMC until 1959,

#10 Quiggin

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:51 PM

Thanks Cristian - can only find bits on provenance here and there. Be interested to know if any of Balanchine's 1945 interventions survived anywhere - or what they were.

#11 Quiggin

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:10 PM

Sorry Cristian - I mixed up names on this tiny screen and no edit button. Thanks for the response - you should be out here to see this production and post your comments - still time to do so!

#12 PeggyR

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 10:31 AM

Cast change:

PROGRAM 5 Evening
Saturday, March 26, 2011, 8:00 PM
COPPÉLIA
Choreography: Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

Swanilda: Vanessa Zahorian
Franz: Taras Domitro (Joan Boada originally scheduled)
Dr. Coppelius: Ricardo Bustamante

I'm going to both of Saturday's performances, and was really looking forward to seeing Boada, who hasn't been around a lot lately. Guess I'll just have to console myself with Taras :wink:

#13 Quiggin

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:30 AM

All the Coppelias (or nicely “the girl with the eyes of enamel”) are over and I still can’t get musical phrases of Delibes out of my head. I wish there was an annotated guide to all the figures in the last act of divertissements so I can pin them away in memory, like Swanilda’s butterfly. It was a mess of a Balanchine style book, parts of it like Emeralds in pink, with forty or so children of various heights forming boxes - or pink boxwood hedges - around the soloists, continuously framing and reframing them. They moved in and out in magical phalanxes and in Work they form wonderful spinning looms. The part in the finale where Franz is madly jumping in place over and over again and throwing his feet up behind him, zig zag fashion, reminded me of kinoscopes of Your Show of Shows, of Howard Morris doing equivalent contrapuntal jumps (Gennadi Nedvigin's were especially lighthearted).

I did get to see 2 1/2 casts, and thought that Vanessa Zahorian did the best job of being the Shavian heroine that Edwin Denby thought she should be – who in the second act finds her way to a solution for the dilemma they’ve all gotten themselves into. In the first act Maria Kochetkova seemed more flexible in her timing while Vanessa Zahorian brought out the continuous assemblage of steps and sharp figures, especially the wonderful snips of offset scissor jumps on the bias across stage. And as Delibes music mocks itself, she and the small corps of brides-to-be would challenge and mock each other in a series of intricate little steps, some of which seemed to have a kinship to those in the clip from “Figure in the Carpet.”

Isaac Hernandez’s last minute Franz was bright and open as his dancing, and his character was totally incapable of duplicity or deceit, so that when he steals the butterfly away from Swanilda and pins it to himself, the act seemed completely lacking in selfishness. At the last Saturday evening performance Taras Domitro took Franz to a new level of mischievousness and kept embellishing the role, even the stops and pauses had a pent up kinetic energy and time to them, a bit like Chaplin in the Mack Sennett days. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see Frances Chung and Vitor Luiz perform – or Joan Boada, whose delightful “Harlequinade” excerpt at a past gala will have serve as a stand-in in memory.

Am looking forward to the comments from Bart, Cristian and Jack at the Miami board next season on their Coppelia – and am curious if Miami too will be using the PNB sets.

correction: Denby for Croce

#14 bart

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:05 AM

It's great to start getting so much detailed reporting from San Francisco. Thanks, all.

[ ... ] am curious if Miami too will be using the PNB sets.

I checked my old programs. The last two outings of MCB's Coppelia, Arnold Abramson -- who also did MCB's recent Scotch Symphony -- is credited with the set design. Abrahmson is, I believe, a Florida-based designer.

Costumes, on the other hand, were from ABT. I haven't seen ABT's in decades, but I remember -- from the days of Gregory and Bujones -- that it was someone else's version, not Balanchine's.

#15 richard53dog

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:37 AM

Costumes, on the other hand, were from ABT. I haven't seen ABT's in decades, but I remember -- from the days of Gregory and Bujones -- that it was someone else's version, not Balanchine's.


ABT had it's first full-length Coppelia in the late 60s with Fracci and Bruhn. I saw them as well as a number of other casts . the version they performed then was credited to Enrique Martinez.

The version ABT currently performs is billed as "staged and directed by" Freddie Franklin. to be honest I can't comment on the differences between the first and the current ABT versions, I've only seen both a few times.


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