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SFB London Tour - September 2012

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Hot off the presses (or just announced on their facebook):

SAN FRANCISCO, Monday, March 5, 2012—San Francisco Ballet—the oldest professional ballet company in America—has announced that it will embark on its first engagement to London since 2004. From September 14-23, 2012, the Company will perform three mixed-repertory programs over nine performances, at the Sadler's Wells Theatre, featuring: UK premieres and works by choreographers including George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Christopher Wheeldon, SF Ballet Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov, and SF Ballet Artistic Director & Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson.

http://www.sfballet.org/about/media_center/press_releases/London_Tour_Announcement

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Programme details

Programme A

(Sept. 14,18 at 7:30pm; Sept 23 at 4:00pm)

Divertimento No.15

Choreography: George Balanchine

Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Divertimento No 15 in B-flat major

Staged by Elyse Borne

Costume Design: after Karinska

Lighting Design: Mark Stanley

Symphonic Dances

Choreography: Edwaard Liang

Music: Sergei Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances Op. 45

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design: Jack Mehler

Within the Golden Hour

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon©

Music: Ezio Bosso

Designs: Martin Pakledinaz

Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls

Programme B

(Sept. 15, 21 at 7:30pm; Sept. 16 at 4:00pm)

Ghosts

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Music: C.F. Kip Winger

Scenic Design: Laura Jellinek

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design Mary Louise Geiger

RAkU

Chorography: Yuri Possokhov

Music: Shinji Eshima

Scenic & Projection Design: Alexander V. Nichols

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design: Christopher Dennis

Trio

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson

Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence

Scenic Design: Alexander V. Nichols

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design: Christopher Dennis

Programme C

(Sept. 19, 20, 22 at 7:30pm)

Beaux

Choreography: Mark Morris

Music: Bohuslav Martinů Concerto for Harpsichord and Small Orchestra,

Two pieces for harpsichord, lento

Scenic and Costume Design: Isaac Mizrahi

Lighting Design: Michael Chybowski

Classical Symphony

Chorography: Yuri Possokhov

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Costume Design Sandra Woodall

Lighting Design: David Finn

Video Concept: Yuri Zhukov

Guide to Strange Places

Choreography: Ashley Page

Music: John Adams Guide to Strange Places

Scenic & Costume Design: Jon Morrell

Lighting Design: David Finn

Number Nine©

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

Music: Michael Torke Ash

Costume Design: Holly Hynes

Lighting Design: Mary Louise Geiger

SFB goers - what would be your top recommendations?

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My 2cents:

Program A: Within the Golden Hour - lovely and surprising at times; end image is glorious and there's a terrific slow-motion pdd.

SFB looks good in D15, so that's a good one. The Liang hasn't been seen yet.

Personally, I think Program B is the weakest: some people love Ghosts, some don't; I'm ambivalent, but it has its moments; love the costumes and women's hair. RAkU has some stunning imagery (the kimono, the soldiers), but ultimately felt like something is missing. Trio is pretty, but you'll forget it as soon as you leave the hall.

Program C: Missed Beaux due to illness, but it got good reviews. And the men of the company are terrific; you probably can't go wrong there. Classical Symphony is good, silly fun; shows off the company's speed and the men in particular look great. The Page is new and not yet seen. Number Nine wasn't really my cup of tea, but the color design was wonderful; didn't like the music either, but it's fast, fast, fast and leaves you breathless; to me it looked kind of thrown together, but it was popular.

Personally, if I could only see one, it would be A, even though the Liang is an unknown.

Anyone else???

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Press release detailing updates to the programs for the London visit in September.

original UPDATE

Programme A

(Sept. 14,18 at 7:30pm; Sept 23 at 4:00pm)

Divertimento No.15/George Balanchine

Symphonic Dances/Edwaard Liang

Within the Golden Hour©/Christopher Wheeldon UPDATE: Number Nine©/Wheeldon

Programme B

(Sept. 15, 21 at 7:30pm; Sept. 16 at 4:00pm)

Ghosts/Christopher Wheeldon UPDATE: Trio/Helgi Tomasson

RAkU/Yuri Possokhov UPDATE: Ghosts/Christopher Wheeldon

Trio/Helgi Tomasson UPDATE: Guide to Strange Places/Ashley Page

Programme C

(Sept. 19, 20, 22 at 7:30pm)

Beaux/Mark Morris

Classical Symphony/Yuri Possokhov

Guide to Strange Places/Ashley Page UPDATE: RAkU/Yuri Possokhov

Number Nine©/Christopher Wheeldon UPDATE: Within the Golden Hour©/Christopher Wheeldon

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Casts for London. It's particularly good to see plenty of opportunities being given to members of the corps de ballet. Among the corps women, Sasha de Sola has been attracting notice; and Nicole Ciaponni's batterie dazzles. The SFB men -- principals through corps -- are consistently excellent, but corps member Francisco Mungamba, who doesn't look like he's old enough to shave, has been impressive with beautiful carriage and line.

PRINCIPAL CASTING FOR SAN FRANCISCO BALLET

Programs A, B and C

Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London

*Denotes premiere in role

In the event of injury or illness, casting is subject to change

PROGRAM A: OPENING NIGHT – Friday, September 14 – 7:30PM

Divertimento No. 15

Choreographer: George Balanchine

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Conductor: Martin West

Davit Karapetyan, Hansuke Yamamoto, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

Vanessa Zahorian

Sasha De Sola, Frances Chung, Koto Ishihara, Dores Andre

INTERMISSION

Symphonic Dances

Choreographer: Edwaard Liang

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov

Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Vito Mazzeo

Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets

Maria Kochetkova, Vitor Luiz

INTERMISSION

Number Nine

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: Michael Torke

Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira

Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin

Sarah Van Patten, Carlos Quenedit

Sofiane Sylve, Vito Mazzeo

Program A: Tuesday, September 18 – 7:30PM

Divertimento No. 15

Choreographer: George Balanchine

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Conductor: Ming Luke

Gennadi Nedvigin, Hansuke Yamamoto, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

Maria Kochetkova

Clara Blanco, Frances Chung, Nicole Ciapponi, Dores Andre

INTERMISSION

Symphonic Dances

Choreographer: Edwaard Liang

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov

Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets

Maria Kochetkova, Vitor Luiz

INTERMISSION

Number Nine

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: Michael Torke

Conductor: Ming Luke

Dores Andre, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira

Vanessa Zahorian, Garen Scribner

Sarah Van Patten, Carlos Quenedit

Sofiane Sylve, Vito Mazzeo

Program A: Sunday, September 23 – 4:00PM

Divertimento No. 15

Choreographer: George Balanchine

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Conductor: Ming Luke

Davit Karapetyan, Shane Wuerthner*, Taras Domitro

Vanessa Zahorian

Sasha De Sola, Sarah Van Patten, Koto Ishihara, WanTing Zhao*

INTERMISSION

Symphonic Dances

Choreographer: Edwaard Liang

Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov

Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Vito Mazzeo

Sarah Van Patten*, Tiit Helimets

Maria Kochetkova, Vitor Luiz

INTERMISSION

Number Nine

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: Michael Torke

Conductor: Ming Luke

Frances Chung, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira

Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin

Yuan Yuan Tan, Carlos Quenedit

Sasha De Sola, Vitor Luiz

PROGRAM B: OPENING NIGHT – Saturday, September 15 – 7:30PM

Trio

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Joan Boada

Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets,

Vito Mazzeo

Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin

INTERMISSION

Ghosts

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: C.F. Kip Winger

Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets, Shane Wuerthner*

INTERMISSION

Guide to Strange Places

Choreographer: Ashley Page

Composer: John Adams

Conductor: Martin West

Sarah Van Patten, Carlos Quenedit*

Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin

Frances Chung, Pascal Molat

Vanessa Zahorian, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

Program B: Sunday, September 16 – 4:00PM

Trio

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Conductor: Martin West

Sasha De Sola, Vitor Luiz

Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets

Vito Mazzeo

Frances Chung, Davit Karapetyan*

INTERMISSION

Ghosts

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: C.F. Kip Winger

Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets, Shane Wuerthner

INTERMISSION

Guide to Strange Places

Choreographer: Ashley Page

Composer: John Adams

Conductor: Martin West

Sarah Van Patten, Carlos Quenedit

Clara Blanco, Vitor Luiz

Frances Chung, Pascal Molat

Vanessa Zahorian, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

Program B: Friday, September 21 – 7:30PM

Trio

Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Joan Boada

Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets

Vito Mazzeo

Maria Kochetkova, Gennadi Nedvigin

INTERMISSION

Ghosts

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: C.F. Kip Winger

Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova, Vitor Luiz

Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets, Shane Wuerthner

INTERMISSION

Guide to Strange Places

Choreographer: Ashley Page

Composer: John Adams

Conductor: Martin West

Jennifer Stahl, Vito Mazzeo

Clara Blanco, Vitor Luiz

Frances Chung, Pascal Molat

Dores Andre, Davit Karapetyan

PROGRAM C: OPENING NIGHT – Wednesday, September 19 – 7:30PM

Beaux

Choreographer: Mark Morris

Composer: Bohuslav Martinů

Conductor: Martin West

Harpsichord: Bradley Moore

Pierre-Francois Vilanoba, Pascal Molat, Francisco Mungamba*

Vito Mazzeo, Lonnie Weeks, Gennadi Nedvigin

Joan Boada, Garen Scribner, Dustin Shane Spero

Classical Symphony

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova, Hansuke Yamamoto

Frances Chung, Carlos Quenedit*

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

INTERMISSION

RAkU

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Shinji Eshima

Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Pascal Molat

INTERMISSION

Within the Golden Hour

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: Ezio Bosso

Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Damian Smith

Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada

Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Program C: Thursday, September 20 – 7:30PM

Beaux

Choreographer: Mark Morris

Composer: Bohuslav Martinů

Conductor: Martin West

Harpsichord: Bradley Moore

Jeremy Rucker, Myles Thatcher, Francisco Mungamba

Vito Mazzeo, Lonnie Weeks, James Sofranko

Sean Bennett, Garen Scribner, Dustin Shane Spero

Classical Symphony

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Gennadi Nedvigin

Clara Blanco, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

INTERMISSION

RAkU

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Shinji Eshima

Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Pascal Molat

INTERMISSION

Within the Golden Hour

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: Ezio Bosso

Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Damian Smith

Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada

Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Program C: Saturday, September 22 – 7:30PM

Beaux

Choreographer: Mark Morris

Composer: Bohuslav Martinů

Conductor: Martin West

Harpsichord: Bradley Moore

Pierre-Francois Vilanoba, Pascal Molat, Francisco Mungamba

Vito Mazzeo, Lonnie Weeks, Gennadi Nedvigin

Joan Boada, Garen Scribner, Dustin Shane Spero

Classical Symphony

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova, Hansuke Yamamoto

Frances Chung, Carlos Quenedit

Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia-Castilla

INTERMISSION

RAkU

Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Composer: Shinji Eshima

Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

Vitor Luiz

INTERMISSION

Within the Golden Hour

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon

Composer: Ezio Bosso

Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian, Damian Smith

Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada

Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

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Bruce Marriott asks Helgi Tomasson Five Questions for "DanceTabs," and he notes at the top that Tomasson and Mark Morris are going to be interviewed on BBC Radio Three tomorrow during the "In Tune" show, which starts 4:30pm local time (11am EDT, 8am PDT) and runs two hours. Their 20-minute interview will be sometime during the show, which is accessible online live and a week later in archives. (I'm not sure how long the archives stay live.)

Here is the link to the interview:

http://www.dancetabs.com/2012/09/helgi-tomasson-san-francisco-ballet-artistic-director-principal-choreographer/

SFB opens at Sadler's Wells this Friday, 14 September.

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Photo galleries by Dave Morgan of SFB's London programs A and B. The Flickr page also has links to Dance Tabs coverage of the engagement.

Program A

Program B

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th Guardian's review is up already, she likes it.

posed on SanFranciscoBallet site and Facebook SFB.

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I noticed Domitro is only scheduled in one performance of Div.#15 during the whole thing...

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I noticed Domitro is only scheduled in one performance of Div.#15 during the whole thing...

And that Ruben Martin and Lorena Feijoo are not scheduled to dance at all...Lorena I can understand as she's just had her baby, but Ruben? Hopefully there's no burnt bridges/bad blood, or worse yet, an injury...

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Yes, I guess Feijoo is still in maternity leave. I wonder how she will face her career after such absence, being already in her 40's. She's a strong ballerina, though...

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I noticed Domitro is only scheduled in one performance of Div.#15 during the whole thing...

I thought so too. And he's pretty good in Tomasson's Trio, a clip of which is included in Domitro's Artist Spotlight video at the SFB website. The part was probably made with some of his dancing characteristics in mind.

And hard to imagine Nine without Isaac Hernandez, still in some of the publicity stills, who's now dancing at Het Nationale Ballet.

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And hard to imagine Nine without Isaac Hernandez, still in some of the publicity stills, who's now dancing at Het Nationale Ballet.

A great opportunity for him, but sad for SFB fans.

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[ADMIN BEANIE ON]

We have a Links forum where reviews from newspapers and some major dance blogs are posted daily along with other ballet-related news, and we encourage Ballet Alertniks to follow the daily threads.

Performance threads are for members' reviews and not an aggregation of professional critics' writings. We make an exception for tours and allow links to professional blogs and magazines that don't appear in Links, as long as they are discussion points.

[ADMIN BEANIE OFF]

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I have a question about this article / review.

Yet the house was packed every night, and the eager response spoke of a hunger for new artists and new experiences that often goes unsatisfied. "There's a buzz, a thrill, to have them here," a friend said, "and it's wonderful to see something truly classical in this theater without the precious air of the Royal Ballet." Another commented, "I always like watching American companies because they're so professional, right to the final bell, even their curtain calls.
Can someone please explain the comparison? I wasn't clear what the terms "precious air" or "so professional, right to the final bell" were referring to?

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I would love to comment fully on this company that has always been a favourite visitor to London, but a busy schedule meant I was only able to get to one performance. I saw Programme C and confess that four works completely new to me is my idea of ballet heaven.

The opening Beaux by Mark Morris had interesting choreography but strangely it didn’t seem to work with the dancers behind the music in places, I’d like to see it again though but perhaps with a different cast. The following piece, Classical Symphony, has to compete with my memories of what Lavrovsky did to the same music, but Possokhov has created a ballet of dazzling dexterity to the very familiar music and the mystery of why the Morris piece looked a little under-danced was to some extent solved as I imagine the company’s male virtuosos were held back for this demanding work. In places I found the choreography a bit frantic but some passages were quite breathtaking in their virtuosity and it was clear that despite the difficulty of the steps the dancers performed with astonishing ease. After the interval we got the one narrative work of the evening, Raku, again by Possokhov and the in-your-face drama of the piece had a massive effect on the audience. Time and again choreographers are attracted to Japanese themes with varying results but this was a very superior effort with a fabulous role for YuanYuan Tan and a score that put me in mind of Khatchaturian in places. Though I think the history of the events portrayed was probably not known to the audience. They saved the very best till last with a fabulous Wheeldon piece called Within the Golden Hour, a gorgeous ballet of stunning invention and beautifully danced by the company. The evening seemed to get better as it went along and the audience were clearly enjoying themselves throughout. SFB doesn’t visit London often enough, though the same can be said of the other US companies, but they always impress, that’s for sure.

I think the comments comparing the RB with this company are probably down to the very random standards of performance now prevalent there. Too many performances are marred by indifferent attitudes from the dancers and it is rare to come away from an evening of the RB without comparing unfavourably to the reputation the company had in the past. Kevin O’Hare has a lot to do if the Royal Ballet is ever to be considered top flight again.

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There's a nice photo gallery here:

http://www.for-balle...allet-2012.html

Thanks very much for these, everyone. I've been wanting to know how things turned out for my 'hometown' ballet company in Europe. I wish there was more info on the performances in Moscow.

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