mussel

Fall Season @ State Theater Oct 16-27

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SFB will return to the State Theater, Lincoln Center for a 2-week season with mixed programs by Ratmansky, Wheeldon, Morris, Tomasson, McGregor, Liang.., and Wheeldon's Cinderella.

http://www.sfballet.org/tickets/ontour

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I had to laugh at the opening language of their announcement:

As part of our mission to share the joy of dance with the widest possible audience in our community and around the globe, . . .

New York's Lincoln Center? Coals to Newcastle anybody? I'd say southern California could use a visit from SFB, especially in view of the disastrous season for 2013-14 at Segerstrom.

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Thanks for this info Mussel. Looking forward to this engagement.

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Smart move, taking Cinderella. It opens tonight, and according to the website, the entire run of nine performances is sold out.

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New York's Lincoln Center? Coals to Newcastle anybody? I'd say southern California could use a visit from SFB, especially in view of the disastrous season for 2013-14 at Segerstrom.

And I would travel to Segerstrom to see SFB - definitely an improvement over the other 2014 offerings.

Smart move, taking Cinderella. It opens tonight, and according to the website, the entire run of nine performances is sold out.

Well they have certainly marketed the hell out of it. And Wheeldon's name is now starting to have real cachet (not that the general public is going to know Wheeldon from Adam).

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Seems like NY City Center is tosing a lot of bookings. SFB used to always appear at City Center.

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I had to laugh at the opening language of their announcement:

As part of our mission to share the joy of dance with the widest possible audience in our community and around the globe, . . .

New York's Lincoln Center? Coals to Newcastle anybody? I'd say southern California could use a visit from SFB, especially in view of the disastrous season for 2013-14 at Segerstrom.

Yep. What god do I need to sacrifice to in order to get some classical ballet down here???

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City Center has been the default for many companies because with NYST full, there was no alternate venue of its size in Manhattan. Now that there is another option for part of the season, and there is no direct competition, it's win/win.

In the meantime, NYCO is looking for a new home in cental Manhattan.

NYST managed after ABT left the theater. I'm sure City Center will as well.

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I had to laugh at the opening language of their announcement:

As part of our mission to share the joy of dance with the widest possible audience in our community and around the globe, . . .

NYC could sure use some Ratmansky-choreographed dancing.

On a more serious note, I wonder when the casting will be announced. Or do they expect us to buy tickets without knowing who we are going to see?

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On a more serious note, I wonder when the casting will be announced. Or do they expect us to buy tickets without knowing who we are going to see?

Here in San Francisco, they only tell us the casts a week ahead of the performance date. mad.gif

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Well they have certainly marketed the hell out of it. And Wheeldon's name is now starting to have real cachet (not that the general public is going to know Wheeldon from Adam).

When the title of the ballet is "Cinderella", it doesn't matter to the general public who the choreographer is.

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On a more serious note, I wonder when the casting will be announced. Or do they expect us to buy tickets without knowing who we are going to see?

Most likely the opening night cast will be going, revealed here in this review quote -

"Katita Waldo as the small-minded stepmom witch, Sarah Van Patten as the bullying and vainglorious older stepsister, and Frances Chung as the bespectacled young ninny formed a triumvirate that danced with vicious silliness. Such inventive dance, surgically delivered, is a rare delight.

Dancing to Prokofiev's lush and often melancholic 1945 score, Maria Kochetkova was a pliant dreamy girl, and Joan Boada an earnestly boyish Prince"...

..."But the elegantly impish Taras Domitro as the Prince's best friend and son of the King's valet, danced joyously and inventively. Damian Smith performed Cinderella's father with apt fecklessness, and Val Caniparoli as Ben's father had a comic-serious way with his jousting stick."

Normally SF Ballet is good about rotating through all the principals over the course of a week, so It's possible to get a chance to see, for example, Kochetkova, Yuan Yuan Tan, Vanessa Zahorian, Sarah Van Patten, Lorena Feijoo, Frances Chung and Sofiane Sylve in just a 7 day period. Since it sounds like NYC is going to get a mixed program that will cover all bases, the dancers will probably be assigned to perform particular ballets and not others.

-----------------------------------------

Given this list of choreographers -

Ratmansky, Wheeldon, Morris, Tomasson, McGregor, Liang.., and Wheeldon's Cinderella

My guesses at the works to be presented -

From Foreign Lands

Cinderella (excerpts? and/or Within the Golden Hour)

Beaux

Criss-Cross or 7 for Eight

Borderlands

Symphonic Dances

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I interpreted the press release to mean we were getting at least two different rep programs. I think they did 7 for Eight when they came to the Lincoln Center Festival a few years ago, if I'm not mistaken.

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I interpreted the press release to mean we were getting at least two different rep programs. I think they did 7 for Eight when they came to the Lincoln Center Festival a few years ago, if I'm not mistaken.

Tomasson's Trio would be another possibility. I'm curious how SF has the money to present Cinderella in full (in NYC) with stagings and costumes, unless they've received some sort of grant for touring the piece.

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But if the casts are not announced until one week before the actual performance, what do you usually do? Buy tickets to everything and then try to sell the ones for the casts that you do not find interesting?

I'm asking because I really would love to see Yuan Yuan Tan as Cinderella. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra for good seats, but it looks like by the time the casts are disclosed the best seats might be gone already, or the whole run might be sold out.

Dear San-Franciscans, what do you usually do to get around this predicament? :)

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But if the casts are not announced until one week before the actual performance, what do you usually do? Buy tickets to everything and then try to sell the ones for the casts that you do not find interesting?

I'm asking because I really would love to see Yuan Yuan Tan as Cinderella. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra for good seats, but it looks like by the time the casts are disclosed the best seats might be gone already, or the whole run might be sold out.

Dear San-Franciscans, what do you usually do to get around this predicament? smile.png

Speaking for myself, I'm a subscriber, so I see whoever they cast for my subscription.

If I want (and can afford) to see a program again, they don't usually sell out the regular performances, especially the mixed rep, so it's generally not hard to get a decent ticket after casts are announced, and if worst comes to worst, I go standing room.

Anyway, I try not to get all that hung up on casts. Being open minded has resulted in a lot of surprises, most of them pleasant (e.g., Tan's lovely Tatiana; Tan isn't known as an actress, but I love the ballet and already had the ticket, so I went and -- Tan was unexpectedly wonderful); and sure, sometimes not so pleasant.

I hope you get what you want, but these are all good dancers and it's unlikely you'll be disappointed, whoever you end up seeing. Enjoy!

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Speaking for myself, I'm a subscriber, so I see whoever they cast for my subscription.

If I want (and can afford) to see a program again, they don't usually sell out the regular performances, especially the mixed rep, so it's generally not hard to get a decent ticket after casts are announced, and if worst comes to worst, I go standing room.

Anyway, I try not to get all that hung up on casts. Being open minded has resulted in a lot of surprises, most of them pleasant (e.g., Tan's lovely Tatiana; Tan isn't known as an actress, but I love the ballet and already had the ticket, so I went and -- Tan was unexpectedly wonderful); and sure, sometimes not so pleasant.

I hope you get what you want, but these are all good dancers and it's unlikely you'll be disappointed, whoever you end up seeing. Enjoy!

Thank you!!!

Best regards from the other coast! :)

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When they toured SoCal two-ish years ago we got casts 1 week in advance, I believe. You just have to resign yourself to the luck of the draw; luckily SFBs principals (especially the women) rarely disappoint (though I am not a fan of Zahorian or as big a fan of Kotchekova as many on here are).

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The company members are all pretty good – the London tour reviews gave the dancers top marks, but were less excited by the choreography. For me From Foreign Lands and Borderlands would be the most distinguished pieces. But it's hard to say what will travel well – will what's charming in San Francisco be so in New York? Luke Ingham and Carlos Quenedit are interesting new male principals, Sofiane Sylve is always a treat to watch, Taras Domitro can be absolutely brilliant, hammy or classically lyrical, and Maria Kochetkova gives well-finished and consistent performances.

Cinderella is great fun to watch, a combination of burlesque and low comedy (many jokes about smells) combined with the lovely dancing and some of the figures of Wheeldon's Carousel – but I'd read the reviews carefully if the ticket prices don't fit into your normal ballet budget.

Someone mentioned/speculated that the ballet company is following the Cinderella sets on their way back to Amsterdam – and that may help pay for the traveling costs of the tour.

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But if the casts are not announced until one week before the actual performance, what do you usually do? Buy tickets to everything and then try to sell the ones for the casts that you do not find interesting?

I'm asking because I really would love to see Yuan Yuan Tan as Cinderella. I wouldn't mind paying a little extra for good seats, but it looks like by the time the casts are disclosed the best seats might be gone already, or the whole run might be sold out.

Dear San-Franciscans, what do you usually do to get around this predicament? smile.png

In this situation, there's no way to know how things will play out until a couple of weeks beforehand (usually). The good news is, and I mean this honestly, there are no 'duds' amongst the principals of SF Ballet, which is one of the reasons they are so highly regarded these days. I'm personally very picky about such things and I can say that even the dancers that I'm less inclined towards put everything they have into their performances, and there aren't that many companies you can say that about. This season, I was less excited about seeing, say, Vanessa Zahorian in certain roles (I wanted to see more of Tan, Van Patten and Kochetkova this year), but Zahorian had the lead in Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour the first night I went, and she was EXCEPTIONAL. Her interpretation was extraordinarily beautiful that night, and the next night when Feijoo danced the same part I just wasn't moved in the same way. So you never know. I've got to like a company that can surprise me repeatedly in this way.

I can also say that many of the principals have the rare ability to excel in both traditional ballet and in modern McGregor-type dances.

Honestly, I wish I could be there myself to see SF Ballet dance all those programs. ;)

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Thanks for this info Mussel. Looking forward to this engagement.

Thank you!!!

Best regards from the other coast! smile.png

I don't know if you find Alastair Macaulay helpful, or a hindrance, but he's reviewed Wheeldon's Cinderella. The good news? The SF Ballet fairs well. The bad news? He doesn't like Wheeldon's approach. However, it does seem as though the majority of reviews have been quite positive. The stage production itself sounds like it is fascinating to the eye.

Although all three women make the most of their roles, Mr. Wheeldon’s most is too little for dancers of this caliber or for the other two Cinderellas I saw, Maria Kochetkova (Sunday) and Yuan Yuan Tan (Saturday evening). The repeated joke about one stepsister’s halitosis is lousy, anyway; when applied to an important ballerina, it’s doubly irksome.

http://www.nytimes.c...cinderella.html

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I don't know if you find Alastair Macaulay helpful, or a hindrance, but he's reviewed Wheeldon's Cinderella. The good news? The SF Ballet fairs well. The bad news? He doesn't like Wheeldon's approach. However, it does seem as though the majority of reviews have been quite positive. The stage production itself sounds like it is fascinating to the eye.

Although all three women make the most of their roles, Mr. Wheeldon’s most is too little for dancers of this caliber or for the other two Cinderellas I saw, Maria Kochetkova (Sunday) and Yuan Yuan Tan (Saturday evening). The repeated joke about one stepsister’s halitosis is lousy, anyway; when applied to an important ballerina, it’s doubly irksome.

http://www.nytimes.c...cinderella.html

Thank you so much, pherank! I rarely find myself in agreement with Mr. New York Times Most Important Ballet Critic, but it was an interesting read.

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Thank you so much, pherank! I rarely find myself in agreement with Mr. New York Times Most Important Ballet Critic, but it was an interesting read.

LOL. I think that's why they keep him around - he rubs people the wrong way oftentimes, and it makes people talk. No publicity is bad publicity in the news business. ;)

The Links thread from Monday has 4 reviews of Cinderella as well:

http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/37156-monday-may-6/

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I must say I concur – along with a couple of friends who never really agree on anything – with Macaulay's assessment of the ballet. It seem more like a contemporary musical, very clever and with lots of great sets, but lacking some of important conventions and those beautiful moments of utter transparency that ballets usually have. And there were indeed some awkward and murky passages, one in which Cinderella is tossed a bit like a manikan by the Prince (even Maria Kochetkova who can usually pull anything off seemed a bit disconcerted).

A big problem I felt – which didn't seem to be the case with the video of the Dutch production – is that the Prokofiev score was played so politely and respectfully that it didn't sound like Prokofiev. There seemed to be none of the agressively melodic, sarcastic, and self-ironic characteristics you usually hear in his music (even in the Richter solo piano version) that might which may have helped bring more depth to the narrative and to the choreography.

Rita Felciano has also written a good account of Cinderella at DanceviewTimes, nicely titled "The Two Sisters," that's as critical as Macaulay's:

While the choreography for the lovers flowed nicely, very little of it sent your teeth on edge for its imaginative power and the interpretive challenges it offered to the leads. This is supposed to be Cinderella's story not the stepsisters...

I, for one, would have gladly opted for less cake but more bread.

http://www.danceview...wo-sisters.html

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A big problem I felt – which didn't seem to be the case with the video of the Dutch production – is that the Prokofiev score was played so politely and respectfully that it didn't sound like Prokofiev. There seemed to be none of the agressively melodic, sarcastic, and self-ironic characteristics you usually hear in his music (even in the Richter solo piano version) that might which may have helped bring more depth to the narrative and to the choreography.

An important point that Quiggin raises, is that Cinderella has been seen before - in the Netherlands, and I don't recall that it was described in the same terms. So something has changed. If one of the issues is the manner in which the music is conducted, then there's only a short term problem. It sounds like Wheeldon has taken the "agressively melodic, sarcastic, and self-ironic characteristics you usually hear in [Prokofiev's] music" and moved them to the dancer roles (and the conductor has obligingly dimmed those elements in the music way down).

The Felciano review makes some suggestions for editing the piece, and, if Wheeldon listens to his inner Balanchine, he'll continue to sculpt this ballet into something that is effective from beginning to end. But I'm not sure that Wheeldon is the type to continue to tinker with his works. Can anyone confirm that?

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