I went to the matinee today and had my first live viewing of SFB and loved it. To me a much better company that ABT, but that's perhaps a discussion.
Tomasson's Trio is a very nice, beautifully constructed piece that shows off the dancers very well. M. Froustey was enchanting, but more of a surprise was soloist Dana Genshaft. She is a beautiful women, with a full and wonderfully organic movement quality.
Ghosts is a terrific piece that was danced well by all. The music, lighting, costumes and movement all work together to create a world.
Suite en Blanc - Interesting that the music was the same as the Ratmansky ballet Namouna (not exactly the same, this ballet uses fewer pieces from the Lalo suite). I didn't know what to expect, but was enchanted. Some of the choreography was devilishly difficult, but all the dancers seemed comfortable. One stand out for me was Sasha de Sola, a soloist with the company. She was so secure and delightful. Well pretty much everyone was secure and delightful, but this dancer stood out. Also Sofiane Sylvie is a dancer with star power who can really hold the stage.
I'm so glad I got to see this company. I could easily fall in love. One other note - I still can't quite figure out why Maria Kochetkova is a guest with ABT at the Met. I saw her SL last year, when she replaced Cojocaru, and it was good but not great. When I saw her this afternoon in Ghosts she was good, but not better than anyone else in this outstanding company. Her name can't possibly sell tickets. I don't get it.
Hi Vipa, you bring up something that is worth talking about: the ballets chosen by Tomasson for NYC seem to be ones that specifically show off the COMPANY, and not so much individuals - they are pieces that show how well these dancers can work together as an integrated team.
Kochetkova can be great in a piece like "Borderlands" as well as the traditional pieces, but it's all about what "blows up your skirt". I myself have not paid so much attention to certain dancers for a long while, and then one night, they may just do something unexpected and turn my head around. I love those moments when someone's artistry exceeds my expectations.
It always helps to see a bunch of different programs over time - that's when you get won over by particular people in particular roles. I think you are the first person to mention Dana Genshaft and Sasha de Sola - it's great when people start noticing less celebrated, but very talented dancers, too.
Interesting point, and certainly one that I can't fault Tomasson for. He has to show how great his company is, and by my viewing of one performance, he succeeded. My comment about Maria Kochetkova was that I just don't get why she is a guest artist with ABT.
If I lived in SF I would be so into this company. As a New Yorker I am a bit NYCB fan.