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Fall Season @ State Theater Oct 16-27


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#91 vipa

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:25 PM

Interesting 

 

 

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.



#92 pherank

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:54 PM

Interesting 

 

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.

 

And so would I be if I was in NYC.  ;)

 

But I'm on the West Coast, so for me, I've had to learn with SFB and PNB. I did of course go see ABT when they recently visited LA, which was worthwhile to be sure. But now with Messmer and Froustey added into the mix, there's still lots to be experienced with SFB. I'm looking forward to next season and beyond. I'm hoping Froustey can really blossom in SF.

 

EDIT: regarding Masha Kochetkova at ABT - she's absolutely the type of person who will take on any challenge just to see how it goes. She is extraordinarly fearless. And so she will have a load of life experiences at the end. She's become one of the "gala queens", and seems willing to appear anywhere she can make friends. So she's got fans spread out all around the globe from these gala appearances. She's a very intelligent and thoughtful woman (if you ever happen to listen to an interview with her), so I suppose her personality just wins people over. ABT may have just needed someone on short notice and she's certainly the type to just get on the red eye flight and be there, as needed.



#93 abatt

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:02 PM

A few notes. Kochetkova fills a need for ABT insofar as giving Herman Cornejo an appropriately sized partner.  Reyes is his usual go-to partner, but she is getting old and cannot dance everything. IN fact, she has never danced SL at ABT, so they had to find an outside person to dance with Cornejo in SL.  

 

Anyway, back to SFB.  Messmer was gorgeous in the German section on Friday evening of the Ratmansky ballet. She danced with beautiful lyricism.

 

Froustey was a knockout today in Trio. Other highlights of this afternoon included the gorgeous Yuan Yuan Tan and the regal Sofiane Sylve in Suite en Blanc.   What a wonderful company. I hope NY doesn't have to wait another 5 years for a return visit.



#94 Buddy

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:21 AM

EDIT: regarding Masha Kochetkova at ABT - she's absolutely the type of person who will take on any challenge just to see how it goes. She is extraordinarly fearless. And so she will have a load of life experiences at the end. She's become one of the "gala queens", and seems willing to appear anywhere she can make friends. So she's got fans spread out all around the globe from these gala appearances. She's a very intelligent and thoughtful woman (if you ever happen to listen to an interview with her), so I suppose her personality just wins people over. ABT may have just needed someone on short notice and she's certainly the type to just get on the red eye flight and be there, as needed.

 

 

 

Very nice comments. The immediate announcement of her replacing the cancelled Alina Cojocaru in ABT's June "Swan Lake" brightened my day considerably. I had a ticket to see Alina, but a chance to see Maria really compensated. She was Excellent !
 
Thanks also for listing Simone Messmer's performances.
 
Abatt wrote:
 
"A few notes. Kochetkova fills a need for ABT insofar as giving Herman Cornejo an appropriately sized partner."
 
Conversely, I think that it helps the appearance of Maria Kochetkova's performances considerbly to have "an appropriately sized partner." She looked just fine with Herman Cornejo.
 
and
 
"Anyway, back to SFB.  Messmer was gorgeous in the German section on Friday evening of the Ratmansky ballet. She danced with beautiful lyricism."
 
Great to hear !


#95 atm711

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:49 AM

I went to the SunMat Oct 20 performance - 'From Foreign Lands; 'Symphonic Dances'; 'Suite en Blanc'---The absolute winner choreographically was Edwaard Liang.  At the start of the performance, cast changes were announced---and since they are done in a garbled manner---I am not quite sure of who danced what.  My kudos go Liang for his gorgeous work.

The ensemble dances were inventive and inspired and were interspersed with three poetic PDDs----any one of them could stand alone---and here we had three.

And now from the sublime to the.............'Suite en Blanc'-----such Kitsch!  I saw this work for the first time in 1947 (yes, the year is not a typo)  The POB had a NYC season and this was part of it (along with 'Palais de Crystal').  I cannot recall any part of the work---but I do remember my reaction to it at the time....negative all the way.---At the time I had been a ballet-goer for only 3 years..and had visions of  Balanchine in my head---and imagine seeing 'Symphony in C'  for the first time and then seeing 'Suite en Blanc'??  The  combinations are so simplistic----classroom exercises---and the men walking about with one arm raised in a "Hail, Caesar salute"----much too often during the piece...and that exemplary corps de ballet---just standing in the background and posing.

 

I wish there were more mixed programs to see-----It is a marvelous Company----maybe we could do a switch and have them in NYC for half a year while we send NYCB to SF.......tiphat.gif



#96 Golden Idol

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:48 AM

Enjoyed Trio, From Foreign Lands (the national dances in Swan Lake, but without the swans), and Symphonic Dances, but couldn't disagree more about Suite en Blanc--saw both perfs this weekend, and loved it even more the second time. If these are classroom exercises, then I'm quite at home in the classroom, complete with what I kept thinking of as Le Grand Gesture (of which, yes, there are plenty in this piece). From your description, I would have thought you were referring to the pretty but inane Bal de Couture over at NYCB. And so nice to see Simone Messmer again as the girl in the pas de cinq! So I hope we can agree to disagree on this one.

 

I haven't been to San Francisco in about twelve years; now I want to return next year to see more of this terrific company!



#97 abatt

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:09 AM

To each his own.  I liked Suite en Blanc and was happy to see both performances of that ballet over the weekend.  During this visit I was able to see aspects of Simone Messmer's dancing that I had never seen at ABT.  Her rep at ABT was so limited and stilted.  Now she can shine, they way she should have during her years at ABT. 

 

I think the rep of SFB fits Maria Kochetkova better than either of the ballets I saw her in at ABT (SL and SB). 



#98 FauxPas

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:12 AM

For those who have been put off by the high price or scarcity of tickets for "Cinderella" next week.  The box office has now opened up the Fourth Ring for all shows Wednesday through Sunday afternoon.  The first two rows in the center are $91.00 but the rest are $29.00 plus the $2 service charge.  Get them while they last.



#99 mussel

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:14 AM

I like Suite en Blanc too, and understand why it's a crowd pleaser.  But I like Ratmansky's Namouna better. I don't mind if ABT acquires SeB.



#100 Golden Idol

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:55 AM

Is there talk of ABT doing Suite en blanc? That would be lovely...and a fine way to show off the corp and some soloists. Hmmm...perhaps I should revisit Namouna this winter, though I hadn't intended to.



#101 pherank

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:08 PM

I haven't been to San Francisco in about twelve years; now I want to return next year to see more of this terrific company!

 

It's always nice to have visitors join us at the War Memorial, Golden Idol. The SFB 2014 season will be, unsuprisingly, a kind of mix of things seen before, with a few premiere ballets. Program 5 will be the West Coast premiere of Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy, and I know that anyone seeing ABT will likely have already viewed this ballet. Otherwise, the programs are probably a mix of things you've already seen with maybe one new item. Tomasson likes to do a lot of mixed-rep programs - and I personally love that. I feel like I've had a full evening when I get to see 3 different ballets. But a single story ballet for me, while engrossing enough, still involves only one theme or approach, so I always walk out of the opera house feeling like I could use more. But that's just me.

I know I'm going to see Program 8 (Balanchine/Robbins) myself. NYC is super-saturated with Balanchine and Robbins, but on the West Coast, we get to see only a couple of decent productions involving that repertory each year [I should amend that to say, at both PNB and SFB, there are usually a couple of chances to see B & R]. It's been a slow, painful process for me to get to see most of Mr. B's masterworks live. Otherwise, I make do with videos.



#102 Golden Idol

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:34 PM

Thank you, Pherank, for the comments on SF's upcoming season. Though it is probably unrealistic to think about it, I'm sorely tempted to visit in time for programs 2 & 3, as I'd love to see how SF does the Shades (Bayadere being my favorite ballet, as you might guess from my handle here). We shall see...



#103 pherank

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:39 PM

Thank you, Pherank, for the comments on SF's upcoming season. Though it is probably unrealistic to think about it, I'm sorely tempted to visit in time for programs 2 & 3, as I'd love to see how SF does the Shades (Bayadere being my favorite ballet, as you might guess from my handle here). We shall see...

 

I plan on seeing 'The Shades' as well.  ;)

 

I was planning on seeing Kingdom of the Shades regardless of whatever else was on the program, just because it's one of my favorite ballet moments (and the music is as good as Minkus gets). I do wonder who gets to lead the Corps in the long serpentine dance: Danilova mentioned that the first shade down the ramp did 31 arabesques before the last shade arrives. Who will be given the 'honor'?



#104 pherank

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:30 PM

Today's tweet from Masha Kochetkova:

 

"So tired. Boom."

 

Two nights of Cinderella and then you rest...



#105 Jayne

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:36 PM



 

 


I know I'm going to see Program 8 (Balanchine/Robbins) myself. NYC is super-saturated with Balanchine and Robbins, but on the West Coast, we get to see only a couple of decent productions involving that repertory each year [I should amend that to say, at both PNB and SFB, there are usually a couple of chances to see B & R]. It's been a slow, painful process for me to get to see most of Mr. B's masterworks live. Otherwise, I make do with videos.

 

Here are some West Coast Balanchine performances that I've been able to find, to sate pherank's appetite:

 

October: Rubies at Sacramento Ballet

December: Nutcracker at Oregon Ballet Theatre

April:  Midsummer Night's Dream at PNB

May: Apollo at Sacramento Ballet 

May: Serenade at Los Angeles Ballet (4 theatres)

May: Episodes / Walspurgisnacht/Western Symphony at Ballet Arizona

 

And not quite west coast, more inland empire:

November: Who Cares? at Ballet West

November: Serenade at Ballet Idaho

April: Div.#15 at Ballet West




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