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Mathilde FrousteyNew Principal Dancer at SFB


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#46 silvermash

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 04:39 PM

the only other Etoile dancer who has little repertoire who is coming to my mind is Ould-Braham... Dorothée GIlbert is little cast in contemporary but ventures in neo-classical.Abbagnato has danced the repertoire when she was younger and it seems Renavand is likely to try classics as well.  Among male dancers, Ganio and Heymann are mostly doing classics but they are still the youngest so it may change.
I think what is required to be Etoile is to have this high level in classical repertory and that's why the Premiers danseurs who are likely to become Etoiles have to prove they can. But in the meantime, artistic and acting  skills are required at a high level too and it's diffcult to show a wide range of talent when you're not cast in contemporary and neo classical.
Each year there are huge discussions around the concours  but this is difficult to find another way of promoting dancers which would be that fair. And although some complain about the concours, overall they are attached to this way of promotion. Afterall from what I can remember of the past ten years, there are very few dancers who has been left over by concours with blatant injustice... Perhaps Fanny Fiat would had deserved to be Première Danseuse (she left the company in her early 30s) but all the others, even if it took a long time managed to pass that level.



#47 pherank

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:11 PM

Sad, or pensive? The Instagram caption says it all:

“Somewhere in between San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo …”
a185c638b23311e38a7c0e01f266ad39_8.jpg

[ from http://instagram.com/p/l3lmoqHrRg/ ]



#48 Josette

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 12:09 PM

Mlle. Froustey was cast in and received acclaim for her performance in Serenade with POB last season, which we who have danced it do not consider to be a soubrette role.  My secret desire is that SFB revive The Sleeping Beauty next season, and I would take my vacation to see Froustey, Zahorian, Tan, Van Patten, and Kochetkova all dance Aurora. (It's important to dream!) 



#49 pherank

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:01 PM

Mlle. Froustey was cast in and received acclaim for her performance in Serenade with POB last season, which we who have danced it do not consider to be a soubrette role.  My secret desire is that SFB revive The Sleeping Beauty next season, and I would take my vacation to see Froustey, Zahorian, Tan, Van Patten, and Kochetkova all dance Aurora. (It's important to dream!) 

 

I believe it has been (or will be) 7 years since SFB has performed a Sleeping Beauty. My own dreams run more to what Balanchine or Robbins I would like to see them do, or oddities like Ashton's Illuminations, but that's just me. I also wish Tomasson would spread out, say, 3 different Balanchine ballets throughout the season for once, rather than have a Balanchine program.

 

As to whether Froustey can dance such things successfuly - there's no way to find out except to try. I've seen the Serenade footage of POB, and level of execution was high (as one might expect). And I liked the French 'perfume' given to that work by POB, but theirs is a style that appeals to me.



#50 Quiggin

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:43 AM

I agree that Tomasson should spread the Balanchine works throughout the season. Difficult I think for a company to do a quick study of a particular style of dance for a few weeks and then present a good reading of the choreographer's ideas.

 

It's like doing Shaw or Shakespeare –  best to be doing it regularly to be fluent in the language and "little tricks." Anyway, that may have been the problem with the pure ballet of Kingdom of the Shades (which I didn't see because Bolshoi had done it here a few years earlier so absolutely perfectly and I didn't want to have conflicting impressions of it.)

 

Froustey was a great Giselle, but I'm wondering how she will be in Balanchine, especially something like Agon which is a primary modernist work – what with a certain style of hip placement and a tight vocabulary of movements that follow strict planes of action. Serenade on the other hand is much closer to Giselle – done for a small company of itinerant dancers, or something like that.

 

Reviving works no one else is doing – like Illuminations, though the good and evil themes might not read as they once did – is a great idea and would give the audience something to really look forward to. Maybe a whole  program called "1952" (or "1933").



#51 abatt

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:49 AM

AT a NYCB gala a few years ago Peter Martins invited etoiles Dupont and Heymann to dance the pdd from Rubies.  It was the worst performance of that ballet I had ever seen, and looked nothing like the style of the NYCB dancers.  I don't think neoclassical ballet is a strength of POB dancers.



#52 pherank

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:56 PM


Reviving works no one else is doing – like Illuminations, though the good and evil themes might not read as they once did – is a great idea and would give the audience something to really look forward to. Maybe a whole  program called "1952" (or "1933").

 

Ballet 1933! What a great idea.  ;)

 

AT a NYCB gala a few years ago Peter Martins invited etoiles Dupont and Heymann to dance the pdd from Rubies.  It was the worst performance of that ballet I had ever seen, and looked nothing like the style of the NYCB dancers.  I don't think neoclassical ballet is a strength of POB dancers.

 

I know what you are saying about the stylistic differences (though I thoroughly enjoy Dupont and Belarbi on the DVD version of Jewels). But the POB (Bolshoi, Mariinsky, etc.) versions are not going to be close reproductions of the original roles. Companies are given too much leeway when 'trying on' a ballet for that to ever happen. They would have to be schooled in the approach/style. And for a lot longer than 3 weeks. I don't want to see Froustey lose her POB style; I would just like to see her modify it successfully when a particular ballet demands a different approach.

 

This is out of left field, but I was thinking of what Janie Taylor could be doing post-retirement. How about teaching the Balanchine 'method' as a permanent class in the San Francisco Ballet School? Taylor at least, cares about how things were done originally:

 

 

 

A majority of Taylor’s repertory is made up of Balanchine ballets, and to prepare, she requests videotapes (“the oldest thing I could get my hands on”) from the company video archives. She also spends time at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center studying VHS tapes of the original Balanchine casts. Taylor was fortunate to participate in several filmed coaching sessions for the George Balanchine Foundation, led by former dancers including Allegra Kent and Violette Verdy, who originated roles. Taylor says their instruction was illuminating but that there are only a “small handful” of NYCB dancers today who are interested in how Balanchine ballets were originally danced; many debut principal roles without ever having seen the ballet. [An Echo of Balanchine]


#53 Quiggin

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:02 PM

 

This is out of left field, but I was thinking of what Janie Taylor could be doing post-retirement. How about teaching the Balanchine 'method' as a permanent class in the San Francisco Ballet School? Taylor at least, cares about how things were done originally ...

 

 

I don't really know what San Francisco Ballet's relation to the Balanchine repertoire is these days. Gloria Govrin taught at the school between 1999 and 2005 according to SFB's Wikipedia entry, and there seemed to be more Balanchine works presented during that period than in recent years. A dancer I talked to then thought that GG was putting too much emphasis on Balanchine technique, and another said flatly "Balanchine is the past," at the same time he was being cast in some unfortunate, never to be seen again, new pieces.

 

The arts in San Francisco have been in a conservative mode in the past decade or so. The very progressive head of the opera, Pamela Rosenberg, was let go – as were the curators at the Fine Arts Museums, so that we only have had a succession of costume and not terribly interesting painting shows at the deYoung. The same people who are on the museum boards go to the ballet and maybe they have a say in what is presented. Anyway you have to be a Kremlinologist to figure it all out.

 

Yes, it will be interesting to see what Mathilde Froustey will do in things like the big Ratmansky program coming up. She was in From Foreign Lands, but that was lighter going – Moritz Moszkowski vs Dimitri Shostakovich.



#54 Josette

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 04:20 PM

The Shostakovich Trilogy principal casting is on the SBF website. Froustey is dancing in all performances, either in Chamber Symphony or Symphony No. 9.  Lorena Feijoo, Sarah Van Patten, and Simone Messmer are also each cast in two different parts of the Trilogy, dancing each night. I know from her facebook page that Vanessa Zahorian had been rehearsing for Chamber Symphony, but she is obviously still out with the foot injury.



#55 pherank

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:41 PM

The Shostakovich Trilogy principal casting is on the SBF website. Froustey is dancing in all performances, either in Chamber Symphony or Symphony No. 9.  Lorena Feijoo, Sarah Van Patten, and Simone Messmer are also each cast in two different parts of the Trilogy, dancing each night. I know from her facebook page that Vanessa Zahorian had been rehearsing for Chamber Symphony, but she is obviously still out with the foot injury.

 

That should make some people happy, for a night or two.



#56 pherank

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:41 PM

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#57 pherank

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 09:34 PM

Pointe magazine article online:

 

http://www.pointemag...2014/time-shine

 

Mathilde.jpg



#58 Eshana

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:45 AM

Mademoiselle Froustey's performance of Giselle (along with a host of others) with SFB is now up at:

 

http://vimeo.com/86094211

 

I found her simply lovely. She has a marvellously expressive face, and her acting is very natural and believable. The dancing is just so warm, open and engaging. I found that in Act 2 I was watching her face almost more than I was her limbs; that's how committed to the role she appeared to be. In the mad scene, I could trace the progression of her descent because the acting/mime was so clear and honest. Altogether, it was a very good production; only Tiit Helimets' costume in the first act struck a discordant note as the bottom half was so tight and flesh-coloured that it looked like he was dancing half naked.

 

To be honest, I find Froustey a million times more appealing and engaging than many of POB's principal ladies whose performances I've seen online. I can't believe that she was passed over for promotion; that those other said ladies were considered superior. SFB had better do everything in its power not to let Froustey go; she is a treasure.



#59 naomikage

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:16 AM

And here's a digest video of Mathilde Froustey in Paris Opera Ballet's Don Quixote last month.

 



#60 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 08:11 AM

To be honest, I find Froustey a million times more appealing and engaging than many of POB's principal ladies whose performances I've seen online. I can't believe that she was passed over for promotion; that those other said ladies were considered superior. SFB had better do everything in its power not to let Froustey go; she is a treasure.

 

Froustey has not performed well in the Concours (she even says that in the Pointe article). And the Concours is how you get promoted at POB. She's also a very emotive actress, in the style of Isabelle Ciaravola and Clairemarie Osta, both of whom were promoted very late in their careers. If you look at the dancers who have been promoted rapidly in the past 10 or 15 years, such as Aurelie Dupont, Dorothee Gilbert and Amandine Albisson, their style is fairly similar -- and quite different from Froustey's IMO.

 

I'm glad she's finding success in the US. It was depressing to continually see her onstage in demi-soloist roles.




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