PeggyR

SFB 2014: Program 3

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I need to add that, during Ghosts, I found myself constantly watching Julia Rowe.

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I need to add that, during Ghosts, I found myself constantly watching Julia Rowe.

Josette: i started a thread a couple of weeks ago, Dancers to Watch, and Julia Rowe was on the list. She has such a beautiful softness, and yet Saturday she danced a very athletic 2nd couple in Tears. I love seeing these young dancers revealing their sometime unexpected qualities.

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I remember seeing your comment. I can't wait to see more of her!

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Always so interesting to read all the comments! I was at the Friday night program 3 on February 28. I thought the corps did fine work - that adagio is going to be somewhat more difficult for a group of diversely trained dancers to breathe together, get the line of their individual gazes together while using peripheral vision to keep in perfect lines, etc. I was sitting in the second row and it was indeed the lovely Elizabeth Powell who had the honor-responsibility of leading the Shades out on to the stage. There were discrepancies in the arabesque heights (second Shade's arabesque was only 90 degrees en fendu, which is strange because when you tilt forward into an arabesque allongé, your arabesque leg should naturally go up beyond 90 degrees) but it went very well. I did not care for the principals - effortful, tense, a display of working hard; not only lacking spirituality from the female principal but there was no classical ease that is needed for this role to make it beautiful.

For me, the highlight of the evening was Yuan Yuan Tan as the Firebird. (Also enjoyed Tiit Helimets very much.) What an exquisite dancer she is- refined, pure and uncluttered technique, utterly graceful, beautiful port de bras, no mugging, honest. She is a dream.

I am back in SF on March 13 and 14 to see Cinderella. I was hoping that Vanessa Zahorian would be on stage again, but, as was reported here a few weeks ago, she injured herself (a broken toe) when she danced the Diana and Acteon pas de deux at the gala, although she finished the performance. This was reported in one of the SF papers.

Great comments, Josette, thanks. I was pretty much certain about Powell being the Shade lead, but each night I was sitting farther from the stage, and things were getting more blurry with each performance ;) Which lead to one of the down moments for me - on Friday night I was realizing that something was wrong with the trio of dancers in Bayadere - "Is that Froustey on the left? That doesn't look like Froustey. . .and is that Messmer? I don't think it is! Oh no!" (I hadn't had time to look at the program before the start). Well, the trio dancing was fine actually, but not the same for me. I wanted to see the magic again.

I too noticed that the 2nd Shade happened to have a particularly low arabesque height, which was odd casting next to Powell, who looked like a perfect emulation of the POB's Shade-style - I would think the ballet master would at least want a similar look within a row, or dancers in close proximity.

I also felt that on Friday night, Tan was the clear standout, in The Firebird ballet. That was one of the 'magic' moments of the week for me, when everything was just clicking. I hadn't seen Possokhov's version of Firebird until this week, and had low to no expectations for it. I just wanted to hear the score played live by the orchestra. ;) But I was pleasantly suprised. The only thing that doesn't quite work yet in this version, imo, is the choregraphy in the finale, which tries to make light of the grandiosity of the music - and that is OK since it fits with the rest of the choreography. But having the dancers stand on the stage and kind of bob their arms in time to the repetitions and swelling in the music is only funny for a moment - then it gets old. (I'm reminded of the Balanchine comment, "three times is a trick".) I would like to see something a bit more clever there.

What you said about the Bayadere principals was interesting. I wasn't bothered by anything in the dancing - I just noticed that Matvienko was, as you say, working hard, to put on a show (and I have to think it was friendly competition with Karapetyn who really threw down the gauntlet on Wednesday night). I have learned that Kochetkova is sick with what is probably the flu (she has a fever), so that might be why she seemed to lack some emotional life that night.

A digression, but regarding Zahorian: she's keeping busy fronting a jewelry business with an Armenian connection: Dancing Tulip

http://www.sfballetblog.org/2014/02/new-beginnings-2014/

I imagine it's gonig to take several months at least to heal from her injury and begin any strenuous activity on her foot.

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I hope that Kochetkova will be fully recovered for her performances in Cinderella starting next week.

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I hope that Kochetkova will be fully recovered for her performances in Cinderella starting next week.

Well she's already rehearsing for a gala somewhere - so Masha never stops moving...

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Josette, I loved your continued comments! I'm all nods here.

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