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SFB 2014: Shoshtakovich Trilogy


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#16 abatt

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:12 AM

I thought Chamber Symphony was the ballet in the trilogy that was the most difficult to pull off. The other two are more in the nature of pure dance, but Chamber Symphony relies more on dramatic skills. 



#17 Quiggin

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 02:29 AM

What a great ballet Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy! – one of the best things I’ve ever seen in San Francisco, or New York.  It was like a triple bill of The Four Temperaments, Rubies and Ivesiana – but as fresh as when new.

But it’s a real ballet, not a pastiche, with real structure and depth. It moved again and again from community to some sort of personal existential crisis, or to a crisis between a couple separated from community. And what changes of narrative and moods, and how the corps dancers had so many figures to work out, and what different shades of tone and “color” they go through.

The narrative of the Sarah Van Patten and the Carlos Quenedit couple in Symphony #9 were the most interesting to me, how it describes the phases of a relationship, very sensitively drawn by the two dancers. They have some relation to the wild card character, Taras Domitro, who is dressed in the same gray velour costume, and in one part begins jumping straight up and down while moving laterally point to point, like a stone skipping on water, wildly beating his feet in the air, until he has disappeared stage left and some new business begins stage right. I noticed Simone Messmer’s character only towards the end and then was sorry I was just beginning to focus on her. Vitor Luiz’s performance in Piano Concerto #1 was especially strong and his character so inventive and dazzling. The slightly lopsided dance between Maria Kochetkova and Yuan Yuan Tan was brilliant too. And Davit Karapetyan in the black velvet evening jacket in Chamber Symphony reminded me of some of the great Tadeusz Kantor Krakow Theater improvisatory work I saw years ago.



#18 sandik

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:44 AM

Damn -- I'm not going to be able to get down there to see this -- I'm so glad to hear your report!



#19 abatt

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:47 AM

Did you like the design elements?  I thought they were almost as interesting and full of meaning as the choreography.  That's rare.



#20 Quiggin

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:18 AM

Did you like the design elements? I thought they were almost as interesting and full of meaning as the choreography.  That's rare.

 

Yes, I thought they worked perfectly. Originally I was apprehensive because the heft of some of George Typsin's designs I had seen online seemed as though they might overwhelm the ballet. But they had just the right amount of visual weight. I kept trying to make out who the masks might represent  – at times one or two of them looked like Yevgeny Mravinsky, Balanchine's classmate at music school, who conducted the premieres of some of Shostakovich's symphonies. And for a moment Putin.

 

And the Chamber Symphony came off as well as the other pieces. I think that's the ballet (I'm trying to sort out all the pieces this morning) where one of the wives (Mathilde Froustey) of the DS character (Davit Karpetyan) is tossed to back to him by the corps, like Maria Tallchief in Scotch Symphony, but this is even more effective, more mysterious.



#21 PeggyR

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:35 PM

Saw the same ballets at the matinee and evening performances with identical casts at both performances, and the second viewing was every bit as fresh and surprising as the first, just a few hours earlier. What a pity we won't be seeing the entire trilogy next season.

#22 Quiggin

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:00 AM

Saw the same ballets at the matinee and evening performances with identical casts at both performances, and the second viewing was every bit as fresh and surprising as the first, just a few hours earlier. What a pity we won't be seeing the entire trilogy next season.

 

What a long day, I was wondering why they hadn't split casts or programs.

 

I've noticed the audiences have been so quiet and so focused on what's going on in the ballet that there have been none of the usual rustlings of programs and little papers, and no coughs, except for one or two towards the end of the last Concerto Pdd. I've been able to hear dancers' footsteps onstage - and even a dancer one night running backstage to catch up with the corps just before they entered stage left - a la Serenade.

 

Are you still going to see the second cast?



#23 PeggyR

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 09:55 AM

I've noticed the audiences have been so quiet and so focused on what's going on in the ballet that there have been none of the usual rustlings of programs and little papers, and no coughs, except for one or two towards the end of the last Concerto Pdd. I've been able to hear dancers' footsteps onstage - and even a dancer one night running backstage to hook up with the corps just before they entered stage left - a la Serenade.

 

You know, it's funny but now that you mention it, with a few exceptions at the matinee (a cougher, a cell phone that went off and then rang about 10 times before it was shut off, plus a gaggle of what appeared to be ballet students sitting just behind me who found it necessary to express their opinion about everything and everybody throughout; ballet schools should teach their students not just how to dance on stage, but how to behave in the audience mad.gif ), you're right:  it was an attentive audience, although they certainly expressed their appreciation full voice at the end.

 

Are you still going to see the second cast?

 

 

I have a ticket for Sunday, the 13th, and I hope circumstances permit me to go (sick kitty at home, although he survived my being away Saturday, so I'm hopeful).  I especially want to see Froustey in Van Patten's role in Symphony #9.  And I want to see Messmer again in anything (I think she'll be doing the Chamber Symphony): what a beautiful dancer she is.



#24 Terez

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:45 AM

Oh, what a bummer to have missed this. Thanks, all, for your dialogue here. Next best thing to being there! 



#25 sandik

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:37 AM

Oh, what a bummer to have missed this. Thanks, all, for your dialogue here. Next best thing to being there! 

 

ditto -- I'm still moping that I couldn't be there.



#26 Terez

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:56 AM

Sandik, and it was all the worse when I read Allan Ulrich's "this is the best thing I've seen in years from this company - do what you can to get to it" (or something like that...) review. And other critics have praised it. Glad (?), at least, to hear someone else had to miss it too.

 

Ah well, so it goes. I don't live in the city and it's difficult to get to anything. Glad I got to see Program 6 (last Sat pm) and have tix for opening night of Program 7, so I can't complain too much. But, dang. What a show it sounds like it was.



#27 sandik

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 09:02 AM

My cheerful thought is that it will come back again, and I'll be able to make my way to see it.




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