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SFB: Retirements at the end of 2014


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#16 Buddy

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 04:28 AM

I’m sure that Simone Messmer will be very missed in San Francisco as I’m sure she is in New York. Hopefully some company will give her the prominence that many of us feel that she deserves, and Everybody will get a chance to see a lot more of her.


#17 Mathilde K

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:25 PM

It wasn't for lack of opportunities - she was given as many roles as any of the other soloists. And let's face it, she got good press for her dancing.

 

I would say "precisely because of the lack of opportunities". I saw at least 30 SFB performances since the beginning of March and Messmer was cast very infrequently, often in secondary, "fine print" parts, where her name was not even capitalized. Not offering Messmer a position of principal should be considered a serious mistake.

 

For me Messmer became, in fact, the discovery of the season. Her only performance in "Caprice" was a true eye opener: that was magisterial and nuanced in a way no other principal at the San Francisco Ballet seems to be capable of. My thoughts after that performance were: "if I were Tomassón I would have promoted her to principal the same afternoon". Afterwards I tried to catch any glimpse of her dancing. Unfortunately, I think I saw her only twice afterwards (not counting her number with Cintas last Sunday). In the aftermath, her short stay at the San Francisco Ballet will be remembered, I am afraid, as a truly wasted opportunity for the San Francisco Ballet.



#18 Quiggin

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:02 PM

It wasn't as if there weren't precedents for making Simone Messmer a principal. Pascal Molat was promoted after only one year as a soloist and Luke Ingham was fast-tracked too – probably to fill in for Damian Smith.

 

Messmer's career at San Francisco Ballet was bookended by two "Who Cares," one at the Gala and one at the farewell performance, and in between a Myrta and then excellent work in Shostakovich Trilogy and the penultimate Hummingbird.

 

Maybe it was a Jill Abramson "problem" and she was too strong, and the Ballet has its protocols that need to be most diplomatically handled. Or maybe she didn't have someone to champion her in the mid-ranks of the artistic staff. I once saw her at a rehearsal that I was most fortunately invited to by a friend. She was just three feet away coaching another dancer. I averted my gaze she was so close and I felt I was invading her space, and anyway I didn't really know until afterwards that it was her – she looked so different than on stage. But she seemed so open and free. It was probably after the decision – hers? theirs? – had been made.



#19 pherank

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:58 PM

It wasn't for lack of opportunities - she was given as many roles as any of the other soloists. And let's face it, she got good press for her dancing.

 

I would say "precisely because of the lack of opportunities". I saw at least 30 SFB performances since the beginning of March and Messmer was cast very infrequently, often in secondary, "fine print" parts, where her name was not even capitalized. Not offering Messmer a position of principal should be considered a serious mistake.

 

30 performances?!!! You get the gold star for sure, Mathilde K. I hope SFB knows about your contribution to their bottom line!  ;)

 

I guess I've been lucky in that Messmer was cast in pretty much every program I've gone to; however, she 'disappeared' form the end of the season (seemingly giving Dores Andre a lot to do). The castings did not look like they were weighted towards any particular soloist to me. But as I said, Dores Andre was popping up a lot at the end. But you would be able to go through the different castings and tell us if things were unbalanced. Or if particular dancers were struggling with injuries.  Perhaps, she had already made the decision to go back home in mid season.

 

I don't know what her personality is like (it's been difficult to get any sense of that), but she may not have clicked well with the culture at SFB.



#20 Josette

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:59 PM

FYI, it took Luke Ingham two years to get promoted. The only reason I know this is because I ran into him on Gough at the end of the 2013 season, and told him that I was looking forward to his promotion.  It took another year.  He was super-nice and friendly.  Vito Mazzeo was promoted after his first year, and then (sob) left for the Dutch National Ballet. Aside from all that, I hope that Simone Messmer has a principal contract somewhere where she will be fully used and flourish.  She is the most unique and talented female dancer I've seen in a long time.



#21 Buddy

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 05:57 AM

Great to hear all these compliments for Simone Messmer.
 
Simone Messmer — Last October:
 
“We’re getting used to all this new space, and I see the Golden Gate Bridge from my window. There are a couple of little beaches that are nearby. We went to Rodeo Beach the other day and watched a family of dolphins jump around. Who does that on a Sunday afternoon? It was great!” 
 
 
Seemed perfect for an artist like herself. Hopefully she’ll find it at her new home along with a lot more. 


#22 palacinky

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 09:09 PM

SImone Messmer is a wonderful dancer and will certainly be a principal somewhere, but it might have been a "culture of SFB" thing. I know that, before the season started, she got in a huge argument on Maria K's Facebook page about how backstage union help is paid vs. dancers (Simone's boyfriend does technical theater work--Kotchetkova thought is was unfair dancers were paid less). It was about as knock-down-drag-out an argument as I've ever seen on a dancer's FB page to the point that I was kind of in shock that it was happening in a public place like Facebook. I don't know if the argument was about what it seemed to be about or something else, but it wasn't the kind of incident that the front office would ignore. SFB doesn't seem like the kind of place which welcomes temperament or picking fights.



#23 Terez

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:30 AM

I'd wondered if a promotion to principal would be dangled if they lost Froustey. Could Messmer's departure be based on the sense that Froustey appeared to be favoring remaining in San Francisco? Very sorry to hear the news that she'd be leaving. I hope they promote Julia Rowe to soloist; she's ready for it, and is suited for it, from what I've seen this season.

 

Palacinky - yikes, that is a shock that an argument like that would be kept in the public eye. There's still a pretty solid code of etiquette about what the public should or should not be exposed to in ballet. Or maybe that's "pre-social-media-days thinking." The old days. (Like... eight years ago.)



#24 pherank

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:41 PM

Yuan Yuan Tan has tweeted from Paris (I believe the 2014 tour ends today):  #Final Show #My Ballet Partner For #19 Years ! - Damien Smith

 

10560982_429468300526241_1209712283_n.jp

 

http://instagram.com/p/q7Mb4hSUMt/




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