PeggyR

SFB 2014 Program 7

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Partial casting for Program 7.

PROGRAM 7

TUESDAY, APRIL 29—8:00PM—OPENING NIGHT

THE FIFTH SEASON
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Composer: Karl Jenkins
Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung, Davit Karapetyan
Sarah Van Patten, Carlos Quenedit*
Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith

INTERMISSION

World Premiere
HUMMINGBIRD
Choreographer: Liam Scarlett
Composer: Philip Glass
Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung*, Gennadi Nedvigin*
Yuan Yuan Tan*, Luke Ingham*
Maria Kochetkova*, Taras Domitro*

INTERMISSION

SUITE EN BLANC
Choreographer: Serge Lifar
Composer: Edouard Lalo
Conductor: Martin West

Sasha De Sola, Jaime Castilla, Shane Wuerthner
Koto Ishihara
Dores Andre, Esteban Hernandez, Francisco Mungamba, Wei Wang, Max Cauthorn
Mathilde Froustey
Davit Karapetyan
Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets
Sofiane Sylve

WEDNESDAY, APRIL30—7:30PM

THE FIFTH SEASON
Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
Composer: Karl Jenkins
Conductor: Martin West

Lorena Feijoo, Vitor Luiz
Mathilde Froustey*, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira*
Sarah Van Patten, Tiit Helimets

INTERMISSION

HUMMINGBIRD
Choreographer: Liam Scarlett
Composer: Philip Glass
Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung, Gennadi Nedvigin
Yuan Yuan Tan, Luke Ingham
Maria Kochetkova, Taras Domitro

INTERMISSION

SUITE EN BLANC
Choreographer: Serge Lifar
Composer: Edouard Lalo
Conductor: Martin West

Mathilde Froustey, Vitor Luiz, Taras Domitro
Sasha De Sola
Frances Chung, Esteban Hernandez, Francisco Mungamba, Wei Wang, Max Cauthorn
Sarah Van Patten
Joan Boada
Yuan Yuan Tan, Davit Karapetyan
Maria Kochetkova

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Lovely program, and would love to hear others' comments, particularly about Hummingbird. I was sort of scratching my head there; the costumes didn't appeal to me, although the set backdrop was gorgeous. I just never got "hummingbird" from the dancing. It felt more like a name just pulled out of a hat. Yuan Yuan and Luke Ingham had an absolutely stunning pas de deux set in the center of the ballet, though. Made me feel the tiniest bit better about Damian Smith retiring and no one there to recapture the magic of his partnering with YY. I've seen the YY/Ingham partnership a few times before, but it wasn't until last night that it hit real chemistry, in my mind. (It also helps that the adagio movement of Phillip Glass' Tyrol Concerto is knockout gorgeous. Same music Jorma Elo used in Glow-Stop.)

First time I've seen Suite en Blanc. What a lovely, stately, enjoyable ballet to watch. I also really enjoyed The Fifth Season, and of course my favorite part of it was the Damian-YY pas de deux. But Frances Chung and Davit Karapetyan were really great, as well. And Sarah Van P and Carlos Quenedit. Face it, a great cast all around. Quenedit kept up admirably with the others.

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Lovely program, and would love to hear others' comments, particularly about Hummingbird. I was sort of scratching my head there; the costumes didn't appeal to me, although the set backdrop was gorgeous. I just never got "hummingbird" from the dancing. It felt more like a name just pulled out of a hat. Yuan Yuan and Luke Ingham had an absolutely stunning pas de deux set in the center of the ballet, though. Made me feel the tiniest bit better about Damian Smith retiring and no one there to recapture the magic of his partnering with YY. I've seen the YY/Ingham partnership a few times before, but it wasn't until last night that it hit real chemistry, in my mind. (It also helps that the adagio movement of Phillip Glass' Tyrol Concerto is knockout gorgeous. Same music Jorma Elo used in Glow-Stop.)

First time I've seen Suite en Blanc. What a lovely, stately, enjoyable ballet to watch. I also really enjoyed The Fifth Season, and of course my favorite part of it was the Damian-YY pas de deux. But Frances Chung and Davit Karapetyan were really great, as well. And Sarah Van P and Carlos Quenedit. Face it, a great cast all around. Quenedit kept up admirably with the others.

Thanks Terez - I've been wondering what Hummingbird was like. The other two I've seen in past programs.

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I caught the program on Wednesday night. It was a lot of fun, particularly Suite en Blanc and Hummingbird. I'm not as familiar with this company as some other posters, since I have a hard time making it out to the west coast, but I loved the ensemble in both those pieces. Yuan Yuan Tan was particularly effective in Hummingbird, although Frances Chung was also quite compelling. I seem to be more of a Liam Scarlett fan than many others on this forum, and this was one of my favorites thus far of his works (that I've seen - haven't seen any of the Royal Ballet works yet). I thought whip-fast partnering, the sweeping gestures, the balance between movement and stillness really brought out the rhapsodic, emotional qualities in the music. I also really liked the costumes; I thought the starkness of the women's dresses combined wonderfully with the harsh setting overall - which made a great counterpoint to the emotive qualities of the music and choreography.

Loved Suite en Blanc as well. I felt very blessed to catch Maria Kochetkova, whose work I've followed as well as possible on Youtube. Her brief solo in the end of the piece was beautiful, delicate, expressive, and very musical. She used the off-balance movement in the choreography to great effect.

More thoughts here: http://itinerantballetomane.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-night-in-san-francisco.html

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I caught the program on Wednesday night. It was a lot of fun, particularly Suite en Blanc and Hummingbird. I'm not as familiar with this company as some other posters, since I have a hard time making it out to the west coast, but I loved the ensemble in both those pieces. Yuan Yuan Tan was particularly effective in Hummingbird, although Frances Chung was also quite compelling. I seem to be more of a Liam Scarlett fan than many others on this forum, and this was one of my favorites thus far of his works (that I've seen - haven't seen any of the Royal Ballet works yet). I thought whip-fast partnering, the sweeping gestures, the balance between movement and stillness really brought out the rhapsodic, emotional qualities in the music. I also really liked the costumes; I thought the starkness of the women's dresses combined wonderfully with the harsh setting overall - which made a great counterpoint to the emotive qualities of the music and choreography.

Loved Suite en Blanc as well. I felt very blessed to catch Maria Kochetkova, whose work I've followed as well as possible on Youtube. Her brief solo in the end of the piece was beautiful, delicate, expressive, and very musical. She used the off-balance movement in the choreography to great effect.

More thoughts here: http://itinerantballetomane.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-night-in-san-francisco.html

Good to hear you enjoyed yourself (mostly). ;)

A number of dance writers have questioned the title of Scarlett's ballet, but your description of "whip-fast partnering, the sweeping gestures, the balance between movement and stillness" certainly makes me think of hummingbirds. Kochetkova is dancing a lot in Program 8, btw.

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I saw Program 7 last night and will report within a few days, but I must say that Hummingbird was outstanding and Lorena Feijoo's performance merits red roses lined up in front of her across the stage.

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Hummingbird is promising--some original choreographic ideas and partnering, particularly from a choreographer as young as Scarlett--but too long. The long middle pas de deux with Tan was good because of her dancing, not because it maintained interest or dramatic tension throughout. The ballet needed considerable cutting (I suppose it would be too much to ask to cut the entire dreckalicious Philip Glass score?) and it would have been nice had Dores Andre had more to do; her billing was equal but the role very small, rather like the Judith Fugate role in 'I'm Old Fashioned'...Chung's opening solo was, as usual for her, splendid, and her allegro dancing impeccable, also as usual. I think Scarlett understood her gifts more than he did Tan's and choregraphed more becomingly and idiomatically for her. Tan is highly obliging about making quotidian choreography look elegant and refined.

I saw POB do three performances of Suite en Blanc when they were touring here a couple of years ago, and this was not on the same level. Chung was lapidary in the Flute variation--her foot placement and the lines of her leg in passe, developpe, etc were great. Froustey ate up the Cigarette variation--it was as chic and soignee as Marie-Agnes Gillot's and Agnes Letestu's--delicious, witty, Parisian. Tan was good in the pas de deux but sadly it was impossible to forget Aurelie Dupont's performance in this part, which was like the world's best ice cream--chilled, rich, silken, and perfect. Sasha de Sola, who is getting many solo roles this year, danced the opening pas de trois and although she is a skillful technician and dancer her stage face, as well as her presence, is unfortunately a bit hard. The Mazurka was not Vitor Luiz's part. Chung and Froustey made the mannered epaulement and eccentric ports de bras look organic; everyone else had trouble with them. This ballet has a LOT of fouettes and de Sola and particularly Chung distinguished themselves in the turns.The ballet made NO announcement of this but it completely bagged the pas de cinq, which, being for a female jumper and four men, is one of the sprightliest dances in the ballet. Simone Messmer is injured, and she was one of the dancers announced for the role, but surely they did not cut the entire thing just because she was injured? There was at least one other cast listed for it. Very bizarre.

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Hummingbird is promising--some original choreographic ideas and partnering, particularly from a choreographer as young as Scarlett--but too long. The long middle pas de deux with Tan was good because of her dancing, not because it maintained interest or dramatic tension throughout. The ballet needed considerable cutting ...

I have to agree about this. I saw Feijoo, not Tan, but even with Feijoo's dramatic gifts, that section dragged. Scarlett is undeniably gifted, though; I hope we have a chance to see more of his work in the future.

The ballet made NO announcement of this but it completely bagged the pas de cinq, which, being for a female jumper and four men, is one of the sprightliest dances in the ballet. Simone Messmer is injured, and she was one of the dancers announced for the role, but surely they did not cut the entire thing just because she was injured? There was at least one other cast listed for it. Very bizarre.

I wondered what happened to the pas de cinq. Very unfortunate about Messmer being injured; the more I see of her, the more I believe she has the potential to become one of the most interesting dancers in the company.

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But Simone Messmer danced "The Man I Love" pas de deux from "Who Cares" with Ruben Martin Cintas at the farewell performance tonight and I found her dancing lustrous, musical, and glowing. She is so distinct from the other female dancers. I've been struck during the last few performances I've attended with the dancing of Messmer, Froustey, and the beautiful Julia Rowe, as to how lush, full and fluid their dancing is. Buddy, I wish that you had seen Simone Messmer tonight!

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I agree that the second pas of Hummingbird – I saw it with Feijoo and Luiz – didn't really develop choreographically or emotionally. They seemed to reach some sort of impasse with each other and couldn’t go further but would start up at it again and again. Curiously, the more effective couple were the two corps members, Myles Thatcher and Wei Wang, dancing just behind them in a counterpointing conversation. Their relationship seemed to go through gentler and more natural vicissitudes.



And regarding Simone Messmer – which goes with what Josette says – she danced all out in the third part, almost as if she were in Stars and Stripes as Liberty Bell, rather than Hummingbird.

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Interesting reading jsmu's comments about "Suite en Blanc." This is a work that coldly exposes your technique, with all the female dancers and the male soloists having a black backdrop creating I perfections. You can't hide anything, let alone with a smile. Sasha de Sola was nervous at the performance I saw, and though technically secure, her face lacked its usual softness. We can assume this is just growing pains and will disappear with more experience. The most memorable dancing for me was that of Mathilde Froustey in La Cigarette, which is a killer variation and yet she was scintillating and playful. As for "Humingbird," I thoroughly liked it, being helped that I am a Philip Glass fan-it could have gone on another 15 minutes and I would been that much happier. I thought all the dancers - Feijoo, Messmer, Van Patten, Molat, Castillas- gave their brilliant all. I could be wrong, but it seems like, since "Shostakovich Trilogy," the company has gained depth. Maybe it's just the better choreography. Thank you to all the other posters for your comments!

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Okay, I've just spotted a typo I have to fix in my previous comment in the second line: black backdrop creating imperfections.

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But Simone Messmer danced "The Man I Love" pas de deux from "Who Cares" with Ruben Martin Cintas at the farewell performance tonight and I found her dancing lustrous, musical, and glowing. She is so distinct from the other female dancers. I've been struck during the last few performances I've attended with the dancing of Messmer, Froustey, and the beautiful Julia Rowe, as to how lush, full and fluid their dancing is. Buddy, I wish that you had seen Simone Messmer tonight!

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Every time that I see Simone Messmer she impresses me immensely, Josette.
The last time that I saw her in a reasonably significant role was much too long ago as Gamzatti (La Bayadere) with ABT. Her character, her dancing, the sensual use of her costume, her makeup — she was a representation like no other. She once said in an interview that what you see is who she is. To me that means -- fascinating.
Had they given her Giselle recently, instead of Myrta, I would seriously have considered the trip to San Francisco. Maria Kochetkova and the fine reports that I’ve read here about Mathilde Froustey would have cinched it.

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So glad you saw my post about Ms. Messmer, Buddy!

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Simone Messmer will not be returning to SFB next year, according to Alan Urich in Monday's SFGate.

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I checked her Twitter feed, hoping for news, and she hasn't posted anything since December. I hope she's found another great company to dance with.

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Josette, that's distressing about Messmer. She is unique and fascinating, and I was hoping for much more of her. I was very upset not only not to see her in the pas de cinq but not even to see the pas de cinq AT ALL...with no announcement, no nothing. SFB needs some help in proper etiquette towards its audience. Ugh. Did the pas de cinq--with Chung or Andre--happen at your performance???

About Suite--Yes, it's possible that de Sola was nervous (the pas de trois is difficult, and the fouettes very exposed) but I've seen that same hard face and demeanor in almost all the things I've seen her dance. We must hope that Froustey doesn't go back to POB, which obviously doesn't appreciate her (Albisson is a good dancer, but leapfrogging twice over Froustey in nine months, being made etoile on the heels of her promotion to premiere danseuse? NO!)

Chung is a goddess and continues to do ever more ravishing and subtle things.

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Yes, Chung danced it, exceptionally and honestly, as she always does. I made my comments about De Sola, because at the beginning of last year, the 2013 season, I saw a tense jaw, mouth and eyes, which was not characteristic of her when she was in the corps de ballet, and then that face disappeared by the end of the season, and she was back to her radiant self in each performance I saw this year until Suite en Blanc. (I tend to sit as close as possible to the stage.) I think Suite en Blanc could be a terror for anyone not trained at the POB school. And I am disappointed that I will not be able to watch the beautiful Simone Messmer next season.

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