Ballet in San Francisco
Posted 12 June 2001 - 05:51 PM
San Francisco Ballet, of course, has a mix of full-lengths, the artistic director's ballets, and the rest a mix of new (mostly contemporary dance) works and a few standards, if not quite classics -- and they're getting "Dances at a Gathering" next season. A mainstream rep, one might say.
Then there's Ballet San Jose of Silicon Valley. I'm giving it Ballet Alert's Most Original Repertory for the season -- I don't mean this is to my taste, but just that it doesn't look like any other rep. A full-length ballet by Flemming Flindt that was a bomb in Copenhagen ("Legs of Fire"), a story ballet about one of Denmark's most interesting ballerinas. Roland Petit's "Carmen" and "Graduation Ball." !!!!!!! And "District Storyville," a modern dance from the 1930s about happy hookers and their clients (when they see the huge satin covered bed, they bounce on it.) A new ballet by the artistic director and "Apollo." Talk about something for everyone!
The Oakland Ballet, once known for its interesting revivals of older 20th century ballets is under new directorship -- Karen Brown, who danced with DTH. This rep looks heavily tilted to contemporary dance, with a token ballet or two.
I haven't gotten the reps for the Michael Smuin's company (where showmanship reigns) or the Diablo Ballet (another mostly contemporary troupe). One might say that pure classical and neoclassical ballet gets short shrift here (I don't think Tomasson's productions of the classics are top drawer, or even second drawer) but it's certainly a varied and distictive rep.
The modern dance scene is equally diverse.
Posted 13 June 2001 - 08:35 PM
This is one of the reason's I love living and dancing in the SF Bay Area. Anything goes here. And I can enjoy it all. I never get bored.
Posted 22 June 2001 - 01:45 PM
[ 06-22-2001: Message edited by: Terry ]
Posted 22 June 2001 - 03:45 PM
I didn't mean to dredge that one up again, but merely thought it interesting that San Francisco had so much dance, and that it was so varied. I don't think San Francisco dance, at its best, is better than New York dance, at its best, but it's interesting to see the different way the city is developing a distinct identity.
Posted 22 June 2001 - 06:56 PM
This is a metropolitan area that prides itself it its diversity and progressiveness and that is reflected in our ballet companies. We aren't afraid to try something new. I think audiences expect a little "edge" in every performance out here.
Posted 22 June 2001 - 07:43 PM
People who like to think that what they're watching is new or on the edge are more than welcome to do so, but the assumption that those who don't are "afraid" or somehow backwards is off the mark.
Posted 22 June 2001 - 11:34 PM
One of the problems with companies that depend heavily on ticket sales to meet their budget is that the need for popular draw is going to limit what they can afford to put on, and a strict catering to local taste limits the company from fulfilling its need to educate the public. Ergo, lots of companies live for the year on the profits of their production of "The Nutcracker". Other classical, full-length ballets are also likely draws, and the costs can (and ususally are) kept down by renting or sharing productions. On the other hand, a public fed only a steady diet of "Nutcrackers", "Beautys" and "Swan Lakes" isn't being given the opportunity to broaden its taste and find out what more contemporary choreography can do. Unless people are exposed to contemporary works, they can't learn to appreciate them, and the dancers don't get the opportunity to stretch their wings. :eek:
Posted 22 June 2001 - 11:47 PM
Posted 23 June 2001 - 03:25 PM
Posted 23 June 2001 - 03:55 PM
I can't answer this one, but I hope some of our Bay Area posters will.
Posted 23 June 2001 - 07:15 PM
1. Who's dancing--It is my understanding that all of the POB's Bayadere performances were sold out weeks in advance; while the wonderful Miami City Ballet did not sell out, since its name is not as recognized among non-conoisseurs. Likewise, certain dancers at SFB [who shall remain nameless ;)] seem to sell more tickets than others; also, SFB seems to sell out much more often than the smaller companies here-- Oakland Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Lines, Smuin Ballets/SF, or the Diablo Ballet, among others.
2. When--Opening nights usually are fuller than other evenings, and evenings in general are fuller than matinees.
3. The program--Full lengths, not surprisingly, sell much more quickly than mixed bills, and mixed bills with famous choreographers [Balanchine, Robbins, Tudor] seem to go faster than those without.
In any case, POB notwithstaning, it shouldn't be too hard to get tickets if you get them about a week ahead of time.
Posted 24 June 2001 - 05:10 AM
Posted 25 June 2001 - 06:06 PM
The Cowell theater also presents dance but that is mostly locally produced modern dance.
Posted 25 June 2001 - 06:07 PM
I get the feeling you don't like modern or contemporary dance of any kind. Why?
Posted 25 June 2001 - 10:41 PM
I didn't want to leave your statement hanging unanswered but I'm sure Alexandra can answer better for herself.
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