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About pherank

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, balletgoer
  • City**
    San Francisco/San Diego
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. Keeping Up With SFB Veterans

    Another great Ferraro and Breeden interview - good find, Helene. The ask all the pertinent questions and know how to keep things moving.
  2. Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Angelo Greco pirouettes in pointe shoes https://www.instagram.com/p/BaVsB1JnK4I/?taken-by=_angelogreco_ I guess this is where I say, "better not injury yourself needlessly!"
  3. There's a new biography available, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, as talked about in this excellent article in the New Yorker: Joni Mitchell’s Openhearted Heroism By Dan Chiasson https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/joni-mitchells-openhearted-heroism "She was born Roberta Joan Anderson in 1943. Like many pop musicians, she suffered a childhood of utter tedium, a bright star against the faint backdrop of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. On the airwaves, she heard “Mantovani, country and western, a lot of radio journalism,” and, once a day for an hour, “The Hit Parade.” A soulful girl, she watched the trains approach and depart, or pored over the Sears catalogue. (She called it “the book of dreams.”) When Mitchell was eight, she contracted polio and was quarantined, for several months, in a hospital close to home. Her mother came to see her once, on Christmas; her father never did. Polio patients were told to keep perfectly still—it was believed that any movement might cause the disease to spread—so she spent the time alone and on her back. When she was released, her left hand was damaged (it would make conventional guitar playing difficult for her, and led her to experiment with her own, idiosyncratic tunings) and she had lost the speed in her legs. But, she said, she “came back a dancer.” If you can't access the New Yorker article, it is also published on Mitchell's website: http://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=3756 Use the Amazon search box on the Ballet Alert homepage to search for the book!
  4. Well if you think about it, that would show a connection between British and Russian culture that isn't shared with the U.S., for example. But is it a big deal? No, I would say not. Just one of those mildly interesting little things (of which there are so many in life/culture). Frazier's resurrection of the journalist Jack Reed is, imo, more significant, more timely information. It is ironic that Russian scholars must go to the writings of this American journalist to find out the details (and complications) of political and social life in St. Petersburg/Moscow in revolutionary Russia. Reed is largely forgotten in the US - if it weren't for Warren Beatty's film Reds, I would say Reed and Louise Bryant would be entirely forgotten.
  5. This being the 100th anniversary - I recommend this engrossing article from the current Smithsonian magazine: What Ever Happened to the Russian Revolution? We journey through Vladimir Putin’s Russia to measure the aftershocks of the political explosion that rocked the world a century ago By Ian Frazier https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-ever-happened-to-russian-revolution-180964768/
  6. Upcoming SFB 2017 workshops for family and kids... Nutcracker Let’s Dance Family Workshop "Our Nutcracker Let’s Dance Family Workshop is equally a perfect way to prepare your youngster to see Nutcracker for the first time or to delight kids who already know our production by heart. Let’s Dance Family Workshops are recommended for families with children ages 5-10. Everyone needs a ticket, regardless of age. Tickets are $20 for children and adults, with a minimum purchase of 1 child and 1 adult ticket required. Children must be accompanied by an adult." https://www.sfballet.org/community/youth-programs/family-workshops/nutcracker Nutcracker Master Class Sunday, November 12, 2017 2 - 4 pm A special Master Class for 11-14 year-olds featuring Company Ballet Master Anita Paciotti and Children's Ballet Master Kristi DeCaminada. When you see SF Ballet’s beloved Nutcracker each December, all the children on stage are students at San Francisco Ballet School. Do YOU want to learn excerpts from the children’s roles? Join Company Ballet Master Anita Paciotti and Children’s Ballet Master Kristi DeCaminada in the studio to learn some of the most well-known choreography from our production!" https://www.sfballet.org/school/master-classes
  7. Mostly it works out in the end, but in the rehearsals we get to see that the learning curve is much higher for certain dancers, and that's probably why a certain percentage of the staff in these companies don't really enjoy being seen on WBD. That's life I suppose.
  8. New Company Roster

    Do you have the URL?
  9. Now that I've had time to re-watch some of WBD on video...I feel the need to comment on the SFB section - just because I know more about those dancers ;) Something that really stood out for me in both the Ochoa and Dawson ballet creations/rehearsals were the issues that arose for the relatively inexperienced Corps (or new Soloist) danseurs (e.g. Wei, Golding, Orza) VS the veteran danseurs (e.g. Ingham, Walsh, Sofranko). It's all part of the normal process of growth and experience, but the dancers inexperienced in ballet creation and lead roles tend to be more passive, and hope only to please, but don't always have much else to offer. I'm sure the young ones feel a bit like a 'deer caught in the headlights', whereas the veterans tend to have things that they want to express in their own dancing and look for opportunities to do that. Choreographer David Dawson says at one point in the video, "you were so desperate to get to the center, like I asked you, that you lost your connection to the music". That's something that doesn't happen with the veterans who have figured out their personal aesthetic and know the kind of artist that they want to be. The more experienced the dancer, the more input they can provide to the choreographer: a good example of that being Dawson wanting to work again with Maria Kochetkova and Sofiane Sylve who both have oodles of experience in creating new works. Sofiane represents the opposite extreme from the inexperienced newbies - she knows what she wants to do, and how she wants to do it, and only wants to be involved in worthwhile projects where everyone is completely focused on producing great work. Watching Sofiane go about things is often a masterclass in itself. Inevitably, the young danseurs struggle with partnering at various points - trying hard just to be in the right place at the right time, and not mess up the lifts, but it can be un-stylish, and lose any sense of 'dance'. When something goes wrong, the inexperienced danseurs don't really know how to solve the issue - things just come apart. But the great partners like a Joseph Walsh, Vitor Luiz or Tiit Helimets, are really physically strong and can save a bad moment quickly with style and aplomb (often while staying on the music). They simply know how to deal with particular problems using particular techniques - always continuing to impart style and elegance to their movements. Hopefully that 'insider' information is always being passed down to the young danseurs. The SFB male principals do tend to be physically stronger (in both upper and lower body) than the young men because they have to be - the amount of lifting that goes on in modern ballets is crazy. I worried about Carlo Di Lanno's lifting abilities initially, when he first arrived at SFB, and now 3 years later, I don't. He's grown considerably in that time. It helps to work with female principals who are very experienced and not about to be made to look bad by their partner. ;) For those that don't know, the SFB artistic staff doesn't stipulate who gets to appear in a new ballet - choreographers can choose who they wish from any level of the company (which is wonderful). But I'm fairly sure choreographers will ask for advice from staff, and review videos of the dancers, if they've never before worked with SFB dancers. And I'm sure Helgi Tomasson tries to spread around the opportunities for everyone from the principals on down to the Corps (at least the results have looked fairly egalitarian in the past). The UNBOUND new works festival that is slated for next season will require everyone in the company to take part, so it's the perfect opportunity for the young dancers to experience ballet role creation (and everyone dreams of that). That is why the live SFB rehearsals for both WBD and the UNBOUND Festival feature such a range of experience and skill levels - everyone has talent, but not everyone has experience dancing lead roles or creating roles in new ballets. Ordinarily, there is a 1st Cast, 2nd Cast, etc. hierarchy in place, but the UNBOUND Festival ballets will be unusual in the way that absolutely all the dancers will take part, and a fair number of Corps dancers will be dancing in PDDs and trios.
  10. Favorite SFB Short Video Clips

    Diego Cruz (Corps) and Isabella Devivo (newly promoted to Soloist) are appearing in a launch ad for Calispana Eyewear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhDznP6NePs Commercial work seems like the perfect thing for Diego and his unbridled enthusiasm.
  11. most popular composer for dance

    It would be interesting to know what composers, in the last 50 years or so, have been receiving the most commissions for dance works. But I'm not sure if there is any easy way to find that information out.
  12. World Ballet Day 2017, Thursday 5 October

    You must be referring to Jahna. You can catch up by going to 2:04:42 in the San Francisco Ballet's 2017 World Ballet Day LIVE Broadcast - Jahna dances in the Annabelle Lopez Ochoa rehearsal. (She can also be seen in the class session). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy-FE7tNQ48 Her first partner has some shaky moments, but things get better with James Sofranko and Max Cauthorn partnering.
  13. Here's an example of a simple, fairly unobtrusive, but effective (for me) video style from WBD 2017: The Norwegian National Ballet full live stream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmD-iYiqhQI The approach isn't going to make every company happy, but it works well enough.
  14. Millepied's LA Dance Project is still very much "balletic", imo, even if they are pursuing a non-pointe shoe, contemporary aesthetic. The choreography that they employ isn't all that different from the contemporary repertoire at major dance companies in North America and Europe. Clifford may be thinking, "that's not ballet", but I'm not sure everyone else is going to agree. I do like Clifford's pointed commentary though. ;)
  15. The Australian Ballet FULL LIVE STREAM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUXxc3mxbiY If someone finds the URL to the Bolshoi segment please post it here.