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Everything posted by pherank

  1. NYCB is not leaderless - they happen to have a team functioning in the various A.D. roles - which is testament to the fact that there's often too much for one person to do effectively. Just what defines a "leader" varies from one culture to another (and that goes for company cultures and local communities as well as broader national cultures). Cultures that think having a single dictatorial leader (with the first and last word on everything) is better than a team sharing responsibilities, don't really have proof of the 'betterness' of their situation. It's just what they are used to - and change is frightening (and apparently not worth thinking about or planning for). Will NYCB likely return to using a single A.D.? Probably, because that's what the company culture and audience culture are so used to. All the soul-searching and needed modifications coming from 'lessons learned' are likely to dissipate fairly quickly. I'm not hopeful yet that there will be permanent changes to how the board and staff go about business at NYCB or the Met.
  2. To kick things off for Program 5: Celebrating Jerome Robbins: 3/20 Helgi Tomasson and Patricia McBride, two of Robbins’ most celebrated interpreters, discuss Robbins, his work, and his legacy. The year-long celebration of Jerome Robbins comes to San Francisco with SF Ballet’s Program 05: Robbins: Ballet and Broadway (March 20–25). Before the first performance, join Helgi Tomasson, Patricia McBride, Jean-Pierre Frohlich, and Ellen Sorrin as they share their memories and discuss Robbins’ work on the centennial anniversary of his birth. https://www.sfballet.org/explore/classes-events/celebrating-jerome-robbins Who's It For? Patrons who want to learn more about Jerome Robbins, his legacy, and his connection to SF Ballet. Fees General Public: $15 Dates March 20 5:30–6:30 pm Location Taube Atrium Theater Wilsey Center for Opera 401 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco CA 94102
  3. Sad, but not too surprising. Major newspapers and journals tend to be more a part of the 'system' than representatives of the opposition. Any decent paper might feature opposing viewpoints in editorials, but they still reinforced the dominant culture at every opportunity.
  4. From the NY Times: Remarkable Women We Overlooked in Our Obituaries Overlooked "Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we’re adding the stories of remarkable women." https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html The list is quite varied and interesting, from Chinese revolution Qiu Jin (who I mentioned in a different thread) to Margaret Abbott (first American female Olympic athlete).
  5. Scene from Le Somptier's film Le P’tit Parigot (1926) A brief appearance of the French/Romanian dancer Lizica Codreanu in Pierrot-Eclair costume - set and costumes (for the women) designed by Sonia Delaunay Terk. The men in their dark suits seem to serve as a neutral backdrop for Delaunay Terk's modernist colors and geometries. Lot's of cigarette smoke wafting into the air too. I'd love to see a restored copy of this film. https://vimeo.com/246879115 A modern documentary and performance referring to the dancer Codreanu (who was a muse of Constantine Brancusi): Reenacting Lizica Codreanu (a tribute) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sJ3hhtRV1I "Lizica Codreanu (b.1901, Bucharest – d.1993, Louveciennes) was a French dance artist and choreographer with Romanian ancestry. In 1918, she joined The Belle-Arti School in Bucharest, making her debut during the first artistic tea program of the “Friends of the Blind” Society at Carol cel Mare Theatre in Bucharest, along with Ion Manu, Maria Filotti and Petre Sturdza. After a few individual performances in Bucharest (Dances of Character, The Spring’s Dance and Rococo Entertainment, March 9th 1919, at the Eforia Theatre), Lizica Codreanu left for Paris and, from 1921 onwards, led an increasing choreographic activity. The composer Florent Schmitt recommended her to Ida Rubinstein for several of her shows, she frequented Bronsilava Nijinska’s courses and got increasingly in touch with the avant-garde groups: Albatross, the dada and surrealists groups, Tchérez and so on. In 1926, she made her debut in film, with the character of Pierot Lightning in Le P’tit Parigot, directed by René le Somptier." http://en.cndb.ro/performances/reenacting-lizica-codreanu-rythmodia-by-vera-proca-ciortea
  6. SFB is running a promotion on tickets for Program 6 "For a limited time save $49 on ANY performance of Nijinsky. Click the button below, select the performance you wish to attend, and enter promo code OBSESSION. Seven performances only April 3–8. Get your tickets today." https://www.sfballet.org/season/2018-repertory/2018-program-6 [Look for the purple "Buy Tickets" button on the right side of the screen]
  7. Here's the new trailer for Program 6: The National Ballet of Canada in John Neumeier’s Nijinsky
  8. Next season announced (Atlanta)

    Some Balanchine or Ratmansky always helps. ;) I wonder if Nedvigin thinks that Balanchine is too obvious a choice? And in the beginning at least, he must have a huge wish list of choreographers and ballets he'd like to take on. How to seem new, different, and in-tune with the classics all at the same time? I'm sure he needs to feel the company dancers are actually ready for the ballets that they are taking on. It's hard to say what they are capable of as a company yet, but it should be a fun season all the same. Nedvigin should try to license Ratmansky's Odessa and Peck's Rodeo - that would be something of a coup for a regional company.
  9. Program 5: Celebrating Jerome Robbins

    I'm sure there are people who don't really know he left for ENB. ;) But since Robison has already appeared in Frankenstein as a company member, someone must have decided it wasn't important making the distinction. Or maybe, just maybe, we're going to see more of Mr. Robison - as a part-time member of SFB, while starring at ENB. Heather Ogden of NBofC somehow managed to dance for Suzanne Farrell Ballet as well, though I presume those company schedules worked together better than most.
  10. Program 4 - Frankenstein

    Laying Frankenstein to rest: https://www.instagram.com/p/BgPAthhFXng/?taken-by=jahnagram Jahna Frantziskonis: The depths of despair. So proud of the art this company brought to such an emotionally complex story. Handled with guts and grace! Honored to dance Justine along side them. On to the next!
  11. Peter Martins Retired; Succession Discussion

    …And completely natural for young people to "look up to" the much more experienced staff and veteran dancers. Mentorship is a good thing when handled appropriately. I wish mentorship was an organized and required program for "freshman" dancers in all the big ballet companies.
  12. From the SFB email to subscribers and friends of the SFB: Be there when the curtain goes up on the next generation of ballet professionals. From May 23–25, San Francisco Ballet School students and Trainees will perform Helgi Tomasson’s Blue Rose, new works choreographed by SF Ballet dancers James Sofranko and Blake Johnston, and George Balanchine’s rousing Stars and Stripes. Each performance will begin with a short demonstration by students in Levels 2–8. Following the May 23 performance, the SF Ballet Auxiliary hosts an elegant dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. Proceeds from this event will support the $1 million in scholarships and financial aid awarded annually to SF Ballet School students. An Invitation to Dance: SF Ballet School 2018 Student Showcase Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater Wednesday, May 23 at 6:00 pm Thursday, May 24 at 7:30 pm Friday, May 25 at 7:30 pm Tickets
  13. Program 5: Celebrating Jerome Robbins

    You are all speaking to a long running, general problem of one art/craft (visual media) trying to present and interpret another (dance). And invariably, the so-called 'experts' doing the photography/videography/filming insist on doing their jobs in a way that they know to be considered professional and maybe even 'really awesome' to the many people who pay attention to photography/videography/film. The problem is, these visual records often hamper our experience of the dancing and the choreography - we get too many seemingly willy-nilly editing effects and not enough insight into the dance/ballet. That's ironic, given that video and film productions always have some kind of script and production plan, but they rarely seem to take into account the effective depiction of the dance production, and the music that is the backbone of the production (or not, as the case may be). Most of us end up feeling that it's best to just leave things with a very basic camera setup that shows the audience the entire stage at all times, with minimal body/face 'closeups'. But that's not an approach that cinematographers or film directors are going to love. Ballet is fairly unique in requiring the union of 3 or more possible art forms: dance, music, and costume/stagings/lighting/projections, etc. And so many ballet projects end up becoming something more like a collision than a union of artists. Any kind of clumsy art 'collaboration' now always makes me think of these immortal lines: Balanchine: "We see nothing! Mary Ellen, we don't see Mary Ellen at all! Seligman: Nothing can be cut out, where is Seligman?" [Mary Ellen Moylen's remembrance of Balanchine and Kurt Seligman fighting over the original Four Temperaments costumes (in Dancing For Mr. B)] There has yet to be a "golden era" of dance film/video. And we're not getting any closer. To set a better example, the ballet world needs an A.D. who is as literate in film techniques as Balanchine was in the language of music composition: an A.D. who can dictate precisely how things need to be depicted, and if it's not done to that specification, the film crew won't be paid. ;)
  14. We can now access the many great podcasts of Meet the Artist interviews and Point of View lectures here: https://www.sfballet.org/explore/podcasts At the present time, the archive of pre-2016 podcasts is not available, but it will happen. Something I noticed about the new page, which is a little frustrating, is that the various podcasts listed need to load - and they all attempt to do so at the same time. The first couple of podcasts at the top of the page never seemed to load, so I just went on and played other podcasts. Eventually the first few did load successfully, but it's not a great approach, to force people to sit and wait for all these downloads to occur (or rather, to discover that the podcasts will not play right away, until the load bars have advanced a ways).
  15. SFB Podcasts: New website, New Location

    At least podcasts and other audio media free you up to do something else at the same time. Books don't allow for much else beyond quiet background music. I prefer silence when I'm reading a book.
  16. Program 4 - Frankenstein

    Aaron Robison posted a nice goodbye note to the SFB staff:
  17. It does seem like most major and regional symphonies in the U.S. are joining in the celebration with Bernstein programs at some point of the year. It shouldn't be difficult to find something of interest near you.
  18. SFB Podcasts: New website, New Location

    Recommended: the Meet the Artist interview with Sofiane Sylve, and how it relates to her recent Master Class talk with Ballet West students https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bexEmbPoDw4 The Stories of Serenade with James Steichen is of interest too, though I think he gets hung up trying to dispel 'myths and legends'. He should listen to Alastair Macaulay's interview on the subject of Serenade http://tendusunderapalmtree.com/alastair-macaulay/ Sasha De Sola talks about dancing Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and is always very well spoken.
  19. Although SF audiences generally have felt that Frankenstein has been, if anything, improved across all casts this year, it sounds like SFB will only be performing new works from their Unbound Festival: "The world-renowned company follows its acclaimed 2016 performances of Cinderella with D.C. premieres to be selected from Unbound: A Festival of New Works. Launching later this spring in San Francisco, the dynamic festival will showcase all-new ballets created by 12 of today’s most innovative choreographers, including David Dawson, Alonzo King, Edwaard Liang, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Cathy Marston, Trey McIntyre, Justin Peck, Arthur Pita, Dwight Rhoden, Myles Thatcher, Stanton Welch, and Christopher Wheeldon. Favorite pieces from the festival will make their way to the Kennedy Center in the fall, celebrating dance without limits and the company’s unique spirit of curiosity, experimentation, and invention."
  20. SF Ballet 2018 Tours

    SFB will be performing at the Kennedy Center in October, 2018: San Francisco Ballet: D.C. Premieres from Unbound: A Festival of New Works Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2018 "Praised for its impeccable technique, robust repertory, and distinct virtuosity, the renowned company presents premieres from Unbound: A Festival of New Works." https://www.kennedy-center.org/pages/specialevents/seasonannouncement
  21. SFB Podcasts: New website, New Location

    The SFB Podcast page is now divided into 4 sections: Pointes of View Lectures - Company artists and visiting scholars provide insight into the creative processes that helped shape our ballets and a historical context in which to appreciate them. Meet the Artist Interviews - Our popular pre-performance Meet the Artist Interviews (MTAs) spotlight a work to be performed that afternoon/evening. These informative talks feature artists and choreographers in conversation with a moderator. To the Pointe - Need something to listen to on your way to the theater? Join Jennie Scholick, PhD as she hosts To the Pointe, for an in-depth but light-hearted exploration of an upcoming performance. Learn what to look for, what’s important, and what you need to know to get the most out of your experience, all with a dash of humor. Demi Pointe - San Francisco Ballet's Demi-Pointe Podcast is a bite-sized taste of our upcoming programs, hosted by Associate Director of Audience Engagement, Jennie Scholick, PhD. Get a quick overview of what you're about to see and learn what to look for, what's important, and what you most need to know. A Meet the Artist interview with Frances Chung from March 9th is still to be posted...
  22. Yuan Yuan Tan Barbie doll

    I'm glad they got that detail right, and didn't try to "fix" that too. The Barbie physique is unrealistic enough as it is.
  23. Program 3 - Distinctly SF Ballet

    Madison Keesler and Elizabeth Powell showing off their Ibsen's House costumes:
  24. Natasha Sheehan

    Many of the dancers have been taking selfies while wearing the various great costumes of this 2018 season. Here's Natasha's contribution:
  25. Natasha Sheehan

    It's that time of the year when SFB and other ballet companies are trying to raise money for, among other things, their schools. New Corps dancer Natasha Sheehan talks about her experiences with the SFB school and as a trainee. Natasha is the latest female winner of the Erik Bruhn prize. When one considers that pretty much all winners eventually become principal dancers, she is one to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7WLr070ynY