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About Sal

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    parent of dance student
  • City**
    San Anselmo, CA
  1. 2017 Fall Season

    I was there last night for Tiler and Chase's performance, second row center. It was an unbelievable experience to be there. I'm still trying to digest it. Not only was Tiler technically near perfect, but her characterization was near perfect as well. She told the story with her dancing and told it beautifully. She created two very distinct characters and was completely believable. More than just putting a "sad" expression on her face, it seemed that every molecule in her body expressed the character she was playing. Her extraordinary technique and musicality made this possible. It's hard for me to put into words. One could definitely feel that the whole theater was pulling for her, and mid-way through the performance I could tell that she could feel the audience's support and it seemed to free her dancing even more. Chase was an ardent partner and I felt his characterization was dramatic and heartfelt. The place went wild at the curtain calls and it seemed that no one wanted the evening to be over. It was really special to be there, a night to remember, for sure.
  2. ABT 2017 Onegin

    This may be a bit off-topic, but I remember in the old days (1970s) ABT seemed to do many more mixed programs during a season than they do now. I'd much rather see a season with a few full length ballets and a few weeks of mixed programs. I was really surprised when we moved to NYC to see that ABT does week after week of full-lengths. It becomes so tedious for me as an audience member and I've got to think for the dancers, too, both veterans and up-and-comers. They don't get much opportunity to stretch themselves artistically, unlike the dancers at NYCB. Perhaps ABT just isn't my cup of tea. I tend to get really bored with the old chestnuts, especially if, as it seems this year, several of the key dancers are not up to the technical challenges (Swan Lake fouettes, for example). If ABT is going to put on the full-lengths, they've got to be performed with technical excellence, and they are just not at this point in time. So I welcome the chance to see a more contemporary full-length ballet, like Onegin, which offers a break in the monotony of endless Le Corsaires, Swan Lakes and Don Qs. Just my humble opinion.
  3. ABT 2017 Onegin

    I was there last night for Vishneva and Gomes' performance and it was incredible. I'm a recent transplant to New York from California so I've never seen either of them dance before. I am quite familiar with the ballet having seen San Francisco Ballet perform it several times and as I mentioned in an earlier post, it is one of my favorites. It felt to me like every molecule in Vishneva's body portrayed the character. I was in the orchestra section but far enough away that I couldn't see her facial expressions, but it didn't matter because she told the whole story with her body. I thought she portrayed Tatiana as a kind of a serious-minded, nerdy, bookworm who experiences feelings of infatuation for the first time and doesn't know what to do with them. Her portrayal was unflagging -- regardless of what she was doing, dancing or just standing still -- her character came across. It was masterful. Gomes was such an ardent partner and played Onegin with such coldness early on and then such passion at the end. Never before have I seen the final pas de deux performed with such abandon yet technical excellence. Vishneva and Gomes made it look so organic and real -- there was no hesitation before launching into the most difficult sequences, nor could one see the "set up" for what was coming next -- it all just flowed, which is incredibly difficult to pull off. I also thought the rest of the cast was terrific, especially Blaine Hoven. His technique was beautiful and he cuts such a tall handsome figure. He and Isabella Boylston made a great pair.
  4. ABT 2017 Onegin

    Onegin is one of my favorite ballets but I've found that a successful performance depends on both the acting and the partnering skills of the principals. The partnering is extremely challenging and if done well it has a fluid quality, with one moment seamlessly flowing into the next and so on. If the male dancer is not a super strong the ballerina cannot dance with the emotional abandon needed to convey the story. I'm looking forward to seeing Vishneva and Gomes -- I think they are definitely up to the task.
  5. ABT 2017 Swan Lake

    I, too, was at this afternoon's performance. I agree with everything written here so far -- Royal was great, Hammoudi was meh, Teuscher, while not perfect, showed great potential, and Fang was completely charming. I would like to add that I was pretty disappointed in the corps de ballet's performance in Acts II and IV. I'll be blunt: I felt they were a mess. I feel bad writing that because I know those dancers work so very, very hard and are the backbone of the company but they were just not together -- they were often out of sync and their lines were often crooked. I love the corps de ballet scenes in Swan Lake, and I've seen them done to perfection before, most recently by San Francisco Ballet a few years ago, so it was a bit of a let down for me. I don't blame the dancers, it seemed pretty obvious to me that they were under-rehearsed, and seemed a bit sleepy to boot.
  6. 2017 Spring Season

    I agree with nanushka. Maria's (and her partner, Tyler's ) 2nd movement on Sunday was so mesmerizing and beautiful, and judging the reactions of the people around me, I wasn't the only person who felt this. It was one of those live theater experiences. I was sitting quite close, so I don't know if people sitting further back had the same experience. Her 4th movement and finale were a bit rough, but the 2nd movement was so beautiful, I didn't care. And, you know, in a day and age when 12 year olds on youtube can perform 16 pirouettes, I'm definitely looking for something more than technique from the professional artists I go see perform. Just my opinion
  7. 2017 Spring Season

    ....Continuing... Tiler Peck was truly amazing. I don't think I've ever seen a dancer totally embody the music the way she did yesterday in Allegro Brilliante. Just pure joy in expression. I was sitting very close, and at one point Andrew Veyette gave Tiler a little smile seeming to acknowledge just how on fire she was. What an unforgettable performance. I love 4Ts and was excited to see Sara Mearns. Sara just ate up space. She wasn't perfect but that didn't seem to be the goal -- she just threw herself into the steps with abandon. Amazing to watch. I was surprised at how moved I was by Maria Kowroski's performance in Symphony in C. Tyler Angle is such a sensitive partner and he and Maria created what was, for me, a very vulnerable, dramatic, and moving performance. Her energy did seem to lag near the end of the ballet but she kept fighting on and in her struggle created something beautiful, in my opinion. I know the ballet is so often about striving for perfection and effortlessness, and we saw that yesterday in Tiler Peck's performance, but art is also about expressing a kind of universal humanity and I found that in Maria's performance. All in all, an extraordinary afternoon at the ballet!
  8. 2017 Spring Season

    I, too, was at Sunday's matinee.
  9. SF Ballet 2016: Onegin

    I saw Saturday night's performance. Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan were fantastic together. I have never seen Vanessa dance with so much emotion and she and Davit were completely up to the task of the very difficult partnering in the dream sequence and especially the final scene of the ballet. They were able to dance with a level of abandon that made the final pas de deux absolutely thrilling. The audience went wild for them at the end. Sasha De Sola and Myles Thatcher were also wonderful -- both really terrific actors and extremely expressive. A great night at the ballet.