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pherank

Tomasson Announces 2018 Festival of New Works

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vipa   

I'm a New Yorker and don't see SFB often. This idea of a festival of new works is a difficult one for me, having just been through the NYCB Here and Now series. A lot of new works (most of them forgettable) a lot of injured dancers, a lot of hype and not much to show for it. I hope SFB does it better. I wonder if a series of new works is truly audience building if most works aren't memorable and not worth keeping in the rep. Perhaps this is a different discussion.

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pherank   
42 minutes ago, vipa said:

I'm a New Yorker and don't see SFB often. This idea of a festival of new works is a difficult one for me, having just been through the NYCB Here and Now series. A lot of new works (most of them forgettable) a lot of injured dancers, a lot of hype and not much to show for it. I hope SFB does it better. I wonder if a series of new works is truly audience building if most works aren't memorable and not worth keeping in the rep. Perhaps this is a different discussion.

 

Injuries to the dancers from overwork concerns many people, I think. I hope. SFB just doesn't have the numbers to go into a new works festival without some trepidation. I know Tomasson isn't blind to this situation - he's going to have to very carefully manage things throughout the season so that no one is overburdened (which is, imo, what was happening this last season because of injuries and dancers transitioning out/retiring). As for the new works, it's impossible to tell which pieces will be successful. Hopefully all the chosen choreographers will make the best possible use of their opportunity, It would be foolish not too.

 

This new works festival feels very strategic to me. Tomasson needs to keep positioning SFB as a place where the future of ballet is being created -  not just a well curated museum for classic ballets. And, like every other company, SFB is trying to figure out how to capture the imagination of the youth population. It shouldn't be an impossible job, given that most of the dancers are quite young themselves, and they love what they're doing.

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pherank   

People have wondered about whether the SFB dancers will be ready for the 2018 New Works Festival - after a season of dancing. I've just be looking closely at the season dates, and I would say, yes, they will be both rested and rehearsed (provided no one has any major injuries). The last program to be danced by SFB dancers is likely to be Program 5, which ends on March 25th. Program 6 is danced by the National Ballet of Canada (Neumeier's Nijinsky) and that runs from April 3 to April 8th. Programs 7 and 8 (as they are listing the festival) don't begin until April 20th. So the dancers will have a 25 day period to finish rehearsals for the festival - with no other commitments. Seems doable, assuming that rehearsals begin for many of these new works anytime from July of this year to April 2018.

Edited by pherank

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The dancers are back in the studios and one of the 12 choreographers (Arthur Pita) is working on his creation for Unbound.  SFB posted this on their FB page, although this photo is from the creation of this past season's Salome:

 

 

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pherank   

From the SFB Instagram page:

 

sfballet: Ever wonder where a choreographer finds inspiration, how they cast their ballets, or what makes them tick? Choreographers Stanton Welch, Arthur Pita, and Edwaard Liang are here to answer your questions! Submit questions in the comments below and they may be answered next week during Unbound LIVE! #Unbound2018
Learn more about Unbound: A Festival of New Works >> www.sfballet.org/unbound

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWsUHmjF1_o/?taken-by=sfballet

 

[No word yet on how the LIVE! part is going to happen - perhaps on the SFB Facebook page?]

 

EDIT: on SFB's Facebook page they have posted the following -

 

JUL26
Unbound LIVE
Wed 5:30 PM PDT

"Our first Unbound LIVE—featuring choreographers Edwaard Liang, Arthur Pita, and Stanton Welch—will be broadcast July 26 at 5:30 pm on our Facebook page"
https://www.facebook.com/sfballet/

Edited by pherank

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pherank   

Reminder from SFB that today there will be live video on their Facebook page:

 

"Curious what goes on behind the scenes during our rehearsals? Today we're offering special insider access with a peek inside Unbound rehearsals with choreographers Stanton Welch, @edwaardliang, and @arthurpita. Tune in on our Facebook page at 5:30 pm PST for Unbound LIVE!" #Unbound2018

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I just finished watching the first Unbound webcast.  At the end, the host stated the entire program will be posted to the SFB website soon and will be available for 60 days.

 

Of course, most people would like to know about the pieces.  I will list the choreographer, music, and dancers rehearsing the piece.

 

Stanton Welch - Music is two violin concertos by Bach.  The section was for five men:  Angelo Greco, Esteban Hernandez, Lonnie Weeks, Ben Freemantle, and (I think) Alexandre Cagnat.

 

Edwaard LIang - A commissioned score by and English composer (don't remember the name).  He only received the complete score the week before he started rehearsals.  He rehearsed a PDD with Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz.

 

Arthur PIta - Recorded music by Bjork.  He rehearsed a section with many dancers which transitioned into a solo by Maria Kochetkova.  

 

Each choreographer talked a bit about the section we would see, talk to the dancers, and then the dancers would start.  Afterward, the choreographer gave some feedback, then answered some questions the host had from social media.

 

I am most excited by Arthur Pita's piece.  In the interview he really wanted to embrace the Unbound theme and has always admired Bjork.  I think just like the piece he created this year (Salome), people will either love it or hate it.

 

The next Unbound webcast will be on August 8th (per SFB comments on FB).  I don't think they have stated who the choreographers will be.

 

Edited by sf_herminator

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pherank   

SFB: "Thanks for watching Unbound LIVE. Now you’ve seen the rehearsals, we want you to see these ballets in performance next spring. How different will these ballets look once rehearsals are done, costumes are designed, and the dancers are onstage under the spotlights next spring? Find out.

Unbound LIVE viewers get 30% off any Unbound performance, when you purchase by July 31, 2017.* Choose your performance dates and enter promo code UNBOUNDLIVE. We’ll divide the 12 ballets into four programs later this fall. So while you may or may not see the same three ballets you watched in this Unbound LIVE broadcast, you will see three world premieres on every program."

https://www.sfballet.org/unboundoffer


This first rehearsal video will be available for 60 days, or so we were told by host Jennifer Kovacevich. Looks like the video is available on the SFB Facebook page but users will need to skip over quite a bit of dead space at the beginning to get to the action (currently 14:00 though this may be edited out in the future).

https://www.facebook.com/sfballet


And for just the video without all the extra Facebook blather:
https://www.facebook.com/sfballet/videos/vb.27923251292/10155274511401293/?type=3&theater

 

And on the SFB website:
https://www.sfballet.org/unbound-live

 

Overall, a nice teaser. Although I'm much more interested in the work of certain other choreographers, still to come. Liang's PDD for Yuan Yuan Tan and Vitor Luiz had some interesting bits, and a nice flow, though I imagine it was exhausting for Vitor to perform so many lifts. Always great to see those two dance. Arthur Pita's piece was, naturally, the more unusual looking with all the plant/feather props (and difficult to decipher at this stage). I assume the rehearsal pianist is Jamie Narushchen, but if anyone knows different please let us know.
 

Edited by pherank

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A few notes/corrections

--The next livestream is scheduled for August 18. 

--Liang's music is by Oliver Davis. 

--the rehearsal pianist was Ronny Michael Greenberg. 

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pherank   
15 hours ago, apollosmuse said:

A few notes/corrections

--The next livestream is scheduled for August 18. 

--Liang's music is by Oliver Davis. 

--the rehearsal pianist was Ronny Michael Greenberg. 

 

Thanks Apollosmuse - here's a link to some info about Ronny Greensberg. Personally, I'd like to see information about the rehearsal musicians on the SFB website too, as they are all part of what makes things happen.  ;)

 

Please congratulate SFB on a job well done - the presentation was well organized, and proceeded with few hitches. The dancers and choreographers all came off well.

It looks like a few users ran into hiccups/glitches with the live stream on Facebook, but that is to be expected. I think users need to know that streaming hiccups can usually be helped by clicking the web page RELOAD button, rather than trying to stop and start the video with the Play/Pause controls (those don't effect the overall data stream).

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Josette   

I checked into purchasing tickets at the discount price and you cannot choose your seat, though you can choose a generic location.  I suspect that they will fill these orders in after the subscription seats are assigned. 

 

Edited by Josette

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pherank   
2 minutes ago, Josette said:

I checked into purchasing tickets at the discount price and you cannot choose your seat , though you can chose a generic location.  I suspect that they will fill these orders in after the subscription seats are assigned. 

 

Ah ha! I was wondering about that myself. I've already purchased UNBOUND seats through subscription, but I was thinking about getting some additional ones IF I could select the seats myself.

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The next 3 choreographers who will start to create their pieces and be part of the August 18 broadcast:  Alonzo King, Justin Peck and Christopher Wheeldon.  https://www.sfballet.org/season/events/unbound-2018/unbound-live.

 

Edwaard Liang posted this pic on Instagram (link here is from FB):  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156560442074478&set=p.10156560442074478&type=3&theater

 

Yesterday's broadcast was also posted on SFB's YouTube page:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTHLx-97iDo

 

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On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 5:16 PM, sf_herminator said:

The next 3 choreographers who will start to create their pieces and be part of the August 18 broadcast:  Alonzo King, Justin Peck and Christopher Wheeldon.  https://www.sfballet.org/season/events/unbound-2018/unbound-live.

 

 

For the second round of Unbound, Myles Thatcher is now listed as the third choreographer:  https://www.facebook.com/events/942197712585438/?acontext={"ref"%3A"2"%2C"ref_dashboard_filter"%3A"upcoming"%2C"action_history"%3A"[{\"surface\"%3A\"dashboard\"%2C\"mechanism\"%3A\"main_list\"%2C\"extra_data\"%3A[]}]"}

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXVwKLTFS6P/?taken-by=sfballet

 

Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck have been posting on Instagram while here in SF (unfortunately, no peeks at what they have been working on):

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXeN-TSB5ZF/?taken-by=wheeldony

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXeRq-NAWFx/?taken-by=justin_peck

 

 

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pherank   
5 hours ago, sf_herminator said:

For the second round of Unbound, Myles Thatcher is now listed as the third choreographer

Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck have been posting on Instagram while here in SF (unfortunately, no peeks at what they have been working on):

 

 

I'm looking forward to the next live broadcast. I wonder if Alonzo King just didn't want the public observing his process, or if he felt like he needed to reschedule his rehearsal times?

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