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SFB 2017-18 season

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The complete season is now posted on the SFB web site: https://www.sfballet.org/season/upcoming-season

 
Dec 13–30, 2017
Nutcracker

This holiday season, join us as the lights dim, the music soars, snowflakes swirl, flowers dance, and a little girl dreams about a whole new world in a Nutcracker that is as unique as it is magical. And it's only at SF Ballet.

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Sleeping Beauty

Jan 23-Feb 04, 2018

This classic story of a sleeping princess, a handsome prince, and the triumph of true love’s kiss will sweep you off your feet. With spectacular sets, lavish tutus, and Tchaikovsky’s glorious score, Helgi Tomasson’s production of Sleeping Beauty highlights our dancers’ classical virtuosity, casting its spell over a fairytale ballet of romance and wonder.

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Feb 13–24, 2018
Program 02: Bright Fast Cool Blue

Balanchine turned up the volume on classical ballet, making the movement bigger, faster, and more energetic, and New York City Ballet alums Benjamin Millepied and Justin Peck have put their own stamp on this aesthetic. Balanchine’s moonlit Serenade is followed by Millepied’s propulsive and expanded The Chairman Dances, and Peck’s Rodeo, an athletic, high-energy interpretation of Aaron Copland’s iconic music.

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Feb 15–25, 2018
Program 03: Distinctly SF Ballet

Three works, all created for SF Ballet, and all delightfully distinct. Helgi Tomasson’s neoclassical On a Theme of Paganini, set to Rachmaninov’s brilliant music, shimmers with charm and romance. For Ibsen’s House, Val Caniparoli created a dramatic, emotional ballet from five of the Nordic playwright’s works. Included in the program will be a select world premiere from our 2017 Repertory Season.

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Mar 06–11, 2018
Program 04: Frankenstein

The Creature is back! The sold-out hit of 2017, Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein bowed to roaring ovations. The Mercury News wrote "[Frankenstein] offers luscious performances, relentless drama, and spectacular set design and lighting.” Inspired by Mary Shelley's Gothic masterpiece, and set to Lowell Liebermann’s powerful score, this production features sumptuous costumes, and sets that will astonish.

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Mar 20–25, 2018
Program 05: Robbins: Ballet & Broadway

Our all-Robbins program celebrates the centennial of Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein with four iconic works: Fancy Free, a high-spirited story of three sailors on shore leave in New York City; the otherworldly, pensive Opus 19/The Dreamer; the electrifying and brilliantly ferocious The Cage; and Other Dances, a gorgeous, lyrical duet set to Chopin's piano music.

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Apr 03–08, 2018
Program 06: The National Ballet of Canada in Nijinsky

National Ballet of Canada returns to the Bay Area for the first time in a decade with Nijinsky, John Neumeier’s imaginative tribute to the legendary dancer-choreographer. In this kaleidoscopic biography, pivotal moments surface through the lens of Nijinsky’s psychosis, illuminated by the iconic characters he danced. "Stamina, guts and passion are what define this company right now." —National Post

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Apr 20–May 06, 2018
Programs 07 & 08: Unbound: A Festival of New Works

The future of ballet is coming to San Francisco. We’ve celebrated "maker culture" here in San Francisco for decades—now we’re taking it to a whole new level. Unbound features 12 world premieres by 12 innovative, international choreographers. Planned and conceived by Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson, this ambitious festival encompasses four distinct programs, each featuring three brand-new ballets.

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Helene   

My favorite part of the Robbins centennial celebrations is the revival of "The Cage."  The Bolshoi just performed it for its modern HD transmission program. I'm so glad SFB has chosen it for its all-Robbins program.

 

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pherank   

Something I always pay attention to: are there overlaps between programs to make visits more feasible/economical for out-of-towners?

 

Programs 2 and 3 overlap, but I'm not seeing any other overlaps for the season until we get to the New Works festival. The season runs no longer than usual with the built in break periods (a break for the audience, a rehearsal period for the dancers). If Tomasson is doing this for the dancer's benefit, I forgive him, but it's not as helpful to the audience members, imo.

 

The Program 3 text mentions that there "... will be a select world premiere from our 2017 Repertory Season." Interesting that the jury is still out on that one. Do people vote for Fragile Vessels, Salome or Ghost in the Machine?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by pherank

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9 minutes ago, pherank said:

Something I always pay attention to: are there overlaps between programs to make visits more feasible/economical for out-of-towners?

 

Programs 2 and 3 overlap, but I'm not seeing any other overlaps for the season until we get to the New Works festival. The season runs no longer than usual with the built in break periods (a break for the audience, a rehearsal period for the dancers). If Tomasson is doing this for the dancer's benefit, I forgive him, but it's not as helpful to the audience members, imo.

 

I noticed that, too -- it's something I've always appreciated about SFB. I wondered if it had anything to do with very elaborate sets. Disappointing for out-of-towners.

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miliosr   

I would have liked it if they had found room for something -- anything -- by Lew Christensen considering that 2017-18 will be the 85th season.

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pherank   
8 hours ago, miliosr said:

I would have liked it if they had found room for something -- anything -- by Lew Christensen considering that 2017-18 will be the 85th season.

 

Filling Station? I'm not sure there's any special meaning to the 85th season, but perhaps the 100th season will involve a vast retrospective. That would be OK with me - I just don't know who will be around in another 15 years.  ;)

 

I've never seen Tomasson's Sleeping Beauty, so I went looking for an old review - here's one from 2007:

http://archives.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/prince-charms-sf-ballets-sleeping-beauty/Content?oid=2155088

 

And here's a review from 1990, when Tomasson's version first premiered:

http://articles.latimes.com/1990-03-26/entertainment/ca-212_1_dance-ballet-sleeping

 

"After 100 years, it's about time someone got serious about The Sleeping Beauty. San Francisco Ballet does exactly that, in a new $750,000 production that manages to be both novel and profound.

...Unfortunately, the production suffers occasional cop-outs and lapses, ranging from such minor inconsistencies as Aurora wearing a tutu in the Rose Adagio to such serious problems as a bungled staging of the Lilac Fairy's spell. (After the court falls asleep, she dances at the front of the stage while a Maryinsky-blue act-curtain descends behind her to hide a set change. Very unmagical.)

...Flawed as it is, the production has such deep intelligence and sheer splendor that it easily outclasses the empty-headed versions currently danced by American Ballet Theatre, the Kirov and the Bolshoi. What other Sleeping Beauty dramatizes how long it takes for goodness to vanquish evil in this world, for love to finally triumph?"

 

So I, of course, wonder how much was changed form 1990 to 2007, and what will be tweaked for this next showing in 2018.

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miliosr   
1 hour ago, pherank said:

 

Filling Station? I'm not sure there's any special meaning to the 85th season, but perhaps the 100th season will involve a vast retrospective. That would be OK with me - I just don't know who will be around in another 15 years.  ;)

In 15 years, will anyone remember any of Christensen's variations?

 

I would like to see his Divertissement D'Auber.

 

 

Edited by miliosr

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pherank   
33 minutes ago, miliosr said:

In 15 years, will anyone remember any of Christensen's variations?

 

I would like to see his Divertissement D'Auber.

 

 

I wondered this myself: who is currently able to act as repetiteur for Christensen ballets? And what can you tell us about the Divertissement?

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sandik   
On 4/14/2017 at 5:01 PM, pherank said:

 

I wondered this myself: who is currently able to act as repetiteur for Christensen ballets?

 

I wonder too, and I don't know.

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pherank   

SFB Sleeping Beauty from 2007:

 

YYT and Tiit Helimets

920x920.jpg

 

2018-p1-1920x1080-1.jpg

 

2018-p1-1920x1080-3.jpg

Edited by pherank

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Josette   

I recall seeing SFB's The Sleeping Beauty in 1995-ish with Joanna Berman as Aurora and YY Tan in the Bluebird pas de deux. I recall it as a beautiful production and especially liked  Berman's control in the Vision scene (though I thought it odd that her hair had a slightly off-center part.). I plan on seeing it in the coming season four or five times as a vacation week. 

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pherank   

SFB's Principal Package solicitations shown that Program 3, "Distinctly SF Ballet", will indeed include Myles Thatcher's Ghost in the Machine (along with Tomasson's On a Theme of Paganini and Caniparoli's Ibsen's House). Thatcher is also creating a new piece for the season ending Unbound: A Festival of New Works.

 

SFB 2018 Season

Edited by pherank

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Helene   

Did I miss an announcement that Justin Peck has left NYCB, or is "alums" (plural) a typo?:

 

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pherank   
1 hour ago, Helene said:

Did I miss an announcement that Justin Peck has left NYCB, or is "alums" (plural) a typo?:

 

 

Must be a typo, or, if there has been a change, it's that Peck will stop dancing in favor of choreographing full-time. But I doubt Peck is leaving NYCB.

 

I'm not seeing exactly where you found this quote though - on their Instagram page (it isn't displaying well for me here)? The latest posting is about "Pride Week" in SF, and one of the comments is mistaking Wanting Zhao for Yuan Yuan Tan.

OK, sorry - I switched browsers and now I see this was a Twitter posting.

Edited by pherank

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pherank   

The SFB 2018 Season subscription drive is going on, and now it's time for the "Choreograph Your Own" series subscribers to renew. SFB is now offering "mini-packages" as well this year. Note that any NEW subscribers will have to wait until August 3rd to get in on the Choreograph Your Own or Mini-Package subscriptions. However, a new subscriber can get a Principal package right now (these are the pricier ticket options).

https://www.sfballet.org/visit/subscriptions

One of the mini-packages being offered is for the "Unbound" new works festival. (Note that SFB is now referring to their new works festival as "Unbound", which is a little confusing, but that's what UNBOUND means in all the marketing blurbs.)

 

Unbound Unabridged
Unbound A, Unbound B, Unbound C, Unbound D
Be in the theater when it happens—get the first look at the future of ballet by experiencing the complete Unbound. You’ll see all 12 world premieres from the festival’s 12 innovative international choreographers.

 

Mini-packages go on sale to the public August 3rd 2017. Here are the available options:
https://www.sfballet.org/visit/subscriptions/themed-mini-subscriptions

Personally, I find the Choreograph Your Own package to be the most useful for me, since I am coming from out-of-town. That means paying a basic $75 donation to the company, and then choosing 3 or more performances that I would like to see. The down side is that the subscriber only gets to choose which section of the opera house they want their subscription package seats to be in - for example, two seats side-by-side in the Orchestra Ring. If you want to choose precisely which seats to sit in, then you will have to wait until October, I believe, to fight it out with the general public for the remaining open seats. A plus: if at anytime during the season you need to purchase extra seats, you can do so at an "up to 15%" discount" through the SFB website - and you will be able to choose the exact seats you want. Essentially the CYO subscriber pays for, say, tickets to 3 different performances in order to get the additional price discount for any remaining ticket purchases. If money is an issue, and it always is for me, then that is a good approach to take. And yes, you can get tickets for more than 3 performances with the CYO subscription package, but SFB will be selecting the exact seats for you. So to me, it's better to allow SFB to choose my seats for only 3 performances, and then I return to the website in the fall and choose additional seats at a discount and pick the seat locations myself. SFB still gets the money. [Once you purchase a subscription package, anytime you log in to the SFB website you are recognized as a subscriber, and any seats you are looking to purchase are automatically shown at a discount - if anyone knows different, let me know, but that's what I remember about the process.]

"Already know exactly what you want to see? A Choreograph Your Own subscription give you the flexibility to create your own schedule. Simply select three or more programs, at dates and times that work for you, and save up to 15%. Packages start at just $75."

CYO Subscriptions for the 2017–18 Season go on sale August 3.

 

EDIT: It's possible to choose up to 3 payments for your subscription (so you are paying 1/3 of the total each month by credit card). That makes it all much more doable.

Edited by pherank

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pherank   

I forgot what might be the most intriguing part of the UNBOUND festival:

"Unbound will extend beyond the boundaries of the Opera House with events that take audiences inside our world and SF Ballet out into the community. We'll be broadcasting live video streams on our website to preview the new works as they're being created. And, in the months leading up to the festival, Unbound will take ballet into the community through a series of pop-up events. We'll also present short dance films inspired by festival works and a symposia that will examine issues critical to ballet in the 21st century."

Curious? Join us. #Unbound2018

[from the SFB festival mailer pamphlet]

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pherank   

FYI: here's a scan of the UNBOUND Festival program dates (April and May 2018)

 

SFB 2017-2018 Season Reperatory Calendar

 

For anyone wondering how they can see all of the programs at one time in the minimal amount of time:

this can be done by purchasing tickets for Wednesday April 25 - Saturday April 28 (program order will be B, D, C, A). Or purchase tickets for Wednesday May 2 - Saturday May 5 (program order will be C, A, B, D).

Obviously it's possible to use a different order of dates, but if one is arriving from out-of-town, more days would be required to see all programs, and every additional day in SF gets expensive.

 




 

Edited by pherank

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Josette   

Thanks, Pherank.  I was hoping to get in all the new works in one fell swoop. 

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Or, if you're up to 2 shows on Saturday, Friday April 27-Sunday April 29 is C, D, A, B and Friday May 4-Sunday May 6 is B, C, D, A. 

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pherank   

SF Ballet has posted their video trailer for the upcoming season:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE7cfWuNGjE

 

It shows us that there is probably lots of great rehearsal and ballet creation footage stored away that will never see the light of day.

The one odd shot was of the back of Martin West's head - not really an appropriate image.  ;)

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