Jump to content
sf_herminator

Program 2 - Bright Fast Cool Blue

Recommended Posts

Casting for the first two performances of Program 2 (https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 7:30 pm

SERENADE
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

Yuan Yuan Tan, Carlo Di Lanno
Mathilde Froustey
Jennifer Stahl
Luke Ingham

THE CHAIRMAN DANCES—QUARTET FOR TWO
Composer: John Adams
Choreographer: Benjamin Millepied
Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova, Carlo Di Lanno

Yuan Yuan Tan*, Ulrik Birkkjaer*
Jennifer Stahl*, Benjamin Freemantle

RODEO: FOUR DANCE EPISODES
Composer: Aaron Copland
Choreographer: Justin Peck
Conductor: Martin West

Dores André*, Ulrik Birkkjaer*

Esteban Hernandez, Hansuke Yamamoto, Wei Wang

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 7:30 pm

SERENADE
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets
Frances Chung
Jennifer Stahl
Ulrik Birkkjaer

THE CHAIRMAN DANCES—QUARTET FOR TWO
Composer: John Adams
Choreographer: Benjamin Millepied
Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova, Carlo Di Lanno

Yuan Yuan Tan, Ulrik Birkkjaer
Jennifer Stahl, Benjamin Freemantle

RODEO: FOUR DANCE EPISODES
Composer: Aaron Copland
Choreographer: Justin Peck
Conductor: Martin West

Sarah Van Patten*, Luke Ingham*

Max Cauthorn, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira*, James Sofranko*
 

*Denotes premiere in ballet

Casting is subject to change.

Edited by sf_herminator

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not surprised that Yuan Yuan is now dancing (since she was absent from the Sleeping Beauty casts), but I am surprised that Sofiane is not appearing in Rodeo so far. Are we seeing 2nd, 3rd casts due to multiple injuries? Or is the idea that the '1st cast' has already been seen at the Opening Gala, so they get shoved to a later date?

Share this post


Link to post

Here's a review of Program 2 from Heather Desaulnier at DanceTabs:

http://dancetabs.com/2018/02/san-francisco-ballet-serenade-the-chairman-dances-rodeo-san-francisco/

[Serenade] "It was Mathilde Froustey that stole this performance of Serenade. Absolutely remarkable, with technique emanating from another dimension – suspended balances, precise directional changes, turns that finished with the accent up rather than down. Froustey soared through Balanchine’s choreography, and in her solos and variations, the focus wasn’t solely on the final shapes (though they were impressive). Froustey danced the transitions."

And Froustey's Instagram comment:
"OMG. Thank you so much DanceTabs for this amazing review. I don’t think I ever got a review like that !!!!.
Exactly 1year ago I was with crutches and boot after my foot injury.
In fact I was thinking of quitting dancing.
I knew the recovery was going to be very long, I knew I was going to have to almost relearn how to dance and going back on stage seemed so far away... I didn’t think I was strong enough to take it.
I’m back on stage, happier than ever thanks to some amazing people who guided me through this journey..
Thank you from all my heart to my 'team' who created this positive and friendship cocoon and worked hard with me to put me back on stage"

Edited by pherank

Share this post


Link to post

Three performances of Program 3 in a week.  Serenade was the attraction for buying extra tickets, but this turned out to be one of the most enjoyable triple bills I’ve seen in years – the masterpiece, the likable (plus a bit of a mystery), and the fun.

SERENADE
Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Conductor: Martin West

February 18
Waltz Couple: Wona Park, Wei Wang*
Russian Girl: Frances Chung
Angel: Dores André
Dark Angel: Ulrik Birkkjaer 

February 24 2:00 pm
Waltz Couple: Yuan Yuan Tan, Carlo Di Lanno
Russian Girl: Sasha De Sola
Angel: Jennifer Stahl
Dark Angel: Luke Ingham

February 24 8:00 pm
Waltz Couple: Maria Kochetkova, Vitor Luiz
Russian Girl: Sasha De Sola
Angel: WanTing Zhao
Dark Angel: Luke Ingham

Casts for Serenade were all good, but newcomer Wona Park caught my attention. To be sure, probably any female member of the corp could perform the steps competently.  But aside from strong technique and intense musicality, Park’s dancing had an unexpected size and sweep.  In contrast to Tan’s languid, remote beauty, and Kochetkova’s airy lightness, Park brought a rather earthy, vibrant energy to the Waltz couple, well partnered by Wei Wang.  It’s going to be interesting to see how she develops.

THE CHAIRMAN DANCES—QUARTET FOR TWO
Composer: John Adams
Choreographer: Benjamin Millepied
Conductor: Martin West

February 18
Maria Kochetkova, Carlo Di Lanno
Yuan Yuan Tan, Ulrik Birkkjaer
Jennifer Stahl, Benjamin Freemantle

February 24 2:00 pm
Frances Chung, Vitor Luiz
Koto Ishihara, Tiit Helimets
Elizabeth Powell, John-Paul Simoens

February 24 8:00 pm
Frances Chung, Vitor Luiz
Koto Ishihara, Tiit Helimets
Elizabeth Powell, John-Paul Simoens

The surprise was the Millepied.  I’d seen ‘The Chairman Dances’ (without the ‘Quartet for Two’ section) at the 2017 Gala.  There are so many negative comments about Millepied’s choreography on this board, I felt a little guilty about liking it.  Still like it.  Not particularly original (lots of ‘walking’ a la Robbins' Glass Pieces), not something I’d go out of my way or spend extra money to see, but perfectly happy if it’s programmed.  

Part 1 has a vaguely military look with athletic solos and pas de deux.  Toward the end, and for no particular reason, everyone dances a foxtrot.  Good humored and lively.

A seemingly unrelated second section has been added: ‘Quartet for Two’.  I loathe cute titles for ballets (or ballet programs), but this actually made sense.  Four dancers – two male, two female – dance three short, intense pas de deux:  male/female; male/male; female/female.  Among the three versions of the PdD, similar, sometimes identical, choreography, but interesting with the various pairings.  In contrast to the bright blue/red uniforms of The Chairman Dances section, all wore plain white costumes, and the music further emphasized the disconnect from the first part.

It seems like Millepied has the makings of two interesting, short ballets that don’t make any particular sense as one ballet.  I’d be grateful if anyone could explain what the point of combining them might be, aside from filling up a 20-minute slot.

As for the casts:  Chung/Luiz best captured the fox-trot humor in the first part; and Tan/Stahl were particularly beautiful in the female/female pairing in Quartet for Two.

RODEO:  FOUR DANCE EPISODES
Composer: Aaron Copland
Choreographer: Justin Peck
Conductor: Martin West

February 18
Sarah Van Patten, Luke Ingham
Max Cauthorn, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, James Sofranko

February 24 2:00 pm
Sofiane Sylve, Carlo Di Lanno
Max Cauthorn, Daniel Deivison-Oliveira, James Sofranko

February 24 8:00 pm
Dores André, Ulrik Birkkjaer
Esteban Hernandez, Hansuke Yamamoto, Wei Wang

I commented about this on the Gala thread and three more viewings haven’t diminished my enjoyment.  Great fun.  The men of the company outdid themselves, with Esteban Hernandez standing out.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, part 2, "Quartet for Two," seems like another composition. There's a pas de deux for two men that's quite erotically charged. The men are dressed in what looks like white long johns (I couldn't help thinking of "Brokeback Mountain" for a few minutes). The music was John Adams' "Christian Zeal and Activity," which at some point was given a looped voice-over of a radio minister preaching about the miraculous healing of a man with a withered hand. It seemed to be used as a satirical "found object", but came off as a very heavy-handed, moralizing anti-moralizing counterpoint to the dancing. The audience was very quiet, and I thought some of them, who might be religious but not homophobes, might have been offended by it. 

The second part of "Christian Zeal" was for two women and seemed have many of the same steps as the men but was much less effective. The more formal costumes (not underwear) or the "Serenade"-long hair may have had something to do with it.

I did enjoy the first half, the exuberant Chairman [and Madame] Mao fox trots, with nice references by Adams to Nino Rota and Darius Milhaud along the way.

The company also did a beautiful and very articulate performance of "Serenade" (the only Balanchine this season from a company which used to do lots). The cast included Sofiane Sylve, Frances Chung and Jennifer Stahl. Ulrik Birkkjaer was the man in the third part who so quietly and so minimally hinges everything together. 

For some reason I find "Rodeo" a little less effective on the men of San Francisco Ballet – who are great in other things – than when I see clips of City Ballet doing the same work, especially the very moving pas de cinque with Taylor Stanley, which didn't have the same drama to it here. With City Ballet there seems to be a bit of a retard before the finish of a move, and a very subtle variation in pace. They're not just fast.

 

Share this post


Link to post
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×