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Shostakovich Trilogy is back, and for seven performances in a six-day-in-a-row period!

I'm hoping not to miss it this time around.

 

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Program 1
Don Quixote
January 25–February 3


Program 2
Divertimento No. 15
Appassionata

Encore Work TBA
February 12–23


Program 3
The Fifth Season
Encore Work TBA
Etudes
February 14–24


Program 4
The Sleeping Beauty
March 9–17


Program 5
Encore Work TBA
Encore Work TBA
Yuri Possokhov World Premiere
March 27–April 7


Program 6
Encore Work TBA
Liam Scarlett World Premiere
Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes
March 29–April 9


Program 7
The Little Mermaid
April 19–28


Program 8
Shostakovich Trilogy
May 7–12

Edited by pherank

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A lot of TBAs in there - difficult to make plans! Of special interest: another Peck work for them and Etudes, which I haven't seen in ages. I am so grateful that I got to see the Trilogy in its premiere season at the Met. Especially now that most of those leads are gone (Gomes, Part, Vishneva, Osipova, maybe Hallberg), it would be interesting to see it again with a different company.

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OK, so it's a little weird to see so many TBA's - partly/mostly because we don't know how most of these Unbound Festival works are going to go over. It also feels like time for Tomasson to introduce a new work rather than bring back an older one.

This is one time I'm probably more interested to know what Yuri Possokhov will come up with than how the company grows into Don Q and Sleeping Beauty, but that's just me. Tomasson may have taken to heart comments that the dancers needed more experience with SB and other classical works. Like Helene, I'd be happy to see Shostokovich Trilogy, which was excellent the first time, but alas, Davit Karapetyan won't be around to dance the lead. I wonder how Angelo Greco or Walsh will look in this role?

A single Balanchine piece (Divertimento) is underwhelming though. I'm still waiting to see Episodes and Square Dance at SFB. And no Robbins encore, at least not yet. Joe Walsh was born to dance Fancy Free and he's not getting to do that in 2018, so…

The Little Mermaid makes me think there's a sad goodbye coming. Hopefully I'm wrong, and the youngest principal ever at SFB will set a record as the oldest principal ever.

Edited by pherank

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And there needs to be a mixed rep program in between Mermaid and Shostakovich - it feels too heavy, too solid, for the final weeks of the season. 2018 ends on fireworks and explosions, but the 2019 season will be much more brooding and 'thoughtful' on the way out. Otherwise, I really appreciate the overlap of Programs 2 and 3, 5 and 6.

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Yes, Square Dance, Episodes – or Allegro Brillante. Divertimento #15 is a deceptively difficult ballet to bring off for a company not doing much Balanchine. It should have all sorts of quick, witty detailing – petit point within its needlepoint – otherwise it kinda looks like dull Petipa. They do other Balanchines much better. A quick NYCB clip for what's at stake –

https://www.nycballet.com/ballets/d/divertimento-no-15.aspx

Don't know about all the encore TBAs – I assume they're the best hits of the Unbound series this spring. Appassionata would be Milliepied's, the one that hugs the music without an inch of give between?

In certain ways though it might be a stronger season than this year's, with Shostakovich Trilogy to anchor it (and compensation for Little Mermaid) and Selected Unbound. But yes, who will anchor Shostakovich?

Edited by Quiggin

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Perliminary take on 2019:

Shostakovich Trilogy – A genuine masterpiece.  I can easily see attending every performance, if the budget holds out (I guess that’s what standing room is for).  Taras Domitro will be much missed in Symphony No. 9, but with luck Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham will reprise their roles.  Hoping Joseph Walsh will be back to replace Davit Karapetyan in Chamber Symphony.

Divertimento No. 15 – SFB danced it well last time it was performed.  Can only hope enough good work will come out of the new works festival to justify only one Balanchine.

Rodeo:  Four Dance Episodes -  Maybe not a masterpiece but fun, and it’s always great to see the sterling men of the company showcased. 

Etudes – I remember seeing this about a million years ago with Toni Lander; don’t remember loving it, but as I recall it works if the dancers can pour on the flash; SFB should be able do that.

The Little Mermaid – Flawed (Neumeier throws in everything but the kitchen sink) and too long, but nevertheless a riveting piece of dance theater.  Tan's sinuous Mermaid - beyond beautiful; Van Patten's ultra dramatic Mermaid-well, ultra dramatic as only she can do it.  Interesting to see who else might take on the role this time.

The Fifth Season:  The only Tomasson ballet I can watch without yawning prodigiously.

Sleeping Beauty:  One of my favorite scores, an interesting production, and it's a good showcase for the dancers.  Plus, I suppose it makes sense to do a big production like this two years in a row, since presumably that minimizes rehearsal time.  But I can't help wishing we could bring in a La Sylphide, or a full length Bayadere, or SOMETHING else for a change.

Yes, Virginia, another Don Q:  See Sleeping Beauty.  To be fair, this is a good production and the dancers do it justice.  I hope the unexpectedly funny (Fancy Free, 2nd sailor) Ulrik Birkkjaer gets a crack at Basilio.

Good to know a fairly large selection of the new works will be showcased, although, of course, the audience may not agree with Tomasson what's worth repeating.

Edited by PeggyR

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I remember seeing Square Dance years ago with... Frances Chung, perhaps? It was a lovely performance with tons of crisp, clean fifth positions. I'd love for it to come back.

And The Little Mermaid: yes, there's a ton of everything thrown into that ballet. But it's still beautiful. If anything, I feel like having everything thrown in sort of sways you to the Mermaid's side. She's in over her head, with so much visual and physical noise around her. I'd love to see Lauren Strongin or Wanting Zhao take on the lead role. Maybe we'll finally see Madison Keesler as the princess? I think she understudied it years ago.

 

 

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I remember seeing Square Dance as well. Chung was in the corps, but I couldn't keep my eyes off of her.  Unfortunately, I did my corps "process of elimination" wrong and thought she was another dancer.  I realized my mistake later, and I've tried to follow her career since.

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Ah, Helene, she probably was in the corps, but I remember that she stood out with her rock-solid technique and how she made every step look effortless!

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7 hours ago, PeggyTulle said:

...  I remember that she stood out with her rock-solid technique and how she made every step look effortless!

And she still dances that way; plus, she can act.  One of the best all-around dancers in the company.

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Mathilde Froustey tells us why she loves Don Quixote:

It's a big leap, but I'd like to see what Frantziskonis and WanTing Zhao could do with the Little Mermaid role. Also Froustey - if she's well coached, she could be very moving in the role, but if she's poorly coached, it will be a retread of the Giselle 'mad scene'. I think she could find a lot to relate to in the part.

The TBA's in the 2019 season list, according to Allan Ulrich, seem to be intended for Unbound Festival works. So we're not likely to see more Robbins.
"Tomasson will reprise four dances from this season’s Unbound festival as part of next year’s program."
https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/SF-Ballet-announces-its-2018-19-season-lineup-12785049.php

Edited by pherank

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I would think the Robbins program could be great for an upcoming tour.

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6 minutes ago, PeggyTulle said:

I would think the Robbins program could be great for an upcoming tour.

Agreed. Apparently the Kennedy Center people specifically asked for SFB to bring the Unbound Festival works only. But there could be another mini-tour...

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On 3/29/2018 at 1:52 PM, pherank said:

Mathilde Froustey tells us why she loves Don Quixote:

 

Love the details on that tutu...

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2 hours ago, Drew said:

Love the details on that tutu...

No kidding -- some costumes are just meant to be seen from the audience in the theater, but that is close-up detail as well.

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On 3/29/2018 at 1:52 PM, pherank said:

The TBA's in the 2019 season list, according to Allan Ulrich, seem to be intended for Unbound Festival works. So we're not likely to see more Robbins.
"Tomasson will reprise four dances from this season’s Unbound festival as part of next year’s program."
https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/SF-Ballet-announces-its-2018-19-season-lineup-12785049.php

There are five 'Encore Work TBA' spots.  If there are only four pieces to be from Unbound, could the fifth spot be for one of Robbins pieces (The Cage or Fancy Free)???  Also makes me wonder if there are only four Unbound pieces coming back in 2019, will any of the other eight come back in the future?  I would think at least two of the eight would come back if 6 will be part of the Kennedy Center performances in the fall.  In the 2008 New Works Festival, there were 10 pieces made and 6 came back in 2009 but the other 4 have not been seen since.

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2 hours ago, sf_herminator said:

There are five 'Encore Work TBA' spots.  If there are only four pieces to be from Unbound, could the fifth spot be for one of Robbins pieces (The Cage or Fancy Free)???  Also makes me wonder if there are only four Unbound pieces coming back in 2019, will any of the other eight come back in the future?  I would think at least two of the eight would come back if 6 will be part of the Kennedy Center performances in the fall.  In the 2008 New Works Festival, there were 10 pieces made and 6 came back in 2009 but the other 4 have not been seen since.

Good eye, sf_herminator - that does leave open a place for The Cage or Fancy Free. But it's impossible to guess which one would be chosen - I would prefer Fancy Free myself, but the female dancers love The Cage. It's doubly impossible to know which Unbound works will be preferred by the audience. There are certain ones that appealed to me in rehearsals, but that's never the same as seeing a finished, staged work with costumes, lighting, and orchestra. Some ballets will suddenly look unfocused, or underdeveloped, while others are mostly riveting, so who knows?

EDIT: I was just thinking - The Cage is only 14 minutes so there's room for another short piece such as Other Dances.

Edited by pherank

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20 hours ago, sandik said:

No kidding -- some costumes are just meant to be seen from the audience in the theater, but that is close-up detail as well.

Contrast and compare with Sleeping Beauty tutus...

29402599_816615515188281_639622847160070

26319515_174977939786093_440313305805252

 

SFB Don Quixote costumes

adonq.jpg

 

Here's a nice video people may have forgotten about:

SFB - The Costumes of "Don Quixote"

 

Edited by pherank

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I hadn't seen the video -- thanks so much for including it here.  Pakledinaz worked with Pacific Northwest Ballet as well as SFB, and made some wonderful things (he designed our production of the Balanchine Midsummer that's coming back next season) -- it was sweet to hear them talk about his work.

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Wow. Interesting news to digest. I didn't realize we were already at that announcement time. Love reading everyone's comments. Can't imagine Shostakovich Trilogy w/o Karapetyan, but ah well, time moves along, rosters change, new stars emerge within a role. Agreed that it would be pretty neat to see what WanTing Zhao could do in The Little Mermaid. Pherank, you brought up a good/poignant point in your above comments. All good things must come to an end, eventually.

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On 3/31/2018 at 10:09 PM, sandik said:

I hadn't seen the video -- thanks so much for including it here.  Pakledinaz worked with Pacific Northwest Ballet as well as SFB, and made some wonderful things (he designed our production of the Balanchine Midsummer that's coming back next season) -- it was sweet to hear them talk about his work.

I found an article online with photos of the PNB production you mention:
https://blogpnborg.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/inside-the-ballet-a-midsummer-nights-dream-at-pacific-northwest-ballet/

Martin Pakledinaz obviously loves to use saturated, 'jewel' tones in his costumes and sets.

 

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6 hours ago, pherank said:

I found an article online with photos of the PNB production you mention:
https://blogpnborg.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/inside-the-ballet-a-midsummer-nights-dream-at-pacific-northwest-ballet/

Martin Pakledinaz obviously loves to use saturated, 'jewel' tones in his costumes and sets.

Oh, thanks for this -- a look at several people who are no longer with the company!  They really are great designs.

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(I will also post this in the Unbound thread)

I received an email reminder to renew by subscription for 2019.  In the email, the five returning Unbound pieces are named.  They are (drum roll, please):

  • Anima Animus (David Dawson)
  • The Infinite Ocean (Edwaard Liang)
  • Snowblind (Cathy Marston)
  • Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem (Trey McIntyre)
  • Bound To (Christopher Wheeldon)

I was confident Bound To & Anima Animus would return.  I was hoping The Infinite Ocean would also return.  Flesh was on my wishlist as I did not think it would return.  And although Snowblind is a great vehicle for the three leads, I wasn't sure that it would return.  I do hope that some of the other pieces will return some time in the future.  Lastly, although the returning Unbound pieces have been announced, the 2019 Season has not been updated as to which programs they will appear.

Additionally, I receive a reminder robocall to renew my subscription.  The message was from Principal Dancer Sasha De Sola and Corps de Ballet Dancer/Choreographer Myles Thatcher 😃

Edited by sf_herminator

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