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  1. Today
  2. It might be two productions existing at the same time, like Ratmansky’s and Grigorovich’s Romeo and Juliet. I was very disappointed at Ratmansky’s R& J. Terrible waste of dramtic power in Prokofiev’s music. So I have some doubt on his Giselle.
  3. I’ve mentioned that I think that Oxana Skorik’s hands are perhaps the most beautiful. So I went on somewhat of an adventure. I looked at video clips of ballerinas that I consider the most beautiful, from Oxana Skorik all the way back to Anna Pavlova, performing the Swan Lake duet and The Swan (Fokine). This was completely a beginner’s effort. There’re so many ways to approach it and I probably just touched the surface. One ballerina somehow grabbed my attention — Kristina Shapran. I’ve mentioned before that she may have the most Interesting hands in ballet. In The Swan video clip each finger at times seemed to be trying to tell its own story. There’s calligraphy, narrative and a search for meaning and new ways of expression in the use of her hands. I've gone as far as to suggest that she might be creating a completely new emphasis in ballet expression. In any case, what she does could be fascinating to watch unfold.
  4. I'm seeing that show. Wonderful casting.
  5. Thank you, Jane Simpson. had not read the entire article from that link when I first saw it. Those performances will let us know who will be cast for Romeo and Juliet next season in SF. I think only Mathilde Froustey and Dores Andre remain as having danced in it the last time it was performed. Dores Andre performed Juliet when she was still a soloist and then was promoted to principal.
  6. The Grigorovich Giselle is being replaced next autumn by a new production by Ratmansky. It's actually not the worst of Grigorovich's after-Petipa productions, so I'm a little sorry the company has started the great overhaul there. Grigorovich does have a terrible tendency to hack up scores. I find what he does to the fairy prologue in Sleeping Beauty unbearable, and the way he hacks up and rearranges Romeo and Juliet is also hard to stomach. The score of The Golden Age is practically unrecognizable, although most people aren't familiar with the original anyway. But I agree with you that the ending of the current Swan Lake is the most unbearable of all, because it's so anticlimactic. Just as the score is hurtling to its overwhelming conclusion, and the music is supposed to switch to the major and continue on to the apotheosis, he reverts to the muted conclusion of the overture instead. This is a crime against Tchaikovsky and completely lacking in good sense. Interestingly, the so-called Grigorovich Ballet of Krasnosar continues to dance his previous production with the Soviet-era ending. One thing I do appreciate about Grigorovich's Lakes is that he eliminates the interpolated reconciliation duets, which are deemed dramatically necessary, but which slam the brakes hard on the music. So it's unfortunate that in the Bolshoi's current version Grigorovich messes with the score at the very end, because it's rather like letting the air out of a balloon and letting it deflate slowly and with no purpose.
  7. There's also this book: https://www.amazon.com/San-Francisco-Ballet-at-Seventy-Five/dp/0811856984
  8. Gonzalo García may have injured himself tonight in Pictures, he was replaced by Andrew Veyette in Rodeo. Veyette was noticeably tired at the end and didn’t really keep up with Huxley and Ulbricht. It was his third ballet of the night though and I thought he was good in the first two. This is probably the first time I’ve loved every single ballet in an all modern program. Rodeo in particular was fantastic, it might be my new favorite Peck thus far.
  9. Yesterday
  10. For Bay Area Dance Week, San Francisco Ballet will once again have Fan Fest 10 AM - 2 PM and Company Class Observation 12 Noon-1 PM. Both are free. If you wish to attend the Company Class Observation (which will be on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House) you need to sign up. Here is the link for more information: https://bayareadance.org/event-details/?e_id=98.
  11. Casting has been posted for some of the Tharp Trio: In the Upper Room Thursday/Friday/Saturday night - Devon Teuscher, Cassandra Trenary, Skylar Brandt, Aran Bell, Herman Cornejo, Blaine Hoven, Isabella Boylston, Joo Won Ahn Saturday matinee/Monday - Stephanie Williams, Catherine Hurlin, Wanyue Qiao, Calvin Royal III, Cory Stearns, Duncan Lyle, Christine Shevchenko, Thomas Forster Deuce Coupe Thursday/Friday/Saturday night - Christine Shevchenko, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, Calvin Royal III Saturday matinee/Monday - TBA Brahms/Haydn variations TBA (all performances)
  12. I almost forgot, there's the Museum of Performance and Design, Performing Arts Library https://www.mpdsf.org/ 2200 Jerrold Ave, ste. T San Francisco, CA 94124 info@mpdsf.org or call 415.741.3531 "More than sixty years ago, Russell Hartley started a private collection in his home with the purpose of collecting and preserving material documenting the history of dance. Mr. Hartley, who was both a dancer and costume designer for the San Francisco Ballet in the 1940s and 1950s, searched second-hand shops, traveled to Europe to purchase dance artifacts, and in 1947, established the San Francisco Dance Archives..." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Performance_%26_Design Side note: Muriel Maffre, former principal dancer for the San Francisco Ballet was recently executive director of the Museum of Performance and Design (she is now Chief Executive Officer of Alonzo King Lines Ballet).
  13. A very good question - I confess I haven't read the Steinberg or Ross books, which may be available on Amazon. There is also: Striving For Beauty: A Memoir of the Christensen Brothers' San Francisco Ballet by Sally Bailey https://www.amazon.com/Striving-Beauty-Christensen-Brothers-Francisco/dp/1401096034/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=san+francisco+ballet&qid=1556225214&s=books&sr=1-5 If any dance aficionados are looking for dissertation material, it strikes me that the history of ballet on the West Coast would be fertile ground. New York will never be conscious of anything outside of New York, but obviously things continue to happen elsewhere. For better or worse, Los Angeles was able to supplant NYC as a fashion and pop music capital, so things change. Then they change back. Then they change again...
  14. Oh, green-eyed monster currently residing in my soul.
  15. It is so refreshing to see the ballet world represented on TED Talks! Here's the one Miko Fogarty gave, published a couple of days ago; her attitude seems so mature for such a young woman - Brava!
  16. Posting for opening night is up: https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting Casting is subject to change SHOSTAKOVICH TRILOGY Tuesday, May 7, 2019 – 7:30 pm Choreography: Alexei Ratmansky Music: Dmitri Shostakovich Conductor: Martin West Symphony #9 Jennifer Stahl, Aaron Robison Dores Andre, Joseph Walsh Wei Wang Chamber Symphony Ulrik Birkkjaer Sasha De Sola Mathilde Froustey Yuan Yuan Tan Piano Concerto #1 Sofiane Sylve, Carlo Di Lanno Wona Park, Angelo Greco Since role and work debuts are not denoted, I will go from memory. This will be the first time in Shostakovich Trilogy for Aaron Robison, Ulrik Birkkjaer, Wona Park, and Angelo Greco. Dores Andre, Joseph Walsh, and Wei Wang are debuting new roles in Symphony #9. Dores (IIRC) was one of the three women in Chamber Symphony, Joseph Walsh danced the lead in Chamber Symphony, and Wei Wang was in the corps of Piano Concerto #1. Yuan Yuan Tan is debuting in Chamber Symphony. Previously she danced one of the principal women in Piano Concerto #1. I will check my cast sheets later and make updates if needed.
  17. In an email today, they said they would announce the new season on May 14.
  18. Since I have frequently been a Megan LeCrone detractor, I feel the need to say that she was excellent in Herman Schmerman last night. This kind of modern work suits her perfectly. Since a lot of Forsythe's choreography involves slicing limbs and extensions, her long limbs were much more suitable to this choreography than Tiler Peck's. Aaron Sanz did a good job, but he seems to lack charisma or presence. Maybe he will improve with additional performances.
  19. I'm reading Apollo's Angels and have reached what's probably my favorite artistic era ('20s modernism), namely the Ballet Russe and even namely Le Sacre, all of which I'm eating up. But I got to thinking that I'd love to see a book-length history of SFB, since it IS the first major American ballet company that nevertheless seems to be ignored when the subject is American ballet since it's so far from the NY epicenter. Is there anything out there at all on SFB? I just had the bright idea to check the bibliographic section of the SFB wikipedia entry. Has anyone read any of these?
  20. I love the Kirov Sleeping Beauty. That has not kept me from enjoying efforts at reconstruction of the nineteenth-century choreography and production which, whatever its official critical reception, seems to have inspired people and artists who saw it enough to impact their later work including their work for the Ballets Russes. But I DO love the Kirov Sleeping Beauty and have expressed that love many times over the years. re Swan Lake. It is always wonderful to learn new things —I had been aware that the fourth act as I know it in several Western and, indeed, Russian productions has had much of its music re-arranged as was the case already in Petipa-Ivanov’s production worked on by Drigo as well. But of course I do not have the kind of detailed historical knowledge you bring to the discussion. Still, I am not sure we are talking about the same music. I had NOT been aware that the shift of the ballet’s main theme into a ‘major’ key and final apotheosis music and chords were not part of the original score and those are the passages I was thinking of when I wrote my comments about finding the loss of the ending music unbearable. But if you could show me that a computer program had generated the passages I love, I guess I would be forced to say ‘well done, artificial intelligence,’ (that’s a joke). But I never thought Grigorovich committed a crime against “the sacrosanct INTEGRITY of the work” —a category that I have found hard to apply to nineteenth-century ballets that often went through multiple productions and were reworked in multiple ways even by their original creators let alone by those who followed them. As indeed Grigorovich has reworked his Swan Lake production this century. I have said on another thread (that you perhaps are remembering?) that I find cutting those measures just mentioned—the final change of key and apotheosis—a crime against music. But I take it as a fair reproach that that is melodramatic language. They may not be the majority on English speaking message boards, but I have always found fans here and on other message boards who admire Grigorovich’s production of Swan Lake and I acknowledged that directly in my post above on this thread. The older I get the more I am aware of the vast range of responses even the most important choreographers and productions generate. I suppose message boards would be unnecessary otherwise, but even among dance historians and stagers, I find a wide range of judgments on these matters. As for Grigorovich’s stagings of older ballets generally....without thinking they are perfect productions I would have been thrilled to see his Raymonda or his Bayadere in London as I admire them quite a bit. I don’t feel the same way about his Swan Lake. I am also confident his oeuvre is resilient enough to withstand a range of responses—indeed has done so. It WILL be interesting to see if Vaziev decides to change any of the Grigorovich nineteenth-century productions at the Bolshoi, but personally I would be surprised if he did so anytime soon.
  21. It was announced in Denmark this morning as part of the Royal Danish Theatre's plans for next season, but I also saw it here earlier in the week.
  22. Jane Simpson-Where was this announced?
  23. There are plenty of works that were dismissed at their premiere and are considered masterworks now, regardless of how well-respected and eminent the original critics were.
  24. Watch company class from Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris on World Dance Day, April 29, on their facebook page, starting at 12.25 pm in Europe, 11.25 in the UK, 6.25 am Eastern Time
  25. Would you find it more "bearable" if you learned that the music wasn't composed for the Swan Lake and that Tchaïkowsky may have never given permission to use it? At this (and the British) ballet forum it became a matter of good taste to publically express one's disdain for Grigorovich's staging of Swan Lake as if he committed a serious crime against the sacrosanct integrity of the work. Could it be that this attitude is based on incomplete knowledge of the history of Swan Lake? This parallels the situation with the attitude towards the original, "glorious", Petipa choreography for the Sleeping Beauty versus the "corrupt", Kirov, version. One is accorded uncritical adulation while the other is scornfully rejected. The irony is that the original Sleeping Beauty was remembered and praised for the music, for the costumes, for the decorations, not for the choreography. In fact, it was noted by a number of critics present at the première that choreography was scant and derivative. In a long, detailed report of over 2000 words, from a special correspondent of The New York Herald, who was present at the première in Petersbourg, Marius Petipa's name is not even mentioned once, the work is pronounced to be primarily the triumph of the composer, the costume designer and the author of the scenery.
  26. Also SFB is taking Romeo and Juliet to the Opera House in Copenhagen for 4 performances Oct 30/31 and Nov 1/2 2019. Nice hometown opportunity for Birkkjaer perhaps?
  27. Next season's repertoire for the RDB was announced this morning: Queen of Spades (Scarlett) Blixen (new full length by Gregory Dean) Nutcracker (Balanchine) Ballet de Luxe - Act 3 of Raymonda/Ballo della Regina-/August 2.0 ("a respectful nod to August Bournonville, bringing the master's choreography into the 21st century" - arranged by Dinna Bjørn and Nikolaj Hubbe) Mahler's 3rd Symphony (Neumeier) Come fly away (Twyla Tharp) A Folk Tale (Bournonville) ... plus a number of smaller scale works and collaborations Full programme
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