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Posts posted by pherank

  1. Fun and interesting, thanks. I like the little look he gives during the "Bolshoi Male" bows. The "Bow to Tokyo Audiences" with all the hand waving instantly reminded me of the YouTube drum prodigy Yoyoko, who begins and ends most videos with a wave of her drum stick. I suppose that is a thing in Japan. "Bow After Dancing Poorly" - I think we've all seen that one.

  2. Nutcraker Labor Day Sale

    "One year past its intended Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre debut, Atlanta Ballet will make its long-anticipated return to the theatre stage to present Yuri Possokhov’s The Nutcracker. Described as “one of the most entertaining [Nutcrackers] out there” by The Washington Post following the Company’s 2019 Washington D.C. debut at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, this innovative production features larger-than-life sets and bold costumes enhanced by striking video projections, created by a world-class creative team that includes Tony Award-winning and -nominated designers. As one of the top major performing arts facilities in the metro Atlanta Area, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the perfect fit for this ultra-high-tech production."


  3. 6 hours ago, California said:

    In an Instagram posting today, Kochetkova mentions that she had COVID. Recently, she talked about quarantine in London before starting with ENB. I hope she has recovered fully but I suppose dancers (like everybody) have to worry about long-term effects, especially in breathing:



    2 hours ago, Balletwannabe said:

    Is this her second time?  I thought she had it in 2020.

    I think she's just referring back to her illness period and not saying that she's sick again.

  4. Frances Chung's photos from the main event:

    "Honored to be performing with these superheroes. Fueled by electrolyte powder, b12 vials and ibuprofen🥳"

    "And poke bowls! "
    Sasha's photos:
    Ulrik just posted what looks to be a trailer featuring the dancers in costume - and in the roles specific to this event:
    He also had a photo of the team taking bows here:
  5. 3 hours ago, Quiggin said:

    I have a big pair of classic 7x35 binoculars which do allow a fairly wide view – 4 or 5 dancers worth from the rear of orchestra with a fairly natural amount of 3D. But switching between my single lens distance glasses and binoculars is always a bit of a comedy routine with me. And then deciding between the intimacy of a close up vs the overall view – have I missed someone entering and exiting?

    Exactly, so I always end up using the little binoculars sparingly.

  6. 5 hours ago, cobweb said:

    I have a question for my fellow balletomanes,. I have gotten glasses with progressive lenses for the first time. I was in denial about the need for this for a long time, but after tiring of putting reading glasses on and off constantly, and now noticing that my distance vision has deteriorated as well, it had to happen. But it's not so bad - they're actually pretty cute! Anyway, my question has to do with how progressive lenses work with opera glasses... which I use a lot for performances. Does the "middle distance" part of the lens interfere with a clear sight through the binos? Do you just take your glasses off and then look through the binos? Or should I get a pair of single-lens, distance-vision glasses for use at performances? Thanks for any thoughts!

    I take my glasses off to look through opera glasses - it's not really possible to combine glasses and a binocular/opera glasses. If you're sitting up close in the orchestra section, your distance glasses should be fine. But obviously from dress circle/balcony distance the opera glasses/binoculars are going to get you a closeup view that your regular eye glasses can't match. The problem with a lot of opera glasses and binoculars is that they don't have a wide field of view - they're great for looking at a PDD, but not for taking in the entire stage.

  7. Here's a nice Instagram post from Ulrik Birkkjaer:

    This week im performing in Copenhagen with my insanely talented colleagues from San Francisco Ballet. I joined the company 4 years ago to be able to work with great ballerinas and here we are. ☺️ This week I get to dance 5 performances with Sarah Van Patten who I looked up to many moons ago.
    Dreams come true if you work in the direction of your gut. (you might have to create a dance festival to make it all happen 😜)
    Thank you to all the ballerinas and of course to Thomas Mieth my co-everything for København Danser.
    Lets start this festival off right.
    See you in the theater for some serious dancing 💃🏽 🤗


  8. On 8/20/2021 at 12:06 PM, GB1216 said:

    Just got tickets for the September 23rd production of the classic nycb I program.  So excited to see ballet live again and have never seen serenade which made me choose it.  Curious to see who is going to be cast.

    So you must be seeing the Serenade, Glass Pieces and Pulcinella Variations program - now that is an interesting mix of very different ballets. Should be great. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get to see top casts. Please let us know of your impressions.

  9. SF Ballet's "Sequentia" video has been expanded to include Boston Ballet dancers now:


    "SF Ballet's first collaborative quarantine project was Sequentia, in which each dancer’s ending pose becomes the next dancer’s starting pose. Boston Ballet now brilliantly completes the chain of this choreographic chain letter, which also fanned out (note the beginning and ending pose of the film!) to New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.

    Thanks to all the dancers and companies who participated—we so look forward to seeing all of you on stage soon. ❤️

    Thanks to Reference Recordings. Sequentia is inspired by the films of Mitchell Rose. PNB’s contribution was choreographed by Leah Terada and Miles Pertl and danced to Evan Williams’s Breathe, performed by Patchwork (www.evanwilliamsmusic.info/www.patchworkduo.com) with Noa Even on the saxophone, Stephen Klunk on the drum set and Brent Hauer audio engineer."

  10. [Note: although not an 'official' SFB project, SVP's Tahoe Dance Camp is getting mentions from SFB on Instagram, and primarily features their dancers.]

    I recently watched the entire available stream of Sarah Van Patten's Tahoe Dance Camp inaugural festival. I was ending a particularly lousy day, and wasn't in the best frame of mind to be watching a performance of anything, but this was like being surprised by old friends.

    The stream shows most of the recorded performances, but unfortunately doesn't contain any introductory speech, or the flower presentation (more about that later). Apparently there was also a performance by two Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancers that gets edited out for some reason (I don't know what the issue is there). Music is mostly live - conducted by SFB's former Assistant Conductor Luke Ming (it's all in the family).

    Ulrik Birkkjaer - with anyone - is worth watching, and here we get to see him partner Jennifer Stahl two times - in Millepied's Appassionata PDD, and in Rhoden's "Amazing Grace" PDD from Testament. They really do look good together - both being taller, athletic dancers. Ulrik sometimes dwarfs his partners but Jen looks just right beside him, and equals his artistic and technical gifts. Stahl now dances with much visible happiness, and is believably emotionally connected with her partner. The Appassionata PDD in particular feels emotionally intimate without being cloying or overwrought.

    Tahoe Dance Camp organizer, SVP, appears in both her original role in Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour PDD, alongside stalwart partner Luke Ingham, and in the Andrea Schermoly world premiere, Waning Gibbous, with Wei Wang. Oddly, Wang ends up dancing twice in a row in the first half - I'm not sure why it was organized that way. But to his credit, he doesn't seem exhausted by his efforts. It was clear to me that Wang has developed considerably in his upper body strength and is a much more reliable partner than I remember from a few years back, when he sometimes struggled to lift and carry the women about. SVP continues to look like she can dance into her 40s and 50s, though I think this Tahoe project proves she has plans for other things.

    Once again, Frances Chung was a standout for me. Her PDD with Wei Wang in Tomasson's Chaconne was delicate, graceful and technically excellent, and her pairing with Joe Walsh in the PDD from Rodeo was sublime. I wish I had a copy of that performance for posterity. Like the Stahl/Birkkjaer pairing, Chung and Walsh just look good together, and both appear so grateful and enthused to be on stage again that it is riveting. That is a common thread in these performances: the artists are so visibly joyful to be taking part in a live performance that it is infectious. And it's getting hard to choose who among the younger SFB principals and soloists has most developed their artistry over the past 2 or 3 years. But the audience are the real winners.

    WanTing Zhao and Luke Ingham changed the evening's mood and tempo with the Swan Lake PDD. Zhao has elegance and beautiful lines, but she danced with convincing emotion as well in this interpretation. This bodes well for her developing career as a principal. The live music for Swan Lake struck me as a tad slow, but that's a minor quibble.

    I think I preferred the new Schermoly piece to Rhoden's choreography. Though they both have their moments of cliché  'contemporary' movement. I liked Stahl's costume in "Amazing Grace" but wasn't sure what to think about Birkkjaer's Pacific Island-style skirt. Although I did enjoy hearing "Amazing Grace" sung live in the Rhoden piece, the choreography didn't seem to pay any particular attention to the song. If I turned off the sound, there is no way I could have guessed that they were dancing to the spiritual, Amazing Grace. Does it matter a lot? Probably not.  😉

    Danielle Rowe's new group piece, And It Will, was quite fun, and features what looks to be a choreographed goodbye to the stage for Jahna Frantziskonis. Reason enough to watch this one. I know that there was a presentation of roses to Jahna at the end of the show, but unfortunately that is not part of the stream. The last PDD featuring Frantziskonis and her real life partner Nathaniel Remez was a tearjerker. Cavan Conley is excellent in a comedic role (once again), but all the dancers look great having fun. I know that Rachel Howard took acceptation to Danielle Rowe having the women wear pointe shoes while dancing a lot of non-balletic movements, but balletic steps are peppered throughout the choreography, so it didn't bother me as much.

    The video is well shot and edited. Media production is credited to Reneff-Olson Productions (founded by siblings Alexander and Valentina Reneff-Olson - Alexander Reneff-Olson is a Corps dancer with SFB). There's never a point when the dancer's full bodies are not visible, and there are some changing points of camera view, but this is never done in a distracting manner. Kudos.

    The recording of the instruments in the 1st Act was the only thing that was a little uneven. The piano was always easy to hear, but the violins were too muted, imo.

    The stream has been divided into 2 programs at $35 a piece, or $65 for both. This is of course a donation to get the Tahoe Dance Camp going on a permanent basis.



    Program A


    Pas de Deux from
    Choreographed by Benjamin Millepied
    Director of L.A Dance Project
    Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
    Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 II. Andante con moto
    Costume Design Alessandro Sartori
    Original Lighting Design Lucy Carter
    Pianist Natal’ya Feygina

    Pas de Deux from
    Choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon
    Tony Award-winning Choreography &
    Artistic Associate of the Royal Ballet
    Composer Ezio Bosso
    Costume Design Martin Pakledinaz
    Original Lighting Design James F. Ingall
    Violinist Laura Hamilton
    Violist Katarzyna Bryla-Weiss

    Pas de Deux from
    Choreographed by Helgi Tomasson
    Director of San Francisco Ballet
    Composer George Frideric Handel
    Chaconne in G major, HWV 435
    Costume Design Sandra Woodall
    Original Lighting Design Kevin Connaughton
    Pianist Natal’ya Feygina

    Waning Gibbous [World Premiere]
    Choreographed by Andrea Schermoly
    Resident choreographer of Louisville Ballet
    Sponsored by Brian and Rene Hollins
    Composer Edvard GriegPiano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16: II. Adagio
    Costume Design Coming Soon
    Lighting Design Jim French



    Pas de Deux from Rodeo
    Choreographed by Justin Peck
    Tony Award-winning choreographer
    New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer
    Sponsored by Charles and Suzanne Thornton
    Composer Aaron Copland
    Co-Costume Design Reid Bartelme, Harriet Jung, Justin Peck
    Original Lighting Design Brandon Stirling Baker


    Pas de Deux from
    Staged after Petipa
    Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Costume Design Jonathan Fensom
    Lighting Design Jim French
    Violinist Laura Hamilton
    Violist Katarzyna Bryla-Weiss
    Pianist Natal’ya Feygina


    Pas de Deux from Testament
    Choreographed by Dwight Rhoden
    Founding Artistic Director & Resident Choreographer
    of Complexions Dance Company
    Composer Trad, Lyrics by John Newton
    Costume Design Christine Darch
    Original Lighting Design Michael Korsch


    Choreographed by Danielle Rowe
    (in collaboration with John-Paul Simoens & the dancers)
    In loving memory of Jeremy Dossetter
    Sponsored by Susan & David Dossetter
    Music by Vulfpeck
    Costume Design Emma Kingsbury
    Lighting Design Jim French


  11. Tahoe Dance Camp by Rachel Howard

    "A recent Dance Data Project survey reports what everyone in the ballet world knows: Women are grossly under-represented in ballet leadership. Just one of the top 10 largest ballet companies in the U.S. is led by a woman, and only 30 percent of the top 50 companies are. Retiring ballerinas, we know, are far more likely to become ballet mistresses and school faculty than artistic directors.

    Subconsciously, until last month, I had imagined this fate for San Francisco Ballet principal Sarah Van Patten, too. But the void of the pandemic presented both challenges and possibilities, and Van Patten—preternaturally self-possessed since she debuted in the role of Juliet at the Royal Danish Ballet at age 15—rose to meet them..."


  12. And the renovations are done! Here's a long FAQ about the changes:


    Basically, they've been able to keep to a design style that fits well with the Opera House interior while improving legroom and sightlines:

    "There has been limited seat loss in the Orchestra section, resulting in an approximate 4% reduction in the number of seats in the house. The seat loss is related to efforts to improve sightlines through staggered placement in the center Orchestra sections and the addition of the wheelchair-accessible platforms in the side sections.

    There has been limited seat loss in the Grand Tier and Dress Circle related to efforts to improve sightlines and provide greater comfort in Grand Tier and Dress Circle sections."

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