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pherank

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Everything posted by pherank

  1. Thoughts on the virtual festival - There's footage of Zoom classes for the beginning school levels (girls and boys), and in-studio classes (wearing masks) for the older students, as well as group performances by the higher level students. Dana Genshaft has given the trainees a very professional contemporary piece to shine in: Future Paper. Nice patterns and a very smooth, energetic quality to the group dances. I kept thinking "oceanic". I liked the often asymmetrical group arrangements. This piece focused more on group interactions than individual variations. I'm sure it was a blast to take part in this ballet - a centerpiece for any young dancer's demo reel. The Kamran Adib musical score was pleasant listening. Very textural. Lighting effects were also very professional for this first work. So many digital performances of the present day employ a theme of reunion after separation (often referring to Covid-19 quarantine/lockdown). Both the Genshaft and Plotnikov works fit in this category. There's a point in Future Paper in which two of the women briefly touch and hold hands and this manages to be affecting rather than corny. Nothing too dramatic - just the right thing at the right time. Viktor Plotnikov's Graces is a gem from beginning to end. I found it very easy to rewatch this piece. Contains clever solo and partnering movements without ever being overwrought or pretentious. He makes great use of just 6 dancers. A very grounded and humane work, if that makes sense. Fits well with the Mahler symphonic music. There were many one-offs of interest, such as a brief movement by the men that I will call the "Fascinating Rhythm" step - never to be repeated. There's even a brief "Four Temperaments" moment when the women are held aloft and carried horizontally, that is quite nice. I liked Plotnikov's use of the "the wings", i.e.: the walls of the room. Any dancers not currently dancing stood alongside the wall in various positions, and it occurred to me that even in the Opera House that should be the way to do it. At one point Zoe Lucich and Jamie Adele Stephens are flexing their feet and legs and standing with backs to the stage area (and the ongoing PDD), and that should be part of the choreography. I like seeing the 'offstage' preparatory movements and stances as part of the whole work. Graces is a work I wouldn't mind seeing done by a professional company. All of the main event ballets were well shot, so I'm wondering if the same production team the company uses was also employed to film these student performances. There are edits, and camera movements, but nothing too obscuring takes place. Costumes used were borrowed from previous SFB ballets, and this added to the professional look. The evening ended with the technically demanding Pas de quatre from Ashton’s Swan Lake. Unfortunately I haven't seen the original danced by the Royal Ballet and such, so I can't really make any comparisons. Not to take away from the existing heartfelt performances, but throughout the entire program I kept wondering what these dances would have looked like had the trainees/students been able to train and rehearse normally this past year. Anyway, well done SFB School - a well conceived program. Thursday, June 24th is the final day of the digital program, so sign up now. SFB quote: The Trainee Program is a crucial part of maintaining the legacy and extending the reputation of SF Ballet. Sixty-five percent of current SF Ballet dancers joined the Company through the Trainee program. While not every Trainee will be asked to join the Company, we’re proud to report that 100% of our graduates have gone on to dance with professional ballet companies around the world including: National Ballet of Canada Boston Ballet Houston Ballet Royal Swedish Ballet Royal Danish Ballet English National Ballet The Joffrey Ballet Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet Cincinnati Ballet Vienna State Opera Ballet
  2. So far, 2022 looks to be a short season - presumably due to the lack of funds generated during the previous 2 years. "Atlanta Ballet company dancers return to live, in-person theatre performances after a two-year hiatus" https://www.atlantaballet.com/news/atlanta-ballet-2021-2022-season?ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_16_21_SEASON_ANNOUNCE_21_22) THE CARLOS FAMILY IN HONOR OF THALIA N. CARLOS PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER DECEMBER 4-30, 2021 ATLANTA BALLET 2 PRESENTS: SNOW WHITE FEBRUARY 4-6, 2022 FIREBIRD FEBURARY 11-13, 2022 GISELLE MARCH 18-20, 2022 MAY PROGRAM MAY 13-15, 2022 Following its triumphant premiere in Atlanta Ballet’s reimagined 2020|2021 season of Silver Linings, Claudia Schreier’s Pleiades Dances makes its way to the theatre stage for the May program. Adding a classical element to the evening are selections from Paquita – a famed nineteenth century classic revered for its demanding and intricate choreography. Finally, an all-new work by Atlanta Ballet Company dancer Sergio Masero, whose piece Teneo Integrum mesmerized audiences last season, will balance out the season finale production.
  3. Relating to my remarks above... Beginning in September, Marta Gardolińska will become the first female (and first Polish) musical director of the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy, one of the five national operas outside of Paris. As it happens, Gardolińska will be working with the LA Philharmonic on a Hollywood Bowl performance this September (Dudamel is a supporter of her work). Meanwhile, "as Marin Alsop leaves the Baltimore Symphony after 14 years, the field is taking a step backward: 25 major American orchestras, no female music directors." I think I read somewhere that the number of female directors and conductors remains around 5% in Europe, but I'm searching about for some confirmation of that...
  4. pherank

    Maria Kochetkova

    Impressive collection of photos, Buddy. I like the one of the shoe a lot. ; )
  5. Jahna Frantziskonis has posted a thank you message on Instagram (she doesn't really let on to what her next steps may be, but she will continue to dance in some manner): https://www.instagram.com/p/CPtZYdYgEpOfSk0OekT6OwUqmrnNNAZJ4JoNe00/
  6. Save the date: Friday, June 18—Thursday, June 24, 2021 SF Ballet School 2021 Virtual Festival on SF BALLET @ HOME Access is free; a $29 donation is suggested. Access to the Virtual Festival is valid for a consecutive 72-hour period during the run of this program and begins from first play. All access will expire on June 24 at 9 pm. Hosted by SF Ballet School Trainees Zoe Lucich and Teague Applegate, the evening's highly-anticipated program, curated by SF Ballet School Director Patrick Armand, will showcase the dedication and talent of the School's students. The festival program will feature class observations as well as three newly captured performances by the San Francisco Ballet School Trainees: two world premieres by SF Ballet School Faculty members—Dana Genshaft's Future Paper and Viktor Plotnikov's Graces—and the SF Ballet School premiere of Sir Frederick Ashton's Pas de Quatre from Swan Lake. Carrie Kaufman chairs the event. REGISTER
  7. An inquest has been opened into the the circumstances of Scarlett's death: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2021/may/28/liam-scarlett-inquest-opens-into-ballet-choreographers-death
  8. From SFB: Saluting This Season's Departing Dancers As our 2021 Digital Season draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to recognize the dancers who are departing SF Ballet this year. Please join us in celebrating Kimberly Marie Olivier, Jahna Frantziskonis, and Gregory Myles as they take a virtual final bow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNM_10bI6io Gregory Myles was an apprentice to the company.
  9. It's nice to see they are taking the plunge and offering a digital package for out-of-towners.
  10. Madison Keesler, Ben Freemantle (choreography), Kimberly Marie Olivier, Tyla Steinbach, WanTing Zhao, Thamires Chuvas, Gabriela Gonzalez, Nathaniel Remez (the waiter), Lizzy Powell, Lonnie Weeks, and Jahna Frantziskonis all took part in a film project titled, "Tan". Madison posted some behind-the-scenes video of the production which is pretty great: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPjO6afADW-/ There's some footage of Jahna as the lead dancer (resolution is very low though). Some stills courtesy of WanTing Zhao: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPjgwrxMrgt/
  11. FYI: There's a new entity titled the Tahoe Dance Camp, created by SFB's Sarah Van Patten (she lives in the Lake Tahoe area for a portion of the year, and that was where she lived during both her pregnancy leaves). There will be a performance at Lake Tahoe (possibly the Incline Village area), on July 24th - read more about it here: https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/46301-tahoe-dance-camp/ UPDATE: The July 24th performance is expected to include the following dancers/creators: Sarah Van Patten, Creator of Tahoe Dance Camp Frances Chung Alton Allen, Sound and Music Designer Ulrik Birkkjaer Charmaine Butcher Frances Chung Adji Cissoko Shuaib Elhassan Jahna Frantziskonis Jim French, Lighting Designer Anatalia Hordov Luke Ingham Babtunji Johnson Harriet Jung and Reid Bartelme, Costume Designers Alonzo King, Choreographer Elizabeth Mateer Benjamin Millepied, Choreographer Nathaniel Remez Alexander Reneff-Olson Valentina Reneff-Olson Justin Peck, Choreographer Dwight Roden, Choreographer Danielle Rowe Garen Scribner, Producer Andrea Schermoly, Choreographer John-Paul Simoens Jennifer Stahl Helgi Tomasson, Choreographer Joseph Walsh Wei Wang Christoper Wheeldon, Choreographer Clifford Williams WanTing Zhao
  12. There's a new entity titled the Tahoe Dance Camp, which is (of course) looking for funding to support yearly activities. SFB's Sarah Van Patten is the driving force behind this camp - she lives in the Lake Tahoe area for a portion of the year, and that was where she disappeared to for both her pregnancy leaves. "Tahoe Dance Camp was conceived by Sarah Van Patten in the spring of 2020 while sheltering in place at her home in North Lake Tahoe during the Covid-19 pandemic..." "...Classical Tahoe has graciously extended their venue for our use this season for a single evening performance. Scheduled for July 24th, it will provide a great introduction of Tahoe Dance Camp to the North Lake Tahoe area. I am thrilled to offer a program that showcases the highest level of San Francisco Bay Area dancers, world renowned choreographers, and phenomenal musicians." https://www.tahoedancecamp.com/ Staff/Performers Sarah Van Patten, Creator of Tahoe Dance Camp Frances Chung Alton Allen, Sound and Music Designer Ulrik Birkkjaer Charmaine Butcher Frances Chung Adji Cissoko Shuaib Elhassan Jahna Frantziskonis Jim French, Lighting Designer Anatalia Hordov Luke Ingham Babtunji Johnson Harriet Jung and Reid Bartelme, Costume Designers Alonzo King, Choreographer Elizabeth Mateer Benjamin Millepied, Choreographer Nathaniel Remez Alexander Reneff-Olson Valentina Reneff-Olson Justin Peck, Choreographer Dwight Roden, Choreographer Danielle Rowe Garen Scribner, Producer Andrea Schermoly, Choreographer John-Paul Simoens Jennifer Stahl Helgi Tomasson, Choreographer Joseph Walsh Wei Wang Christoper Wheeldon, Choreographer Clifford Williams WanTing Zhao Fundraising URL: https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/tahoe-dance-camp
  13. Don't forget to watch Swan Lake - the final program of the 2021 digital season. The digital stream is available through June 9. Odette-Odile: Yuan Yuan Tan Prince Siegfried: Tiit Helimets Von Rothbart: Alexander Reneff-Olson Pas de Trois: Dores André, Taras Domitro, Sasha De Sola https://www.sfballet.org/productions/digital-program-07/
  14. Natasha Sheehan's graduation photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPQ9CL6jmwO/
  15. pherank

    Sarah Lane

    I mentioned this in the ABT thread [ https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/46271-sarah-lanes-departure-from-abt/?tab=comments#comment-433415 ] but it's just so hard to know how someone will fit into a new company. I'm not yet convinced that Lane would be a good match for SFB's repertoire, or culture, but who really knows? Being able to dance in one of the Giselle casts isn't enough of a reason to join a company - she could do that as a guest. But that wouldn't give her more than 1 or 2 performances. Presumably she looks good in Ratmansky ballets, that would be a plus. How does she do in contemporary works by people like Mark Morris, Forsythe, Justin Peck, Chris Wheeldon, Trey McIntyre? (I would have listed Scarlett but I don't know what's going to happen with his repertoire now.) Does she enjoy creating new works? Dancers without contemporary ballet abilities don't have much of a career at SFB. Regardless of how poorly it was handled by Lane - if there were actual incidents of ABT staff taking bribes (essentially) - that would be a huge problem.
  16. It's that guest performance time of the year - Nikisha Fogo and Julian MacKay, Misa Kuranaga and Angelo Greco have all been performing. Sasha De Sola and Aaron Robison are going to be performing the Diamonds PDD at Ballet Sun Valley this July: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPa-VqWjML-/
  17. Switching companies - it's so hard to know how this will go. Sometimes the interpersonal chemistry is just right, and sometimes it's not (and mostly it's a mixed bag). And then there's all the issues around repertoire and scheduling that vary from company to company. Simone Messmer and Ana Sophia Scheller both gave SFB a try, and didn't find what they were looking for. I think the issue with Messmer was chemistry with other people. Scheller just seemed to have been very impulsive in coming to SFB, since as things turned out, what she really wanted was to dance a classical repertoire, have a more relaxed schedule, and be treated as a prima ballerina. Misa Kuranaga couldn't be happier about the change to SFB, but she also found her soul-mate partner in Angelo Greco, and her favorite instructor/coach (Larissa Ponomarenko) is now with SFB. Obviously a lot of different things can go into making something work, or fail. Lauren Strongin didn't really want to follow husband Joe Walsh over from Houston Ballet, but when she finally made the change, she was happy with the SFB environment (fortunately). It's really hard to say if Lane is really a "SFB person" - personality-wise. But in any case, leads roles are always shared among the principals at SFB. No one dancer is guaranteed all the opening night/1st cast performances.
  18. Mathilde Froustey eulogizes Fracci: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPX9RINBLpa/
  19. Now available on YouTube: Pointes of View: Helgi Tomasson, Yuan Yuan Tan, Tiit Helmets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFjtaXSIdK4 We get to hear about how Tomasson decided upon the programming of his last season (and why the season needed to be shorter than he desired). Worth a listen. And apparently Jennie Scholick is now Director of Education and Training at SFB, so congratulations to her.
  20. And there's no shame in breaking up a complicated sentence into multiple, simple sentences if there's more than one idea at work. Arthurs "style" in this particular sentence just strikes me as conversational English, which often deviates from the rules of "Standard Written English". But the article isn't actually full of these deviations (and free-form thoughts) that one might expect from conversation. So it's not the overall 'style' of the piece, and that is one reason I was tripped up by that particular sentence. That and the fact that it doesn't appear to follow Standard Written English rules (whether or not one cares about that is a whole other thing). But, enough about that.
  21. And overall, I agree. 😉 The Fjord Review writers are some of the better writers on dance - whether or not I happen to agree with an individual writer's take on a performance/event. I appreciate anyone willing to get into the details of a performance.
  22. Great to hear from you, Nanushka. To me, this isn't a style issue, but rather, an issue with the grammar and semantics of that particular sentence. The core of the sentence (as written by Arthurs) is: The heels made me (less) nervous [the other parts acting as modifiers of the sentence core]. She adds "on the marble floors" to point to her real concern. But Arthurs isn't feeling nervous on the marble floors - instead she's gets a nervous feeling watching the dancers perform on a slick marble floor. I can figure that out, but it's about me having to sort through the sentence and get to her probable meaning and intention. It's not a well-written English sentence. End of rant. 😉
  23. A Critical Failure Sofia Coppola directs New York City Ballet's Spring Gala film https://fjordreview.com/new-york-city-ballet-gala/ The title, "A Critical Failure", may seem an odd one. I think it is meant as a reference to this situation: "this is what reviewing dance in the pandemic has become: essentially, film reviews by amateurs" Reading articles in the present day, I often find myself pining for Copy Editors. At least that is what I was thinking when I encountered this section: A duet from the opening half of Balanchine’s “Liebeslieder Walzer,” set on the grand promenade of the theater, was lovely. It starred the imminently retiring principals Maria Kowroski and Ask La Cour—a towering couple who appeared, alongside the Nadelman sculpture pairs at either end of the space, to be at a Viennese ball for the gods. And the dancers’ soft heels made me less nervous on the marble floors than the slippery pointe shoes had in "When We Fell" earlier in the season. The phrase "imminently retiring" sounds a little funny, but I won't say that it is ungrammatical. However, in this context, heels (and pointe shoes) cannot literally make Faye Arthurs less or more nervous on marble floors. In Grammar Land, I think the issues with this sentence would fall under the rubric, "Predication and Sentence Organization Problems". Assuming that the sentence implies the verb "feel" ("made me FEEL less nervous"), there is still some missing information that shouldn't simply be left to the reader to fill in: WATCHING the dancers perform in soft heels made me (FEEL) less nervous ABOUT the decision to perform on slippery marble floors. In the earlier film, "When We Fell", the dancers were performing in pointe shoes on this same treacherous surface... Perhaps Arthurs is assuming this information is all implied, but truthfully, we only get what the writer gives us. Can this all be written as a single sentence? Perhaps, but it's usually easier and safer to stick to one thought per sentence if the meaning is getting muddled. I guess Arthurs didn't see any problems with her own (conversational?) writing style, but that's what a good Copy Editor can provide - a distanced, critical viewpoint of the writing. The better angels of our writing nature. 😉
  24. Kim Olivier's Final Bow as organized by Lizzy Powell: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPNFXC_AI1t/
  25. Congratulations to Natasha Sheehan who is graduating from St. Mary's LEAP program. Like her friend Miko Fogarty, she seems to have powered through the program in no time. (And probably with honors.) Pandemics can be useful for this type of work. https://www.instagram.com/p/CPEszP9jPph/
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