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pherank

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Posts posted by pherank

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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/

  4. 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

  5. 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

     

  6. 9 hours ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

    What a real shame.  Selfishly (because I'm based out of SF) I would have loved for her to have joined SFB.  Echoing what others are saying about short dancers at SFB - with Maria Kochetkova and later Wona Park and others - I think Sarah Lane would have had a much clearer path forward as a short dancer in the company.

    I worry that Sarah has somewhat missed the window of being able to join a new company as a principal.  Especially in this (almost) post-COVID world, ballet budgets are probably already stretched thin.  

    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.

     

    3 hours ago, FauxPas said:

    Creating problems with your colleagues and publicly suggesting that management is taking cash or donations in exchange for promotion within the company is not a way to endear yourself to management and your colleagues.  Ratmansky (whose character and judgment I trust) seemed to have distanced himself from her as well.  She was pulled from his ballets in a season dedicated to him and she was one of his protegees over the years.  What happened there?

    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.

  7. 14 hours ago, Lena C. said:

    Sarah said that she had been offered a principal contract with SF Ballet when she was a soloist. But she didn’t want long distance with Luis. That’s very her, family over career. But I think she would have been better off with SF. Sarah would’ve been dancing principal roles long ago and she’d probably still be with them right now. I probably never would’ve seen her dance, but it would’ve been the better career move for her.

    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.

  8. 41 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

    I agree with you. I don't think it would have violated her style too much to move "on the marble floor" to a different part of the sentence.

    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.

  9. 57 minutes ago, canbelto said:

    Hmm. Overall I think Faye Arthurs is one of the most intelligent dance writers around. I had the pleasure of sitting next to her at an ABT performance we were both reviewing. She's an observant, sharply opinionated lady.

    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.

  10. 1 hour ago, nanushka said:

    Copy editor here (among other things). Personally, I wouldn't alter the original sentence if I were copy editing the article. I think it clearly communicates all of that in a sentence that also conveys the author's style. [ETA: To clarify, I haven't read the full article. I'm basing my judgment only on what was given.]

    It's not my job as a copy editor to impose my own style, just to make sure that the author's style (if there is one) isn't causing problems. (And if there isn't one, then I can perhaps provide one — if there's a need for one, given the context.)

    (And yes, we get what the writer gives us, which includes all that's not given explicitly.)

    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.   😉

  11. 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.  😉

     

  12. Posted today, May 21, 2021 -

    Misa Kuranaga:
    "Today was the last day in the studio for the 2020-2021 season @sfballet During this unique situation, we have found a new way to love and appreciate each other."

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CPJq6Lfn8Nk/

    Natasha Sheehan:
    "today is the last day of the 2020/2021 @sfballet season and still trying to wrap my head around it. here’s to hoping things will feel more normal when we start back in the summer"

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CPJYmgWjMsL/

  13. 17 minutes ago, ClaraFan said:

    Or not. 

    Anybody familiar with the scene there? Their Instagram was posted to last back in Mid-March with a dancer profile for Sona Jaeger. And their website seems like it hasn't changed at all since---well, maybe since the OP of this thread. I don't think they even attempted more than one online alternative show, and I think that was to replace the last Beer and Ballet which was so long ago now.

    Chime in, locals, if you follow this company or its staff.

    City Ballet of San Diego I'm familiar with, but I haven't seen anything of this new company. But then maintaining a company in the midst of a pandemic has its drawbacks - like no audiences allowed. But...live performances are starting up again. City Ballet has one this Sunday, May 23rd (not in their usual performance space though).

  14. 16 hours ago, Helene said:

    It's so hard to say how much digital might cannibalize in-theater revenues, but I would pay full price to see some of the NYCB retirement performances, for example, which will sell out, or a "make your own" digital sub, where you pay for access to X performances and choose among them, and I wouldn't care if they were available only after the last live show. (I've given up trying to follow NYCB's program/subscription construction.)

     

     

    I think the cannibalization notion may well turn out to be another needless fear. Sports are televised 24-7 and fans still go to the games (and pay truly outrageous prices for seats). Once the companies figure out how to make a steady stream of income from digital releases, they won't want to loose that revenue stream.

     

    8 hours ago, BalanchineFan said:
    They are best when they get a performer (or a former performer) to moderate them. Silas is quite good. IMO, they shouldn't depend on the people who work in the development office for that, not when they've got access to stars with personalities like Jenifer Ringer, Nancy Ticotin, Patricia McBride, etc. Real artists of depth and experience who have something to say. Sometimes you'd be sitting on Zoom waiting for an office worker to badly explain the history of something you already knew, watching the stars nod along, silently for 15 minutes before they got a chance to talk.

    Yes, there's a lot of that going on.  ;)
    All these presentations should get better with time.
     

    5 hours ago, cobweb said:

    I think coaching sessions are a lot more engaging than hearing dancers reminisce about Mr. B. Coaching is alive and fresh, whereas at this point dancers who knew Mr. B have probably rehashed their reminiscences a thousand times, and it gets a little stale. 

    Totally agree with BalanchineFan and Cobweb. Perhaps we're not average audience members, but I just don't need endless superficial comments about Balanchine. Coaching and rehearsals are much more interesting, and to the point. One of the things I liked about The Barre Project: Blake Works II was seeing something of how Forsythe worked with the dancers (even over Zoom). Listening to a staff member reading a bunch of bio notes would not be the same.

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