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Everything posted by pherank

  1. To wet your appetite, I hope you've been watching Blake Works II ... The Barre Project (Blake Works II) with Tiler Peck, Lex Ishimoto, Roman Mejia and Brooklyn Mack - available on the Sadler's Wells site until May 16. https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2021/william-forsythe-and-cli-studios-the-barre-project/
  2. Very worthwhile. I've never been a fan of WF's music choices - not really my idea of great dance music. One can count to it, I suppose, and so that's all that matters. Blake Works II looks to be all about the ability to articulate the movements at breakneck speed without devolving into blurred and rounded forms. We get still more of Tiler Peck's extraordinary precision, and aesthetic flexibility. And her incredible weightlessness. Each of the dancers do a pretty good job with this choreography, but only Peck manages to flit about like a hummingbird throughout. I like the hand dance interludes. I'm not sure why there hasn't been more of that type of thing in the ballet world. It was also good to hear about Forsythe's choreographic method/approach, and see him dancing some of his own steps. Although Tiler Peck does a better job of it. 😉 And the rehearsal footage was fun: she who keeps the counts is master.
  3. SFB Instagram post: Dancers United Against Racism San Francisco Ballet stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community in the fight against racism and pursuit of unity. Dancers from the Company created this choreographic statement, advocating for a stop on hate. https://www.instagram.com/p/COvkTxONG5_/
  4. SFB is supposedly working on something similar but has not released the details yet. The 2022 Season programming is pushing in-house ticket sales at this point. Fortunately, for the out-ot-town audience, SFB had also issued this statement on their Covid-19 Safety web page: Are you going to continue offering digital streaming of ballets and other content? "We have been thrilled by the reaction to our digital season and plan to create a digital offering that will complement a season subscriber’s in-person subscription should they not be able to attend or if they would like to have an encore digital experience." I have no clue how one gets to this page right now - I now can't find a link on the top level pages anywhere.
  5. For the record... The updated artist guests for the 2021 Exploring Ballet seminars were/are: Session 1: Exploring the Creative Process Featuring James Steichen, PhD, historian of the performing arts, and Choreographer Danielle Rowe and Choreographer and Soloist Myles Thatcher Session 2: Exploring Romeo and Juliet Featuring Simon Morrison, music historian and author, with SF Ballet Principal Dancers Mathilde Froustey and Joseph Walsh Session 3: Exploring Swan Lake Featuring Alastair Macaulay, critic and historian of the performing arts, former chief dance critic of The New York Times, along with SF Ballet Principal Dancer Jennifer Stahl and Soloist Julia Rowe
  6. pherank


    Greetings - it's always nice to have new voices join the conversation.
  7. SFB Mother's Day photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/COqCjRELySl/
  8. Sasha De Sola and Esteban Hernandez learning Tarantella from Helgi Tomasson https://www.instagram.com/p/COdvvqiDqe4/ I'm not sure where this will be performed though - perhaps Helgi is taking requests from the principals and soloists for dances that they most want to learn. A very pregnant Mathilde Froustey has made it back to France to teach a master class: https://www.instagram.com/p/COggsN1hbn8/
  9. There's a recent NYT article discussing the latest thoughts about Herd Immunity in the US: Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe Widely circulating coronavirus variants and persistent hesitancy about vaccines will keep the goal out of reach. The virus is here to stay, but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/health/covid-herd-immunity-vaccine.html 'If the herd immunity threshold is not attainable, what matters most is the rate of hospitalizations and deaths after pandemic restrictions are relaxed, experts believe. By focusing on vaccinating the most vulnerable, the United States has already brought those numbers down sharply. If the vaccination levels of that group continue to rise, the expectation is that over time the coronavirus may become seasonal, like the flu, and affect mostly the young and healthy. “What we want to do at the very least is get to a point where we have just really sporadic little flare-ups,” said Carl Bergstrom, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “That would be a very sensible target in this country where we have an excellent vaccine and the ability to deliver it.” Over the long term — a generation or two — the goal is to transition the new coronavirus to become more like its cousins that cause common colds. That would mean the first infection is early in childhood, and subsequent infections are mild because of partial protection, even if immunity wanes.'
  10. Working with Joaquín de Luz is pretty good. 😉
  11. It's interesting to compare this film to the previous When We Fell film. There are certainly a lot of similarities in setting, and overall look and feel. Both films are shot mainly in black and white (the last gala performance is in color). Most everything up through the Liebeslieder PDD is filmed with minimal camera movement - and camera tracking is very gentle and smooth. The head-on frontal camera position is prevalent. And I agree with others that shooting from a slight angle is preferable since it provides a better sense of depth. Over reliance on straight shots tends to flatten out the image plane (and the geometry of the choreography - especially in Divertimento). When We Fell used a lot of high angle camera positioning, whereas Coppola's Gala film keeps the camera mostly between the knees and waist-level (Liebeslieder gets a few bird's eye view shots inserted since it is being filmed in the theater hall). Justin Peck's Solo variation incorporates some 'choreographed' camera movements. I didn't find them to be too obtrusive, fortunately. Divertimento No. 15 includes some tighter framing on soloists, which is to be expected. Coppola doesn't just stick with one approach or another - she makes choices, as one would presume of an experienced director. All in all an enjoyable film. It just felt short to me in terms of performance time. Maybe that's because it was working. Best quote: "It's so hard ...for anybody to be separated from those they love, but I think for the New York City Ballet - we really only exist together."
  12. Alexandre Cagnat is now at Berlin Staatsballett Vladislav Kozlov is now at Bayerisches Staatsballett Miranda Silveira is in Madrid, Spain right now and may be performing as a guest: https://www.instagram.com/p/COatBgsATHG/
  13. Skyla Schreter is choreographing her first full-length contemporary piece: "I spent the last five days working on my first full-length dance work with 4 amazingly talented dancer-humans, and 16 cardboard-paper boxes in the beautiful Hudson Hall. The boxes are sample prototypes (of a massive set installation for the piece created by @sovereignsez) but the dancers are the real deal from HV dance company @aydancers." https://www.instagram.com/p/CNvg5W6AAcY/
  14. For some reason they switched to an early 2pm start time for the 2nd day. I guess that was to help out the people not available in the evenings. Maybe I shouldn't assume, but wouldn't these become available as archived video sometime soon?
  15. Did you watch the Mark Morris Dance Group livestream "Live from Brooklyn"? I did not myself, but apparently the new piece got a good reaction from the digital audience.
  16. Thanks for catching that, SF_Herminator. I made the fix above. To your point about SF Symphony - they have kept themselves busy with smaller projects - both digital and live. The live concerts at Davies Symphony Hall begin today, I think: https://www.sfsymphony.org/ But the digital offerings have been ongoing: https://www.sfsymphonyplus.org/products/digital-season
  17. These are the season packages now being advertised (they go on sale in the summer). [Note that the Choreograph Your Own Season option occurs later in the year.] Principal 7 Experience all seven programs and get the same seats for every performance. Plus, save up to 30% on the single-ticket price. Packages start at $140. Included Programs Program 1 Trio • Mrs. Robinson • Symphony in C Program 2 Caprice • In the Night • Blake Works I Program 3: Don Quixote Program 4 La Sylphide • The Seasons Program 5 The Fifth Season • Harmony • Magrittomania Program 6 Prism • Christopher Wheeldon World Premiere • Dwight Rhoden World Premiere Program 7: Swan Lake Principal 5 See five programs and save up to 25% off the single-ticket price and get the same seats for every program. Packages start at $110. Included Programs Program 1 Trio • Mrs. Robinson • Symphony in C Program 2 Caprice • In the Night • Blake Works I Program 4 La Sylphide • The Seasons Program 6 Prism | Christopher Wheeldon World Premiere | Dwight Rhoden World Premiere Program 7: Swan Lake Principal 3 See two pre-selected programs and one program of your choice, and save up to 25% off the single-ticket price. Packages start at $66. Included Programs Program 3: Don Quixote Program 5 The Fifth Season • Harmony • Magrittomania And your choice of Mixed Bill
  18. I finally noticed that Programs 5 and 6 also overlap considerably. So for out-of-towners that allows one the opportunity to see 6 ballets over a short period (I didn't analyze the individual dates). Not trusting my impressions I went back and looked at a couple of past season schedules and the mixed reps programs have been completely overlapping for a few years. For some reason I was thinking it was only near the end of the earlier program that the programs would overlap, but I think that's just how it was back 10 years ago or so. 2017 January 24 - February 04 January 26 - February 05 February 17 - February 26 March 7 - March 18 March 9 - March 19 March 31 - April 12 April 5 - April 18 April 28 - May 07 2018 January 23 - February 04 February 13 - February 24 February 15 - February 25 March 06 - March 11 March 20 - March 25 April 03 - April 08 [NBofC's Nijinsky] April 20 - May 6 [Unbound Festival] Since it would be interesting (for me at least) to know just how many days the season is actually missing, I went back and checked against 2017. I'm counting 66 performance days for 2022 (minus the Monday rest days), while 2017 had 83 performance days. I'm looking forward to hearing when the digital streaming will occur - immediately following the live season? And, will the extra down days be used to film something special for the digital streaming program?
  19. I've been dependent on these "overlaps" myself, when coming to visit SF. But I've never seen two programs essentially occur at the same time before. Forsythe is 'an artist's artist'. Which means his work is mostly not understood - or loved - by the audience. ;) But his ballets make a nice challenge for the dancers. I bet we're going to see a lot of emphasis placed on the young dancers next year - lots of new role opportunities for Corps dancers. It will be Tomasson's last chance to shine a light on the individual Corps members, and young soloists, and give the world a better sense of what they are capable of. I'm beyond caring about Swan Lake these days, but I think Fogo and MacKay will likely head up the SL casts. https://www.instagram.com/p/COa4u68pEWA/ I didn't expect to arrive at a place where I'm saying, I'm not that interested in another Chris Wheeldon premiere. Why not shake things up a bit? [Because Tomasson is thanking old friends one last time - that's why] If the SFB A.D. only programed and didn't ever choreograph, there would be five open positions (in 2022) to fill with any sort of ballet. Having an A.D. who does create ballets, SFB gets 'personalized' content created over time, but they also lose diversity of programming. It's a bit of a conundrum. NYCB deals with the same thing having Justin Peck around. I'm not thinking that one or the other situation is better, but I like to see a real range of choreographers and approaches to ballet.
  20. Both Program 1 and 4 could certainly have been ordered differently. Lots of Helgi - but that's not really a surprise given that it will be his last season with the company. But again, no surprises to be had with those particular ballets. Yes, looks to be a short season. Normally there are 8 programs in a season (and Nutcracker makes 9), so I'm going to guess that there's a need to save money. Is that to help pay for digital streaming? The complete overlap of Program 1 & 2 is a head-scratcher for me. I'm not sure what they are thinking with that schedule. Probably does not make it easier for the dancers (it's going to be madness just like Nutcracker time). 2022 will have four new ballets (which will include the long, long awaited debuts of Ratmansky's The Seasons and Marston's Mrs Robinson). Three old 'classic' ballets (four if one includes Balanchine's Symphony in C). I'm a bit disappointed that In the Night was the Robbins ballet choice just because it is performed so much by SFB and other companies. Something less common by Robbins would have been fun. Possokhov's Magrittomania is good, but it's certainly time for a new Yuri ballet. Does make me wonder what the future holds for Yuri with Tomasson leaving. How to sum up these choices? Tomasson wants to demonstrate the range of works and capabilities of the SFB dancers under his leadership/tutelage? I guess it will sort of do that. Five Tomasson ballets - only one of them new - perhaps has a lot to do with this lineup seeming less exciting than some, for me. (Don Q also has stagings and additional choreography by Tomasson and Possokhov, but that's a little different.) Tomasson had stated in the past that he wanted to do another (smaller) new works festival, but I guess that is being left to the next A.D., or will only be planned together with the incoming A.D.
  21. Some related, sad news: "We are saddened to share the news that Zeke Nealy, an inspiring educator and brilliant musician with our Dance In Schools and Communities program as well as a celebrated visual artist, passed away on April 22, 2021. Nealy was a cherished member of SF Ballet’s education team for more than 30 years. Fondly known as Mr. Zeke to tens of thousands of Bay Area children, his drumming filled SF Ballet’s DISC dance classes with music that encouraged students to discover their creative voices through music and movement. Nealy's love of music was contagious, especially Haitian drumming. He had an impact on all who knew him and will be deeply missed." https://www.instagram.com/p/COeB0FEhq3B/
  22. Apparently it was a one-off by Liang: "Dance Smash - Dance show on national Chinese tv Everything but the kitchen sink in this quick piece! #madefortv " https://www.instagram.com/p/COX34HRAAHs/
  23. Some additional info from the SFB e-mail that went out today: Celebrating Helgi Tomasson in 2022 We hope you will join us for a memorable season in 2022 as we return to live performances at the War Memorial Opera House and celebrate Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson's remarkable 37-year tenure. Programmed by Helgi as a "love letter" to the Company and the community, the season mixes creativity with tradition and showcases the versatility and talent of the Company and the artists who have inspired Helgi's career. It is highlighted by six world and SF Ballet premieres and honors Helgi's legacy of making SF Ballet a creative hub for many emerging choreographers. The seven-program season will be performed live at the War Memorial Opera House February 1–May 8. We are Focused on a Safe Return to the Opera House We are in continual dialogue with our peer arts organizations, medical officers, and city leaders to ensure that the return to in-person performances will keep the health and safety of both artists and audiences at the forefront. The ventilation and air handling systems have been tested and upgraded to comply with CDC protocols put in place during the pandemic. We are preparing for a variety of protocols for staff, artists, and audiences that might be necessary when it is safe for us to reopen for in-person events. Exact information will be shared prior to performances. Visit sfballet.org/safety for the most up to date information on our COVID-19 protocols. 2022 Repertory Season Highlights Tomasson's own works: world premiere of Harmony; reprises of Trio, Caprice, The Fifth Season, Prism; and full-length story ballets Don Quixote and Swan Lake World premiere of Mrs. Robinson by Cathy Marston World premieres by Dwight Rhoden and Christopher Wheeldon SF Ballet premieres of Blake Works I by William Forsythe and The Seasons by Alexei Ratmansky Fan favorites George Balanchine's Symphony in C, In The Night by Jerome Robbins, and La Sylphide by August Bournonville Visit sfballet.org to learn more about the repertory and watch the trailer Tickets for the Repertory Season Principal Series packages will go on sale to the general public in summer 2021 and individual tickets to performances will be available in fall 2021. Nutcracker 2021 We are currently planning for live performances of Nutcracker at the War Memorial Opera House in December 2021. Tickets for Nutcracker will go on sale once artist and audience protocols are set. Renewing subscribers for the 2022 Season will receive priority access to tickets before they go on sale to the general public. 2022 Season Opening Night Gala The 2022 Season Opening Night Gala will be held on January 27, 2022. The annual launch of the repertory season will include a black-tie dinner held at San Francisco City Hall and a performance by San Francisco Ballet at the War Memorial Opera House. EDIT (from the SFB Covid-19 Safety web page): Are you going to continue offering digital streaming of ballets and other content? We have been thrilled by the reaction to our digital season and plan to create a digital offering that will complement a season subscriber’s in-person subscription should they not be able to attend or if they would like to have an encore digital experience.
  24. A short Edwaard Liang piece for Yuan Yuan and Chun Wai Chan of NYCB for a Chinese TV program: [definitely watch full screen so you can see something] There's one particular lift that is quite memorable. https://www.instagram.com/p/COUk7vVBVJ4/
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