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Everything posted by pherank

  1. 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/
  2. 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.
  3. 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/
  4. Rossini at the Drive-In, as San Francisco Opera Returns Honks instead of applause: An open-air “Barber of Seville” brought the company back after 16 months. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/30/arts/music/san-francisco-opera-barber-seville.html San Diego Opera’s parking-lot production of “The Barber of Seville” expands beyond the outdoor stage... Colorful ‘Barber of Seville’ and pandemic-inspired concert are upbeat and technically well-produced https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/pomerado-news/entertainment/story/2021-04-28/san-diego-operas-drive-in-festival-a-celebration-of-singing
  5. The paragraphs that follow the sentence you quote explain more specifically what Homans meant. Certainly the Soviet "tractor" ballets little resemble the ballets being developed in the West under choreographers like Frederik Ashton and Antony Tudor, John Cranko, Léonide Massine, Agnes De Mille and Martha Graham, Maurice Béjart and Roland Petit, and Balanchine and Robbins. It's not all forgotten though - Alexei Ratmansky has done a revival of “The Bright Stream” from 1935, and "The Bolt" from 1931, which I personally enjoyed. And the "Flames of Paris" ballet continues to be excerpted at galas. There is another book, one that focuses on Soviet era ballet, that might be worth reading: Swans of the Kremlin: Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia (Russian and East European Studies) https://www.amazon.com/Swans-Kremlin-Russian-European-Studies/dp/0822962144
  6. Rest in peace, Katherine. I'm very sorry to hear this. Thanks for letting everyone know, VolcanoHunter.
  7. Updated announcement from the SFB School: SF Ballet School Virtual Festival Programming and Free Public Access Announced We are thrilled to announce the programming for SF Ballet School's 2021 Virtual Festival on Thursday, June 17, 2021. 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. We are also delighted to announce the complete Virtual Festival program will stream for free to the public, after its premiere at the June 17 event, on SF Ballet @ Home from June 18 to June 24. Access is free for all members of the community due to the generosity of Executive Producer level donors Dr. Sunnie Evers, Shelby and Frederick Gans, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, David and Kelsey Lamond, Alison and Michael Mauzé, and Catherine and Mark Slavonia; a $29 donation is suggested. [It's a bit confusing, but SF Ballet @ Home is to be found at SFB's online digital streaming site: www.sfballet.tv ]
  8. Dancing a role obviously involves a lot more than the hands though - granted, hands can be particularly expressive so they are a major part of a dancer's "toolkit". You've said you can't enjoy Mukhamedov's dancing because you don't like how she uses her hands. Seems like an awful lot is going to be ignored over an issue with one portion of the body, or personality. Regarding drooping hands in Emeralds specifically: When does a step or gesture become an affectation? When does an affectation become the accepted step or gesture? (shrug) I can pretty much guarantee that if dancers are still performing Balanchine ballets in 50 years, the roles will look considerably different from today's versions.
  9. Still photos can be deceitful, sure. But I don't think this is a conspiracy of photographers. My point was that "drooping" hands is now a feature of Emeralds performances (in all female roles) so not an issue with particular dancers. It's something like flowers drooping slightly at the stem. Verdy was less fussy and mannered in her approach to the 1st Solo Variation, but today's répétiteurs and dancers are taking the roles into a different direction. But like it or not, it isn't the job of a soloist to imitate Violette Verdy - they're supposed to make the role their own.
  10. Announcement from the San Francisco Symphony: "The San Francisco Symphony is returning to Davies Symphony Hall for live performances and we can't wait to welcome you back! Beginning May 6 and continuing through the end of June, the Symphony will offer concerts each Thursday and Friday led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and an array of guest conductors..." "The San Francisco Symphony’s live concert reopening plan was developed in accordance with regulations set by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the City and County of San Francisco, and the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center. All concerts will be approximately 75 minutes in length and will be performed without intermission. Instrumentation and orchestra size will be planned in accordance with City guidelines and will vary. These San Francisco Symphony performances will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test for all patrons, musicians, staff, and volunteers as well as universal mask wearing. There will be significantly reduced concert hall capacity, contactless tickets, assigned seats that maximize physical distancing, increased ventilation and filtration standards, social distancing requirements, and other safety measures in place." Calendar of Events https://www.sfsymphony.org/calendar
  11. Basic ballet techniques often differ from what choreographers are trying to achieve in particular ballets. Emeralds features quite a lot of drooping wrist stylizations. Pretty much every single interpretation I've seen - from the Russians, the French, the Brits, the Americans, features 'softened' wrists rather than a stiff, angular aesthetic in the arms/port do bras. Here that's intentional, even if, say, the Russians find it particularly easy to 'break' the wrist. ;) I agree that the raised index finger is a bit distracting, but I'm not sure she does that all the time. Can you remember if she was using that affectation in A Midsummer Night's Dream? It' difficult to even find any Emeralds photos that feature aligned hand/arm/fingers.
  12. Misa Kuranaga and Tiit Helimets for Fouette Friday: https://www.instagram.com/p/COBlqpwHzhD/ Two pirouette videos from Sasha De Sola: https://www.instagram.com/p/CM0UdaYDhtO/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CNsSVk-Dzg9/
  13. With Program 5, we've been here before (two of the pieces were streamed during the Spring 2020 shutdown). I had somewhat forgotten how good both Tan and Helimets, Zahorian and Nedvigin looked in 7 for Eight [recorded in 2016]. I have a feeling that the most important thing Tomasson learned from Balanchine about choreography was "make the dancers look good". Create steps that work for those dancers and bring out their best attributes. That's not necessarily a popular approach theses days. Many modern choreographers are pushing dancers to do more than they thought possible - more is better. And there is certainly a place for that when it comes to developing an art form, but then the audience sometimes gets treated to dancers performing steps that are particularly awkward for them. We don't deal with that here. As always with Tomasson, there's nothing obnoxious to point to - everything is quite civilized. The steps and execution very clean and nicely articulated. But that also means there isn't going to be as much to jump up and shout about. Maybe that was the point in programming 7 for Eight - there is still something to be said for simple craft and elegance. With a few twists added in for good measure. Always nice to see Lonnie Weeks perform - great lines and wonderful angularities. His movement quality here reminded me of what I like about Jahna Frantziskonis. And great to see exemplary footage of Gennadi Nedvigin and Taras Domitro (now performing as a principal guest artist back East). Many of us were looking forward to the debut of Cathy Marston's Mrs. Robinson, but alas, it was not to be. Instead we get a repeat showing of Snowblind. Marston's Snowblind continues to hold up for me overall. The last section is quite harrowing, and is reminding me now of Japanese Butoh dance. It may have more to do with the expressions worn, particularly on SVP's pale face. A Dance of Darkness and ultimately, Compassion, is very much present. This original cast of principals continues to impress in their roles. Everyone is believable and manages to get beyond the "I'm just acting/pretending" guise that so many dancers resort to, not being trained actors, or even dramatic talents in so many cases. This time around I payed more attention to the Snowblind music. Marston deals with a similar situation to Danielle Rowe's in her Wooden Dimes (Program 3) - she's choreographing to very cinematic, atmospheric music (by Amy Beach) - not true dance music, and I have to wonder how much that shaped her creative decisions. With Marston I get the feeling that she simply plowed straight ahead with her vision, while Rowe may have been more impeded by by the orchestral score rather than inspired (whether she knew it or not). That's just an impression I have. Snowblind sticks to the darker and more dour side of life, so there's not much uplift to be had. So not for everyone - maybe not even best for "the whole family". But it still impresses me with its emotional intensity. I've seen at least two of the casts live, maybe three(?), and the SFB dancers all performed the roles admirably and effectively. There were no dud performances of this work that I witnessed - either on stage or in the video stream. Dawson's Anima Animus continues to hold up for me as well, and is an important document of a particular SFB era and roster. A quintessential SFB performance of a contemporary ballet. A quintessential Sofiane Sylve performance (and arguably representative of Kochetkova's approach to experimental works as well). For me this piece is representative of many of the contemporary works SFB have been performing in the last 10 years or so - by choreographers like Forsythe, Elo, certain Wheeldon, Thatcher, Zanella, Peck, van Manen, Scarlett, even some of Possokhov. For someone not used to the company and wanting to know what SFB is capable of in a modern abstract ballet, this would be a good place to start.
  14. Great find, Jane Simpson. The loose translation: "Join us on a journey through the history of ballet, when eleven solo dancers from the San Francisco Ballet unfold great dramas and intimate moments across three centuries. København Danser (Copenhagen Dancer) has put together a sumptuous program that includes both the ballet's major highlights and completely new works created on the occasion of the festival. Audiences will feel the buzz of history in the excerpt of Le Corsaire pas de deux, created by the founder of the Russian ballet Marius Petipa more than two hundred years ago. They will experience how significant choreographers like George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins in the 1960s and 1970s renewed the ballet genre with masterpieces like Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and In the Night. In addition, three brand new works will have a world premiere when the young choreographers present their bid for the ballet in 2021. Based on their own experiences as a woman, POC (Person of color) and LGBT activist, respectively, the three choreographers Danielle Rowe, Babatunji Johnson [LINES Ballet] and Myles Thatcher have created their personal works on equality and diversity. It is unusual for these kinds of narratives to be conveyed on stage because the most popular ballets were created many years ago where other ideals and norms were governing. But with great respect for the ballet's tradition, the solo dancers from the San Francisco Ballet will give the audience a taste of how modern ballet is on its way. The San Francisco Ballet is among the best companies in the world, and Copenhagen Dancer artistic director Ulrik Birkkjær is a principal dancer with the American company in his everyday life. Look forward to seeing him and his colleagues on stage accompanied by live music from the acclaimed ensemble Trio Vitruvi." [The Johnson, Rowe and Thatcher premieres are as yet unnamed. Note that Sebastian Kloborg, Maria Kochetkova's partner, is one of the artistic advisors of this festival.] We could probably figure out who some of the dancers will be. Le Corsaire PDD has got to be Kuranaga and Greco. The website is showing images of Sofiane Sylve which is really interesting. Technically no longer a company member, but, If Sofiane is taking part then she may be dancing in Forsythe's In the Middle and Robbins' In the Night. Thatcher tends to create on De Sola, so she's a possibility. I could see Frances Chung and Birkkjaer together in Tchai Pas. Tiit Helimets partnering Sofiane? (if she's actually participating) Certain dancers have a real reason to return to Europe - to visit family and old friends. So I wonder if that will have something to do with the casting. The new works are presumably group numbers. Or perhaps more PDD/TDD oriented to keep things simple?
  15. A thank you from the SFB organization: "San Francisco Ballet is grateful to our elected officials and civic organizations for remembering that the arts and artists matter. Because of your advocacy and legislation, we’ve been able to safely create and keep our audiences engaged. Thank you!" Various staff participate in the video, talking about how things have gone over the past year. https://www.instagram.com/p/CN8XROGh4Jn/
  16. The YouTube archive of today's (04/22/21) live stream: Frankfurt Radio Symphony Live: Andrés Orozco-Estrada & Hilary Hahn - Dvořák Violinkonzert https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pHsueeD8NY
  17. SFB posting: "A message from Sunnie Evers and Robert G. Shaw, Co-Chairs of San Francisco Ballet Board of Trustees: Today's guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin reminds all of us of the importance of equity in justice, regardless of what makes us different. Recent events from the murder of George Floyd, to anti-Asian hate crimes occurring across the country, to the rise in acts of gun violence, all keep us focused on the need to be united against injustice, intolerance, and disenfranchisement. We must live together as one people with dignity and respect for all. We join with the SF Ballet leadership team, staff, artists, crew, and musicians to stand together in pursuing a more just and inclusive world for this and future generations." https://www.instagram.com/p/CN6Q239tLFa/
  18. I'm sorry it was confusing for you. I didn't say anything about Scarlett's behavior (that we don't have any details of), being OK 100 years ago. I was making a different point in that paragraph.
  19. It's important to point out that whenever you or I talk about "things that weren't ethical or moral" we're applying our own personal value systems to the situation and making a broad assumption that the wider society, or even human beings in general, share our same values and in pretty much the same order of importance. But it it just doesn't work that way. We humans also have the tendency to assume that governments and organizations generally "do the right thing" (I will avoid straying into political examples). But that isn't so much based upon real-world truths as it is upon human psychology. The establishment is busy making their own assumptions about what is right and what is wrong while the disenfranchised tend to feel that the establishment doesn't take their values into consideration at all. I think I "get" what Hurwitz is saying in your quotes, but I certainly also feel that there is unhealthy behavior perpetrated by potentially anyone, everyday. (As one writer once put it, "the world runs on the Seven Deadly Sins and the weather".) And individuals and societies need ways to identify and deal with this unhealthy behavior. Note that I'm saying "unhealthy" and not "unethical" because I think that the realm of ethics and morality is where things get really sticky. "Of course" sexual relations with 12 or 13 year old children, or marriage at the age of 12, or forcing children to work long hours each day all seems abhorrent to us now. But my ancestors routinely did such things at a time when the average life expectancy for the peasantry was 24 for men and 33 for women. If the children didn't work alongside their parents from an early age, the family starved to death. We've only had a hundred years or so of our "modern" values - our ancestors had at least 100,000 years of different values to live with (my apologies to anyone following the Bible's timeline). They had their reasons and their values that arose from their situations. Well that continues - the values of say, the LGBT community, are going to differ from the BLM community on certain issues. And an individual who can identify with much of LGBT, and MeToo and BLM, for example, is also going to run into points of conflict with those general movements. Because we have our individual lives, feelings, thoughts and needs. I think it is very problematic to assume that my values are superior to, or some kind of improvement over, the next person's - or the previous generation's, and that they are certainly deluded in their thinking. That's been something of a "thing" on the dance forums over the last few years - that dancers are somehow deluded in their thinking around certain recent controversies, and we on the outside have the clearer view and can make the more appropriate judgement. But I think that's something of a delusion as well. I either acknowledge another person's experiences, thoughts and feelings, or I don't. And not acknowledging someone else's experience, thoughts and feelings tends to derail any relationship. If I have an overall point regarding Scarlett's situation and untimely death it is that humans are complicated and have very little understanding of how their own minds and bodies work. We don't have all the answers, and we make mistakes on all levels every single day. It is entirely possible for someone to have talents, and charm, or remarkable insight into particular things, whatever, but still make mistakes - and those could range from occasional spoken 'gaffs' to what someone else might experience as ruinous or potentially deadly behavior. Human behavior runs the gamut and we see it each day. If there are many artists in the dance community that had good relations with Scarlett, then it is important for us to acknowledge that this was also a part of who Scarlett was. If his family continues to love and cherish his memory, then we should acknowledge that. If he was involved in unhealthy behavior then that too needs to be recognized and dealt with in an instructive and healing way. For everyone. Because the failure to do so only fuels the cultural infighting. My apologies if this sound like I'm trying to educate anyone. I don't have the answers, and I'm trying to gain some understanding of the world around me, just like everyone else.
  20. On a less happy note... dancers at SFB have reacted to the death of Liam Scarlett with some nice tributes: Madison Keesler https://www.instagram.com/p/CNxhQqVA0e3/ Misa Kuranaga https://www.instagram.com/p/CN0zX23nyzR/ Joseph Walsh https://www.instagram.com/p/CN0bsirAALc/ Ellen Rose Hummel https://www.instagram.com/p/CN5Lr1vgOOh/ Frances Chung https://www.instagram.com/p/CN_5TYtA8fK/ Helgi Tomasson: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNxw0zQrwh8/ I'm including these comments and photos "for the record". Any discussion of Mr. Scarlett really should go here, please.
  21. Alastair Macaulay posted a string of long remarks about Scarlett's death and what is known, and not known, about his troubles with the ballet companies. I do think it's worth reading, regardless of how one might feel about Macaulay's writings/personality. (On a number of these posts it's necessary to continue scrolling down because Macaulay kept adding on information) https://www.instagram.com/p/CNyFlRoAPsL/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CNzFNk7AXT9/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CNz9bMngsH8/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CN0kVpuAi6J/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CN10GkXAauU/ The last posting above also appears in this easier-to-read(!) format: https://slippedisc.com/2021/04/alastair-macaulay-on-not-cancelling-liam-scarlett/
  22. I'll let the mourners have their mourning, and the ranters their rant. But looking for people to blame and disenfranchise - via social media - hasn't achieved anything that I can see. Some individuals may think that they are more 'empowered' now that they participate in social media shaming, but that is a delusion - Cancel Culture is a type of mob rule, and entirely dependent on group mind. The individual is going to suffer, and is, seemingly. That's not a positive institutional change by me. And it would be a mistake to think that anyone one of us is immune from cancellation.
  23. Most of what I've read has been by people mourning the loss, not 'glorifying and beatifying' as you put it. I guess we agree to disagree. That's an interesting take on things. I can't say that I agree that it goes that far - for most of these social media commenters. If you asked them directly, "Are the people who reported Scarlett's misbehavior to blame for his suicide?", I'll bet you will hear, "that's not what I meant."
  24. Imo, Cancel Culture has not earned a pass. It is not unequivocally riotous. Not even close. 'But it's disheartening to me, too, that his death is being automatically "blamed" in part on people who, it is very possible--in my opinion, probable--were themselves victims' > I haven't noticed this myself - the anger around Scarlett's suicide is not being automatically directed at his "victims". It's had nothing to do with that. Most of the comments I've seen have been along these lines: "Who wrote this cliche of a response?" "I don’t think I have ever read a more false and insincere statement." "I restrained an immediate response to your shallow instant PR tweeted sadness as my words were not fit to print. The sadness is less Liam Scarlett’s tragic death than the failures at the Royal Opera House, @TheRoyalBallet and #TheRoyalTheatre that must have contributed to it." "Quality copy/paste." "Given that the ROH slung him out and disposed of his work on the basis of allegations that were never 'founded' the board should consider it’s position in this unnecessary tragedy" "A few months I ago I noticed that ROH removed Liam's rehearsal clips from YouTube, such as Sweet Violets. Some of these were never performed on DVD. We cannot let this man's legacy die. Royal Ballet NEEDS to re-release them and reinstate his works in the repertoire going forward." Essentially it is your "middle way" that is entirely missing here. I never get much indication that people who have 'misbehaved', for lack of a better term, are being properly counseled, re-trained, whatever. Unless, that is part of their sentencing. And in Scarlett's case, there was never any sentencing. The world essentially told him to F-off. I applaud Ratmansky for publicly speaking out - whether or not we agree with his interpretation of the facts doesn't matter as to me much as his taking the time to speak up.
  25. Cancel Culture refers specifically to the complete rejection and removal of support for a person that "offends". And the term was originally used to refer to this 'strategy' when employed on social media. Over usage of any term in the media and online naturally tends to blur the original definition/reference.
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