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Terez

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About Terez

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dancer, writer
  • City**
    San Francisco Bay Area
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    CA

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  1. Terez

    Discussion of UNBOUND Reviews

    Allan Ulrich published his thoughts on Program D. https://www.sfchronicle.com/performance/article/Pita-s-Bjork-Ballet-a-stunning-work-in-12869373.php?r=1 (It's a SF Chronicle article and not SF Gate - does that make a difference? I just now capitulated and paid for a subscription in order to read it.) I'm attending the matinee tomorrow (Saturday) for Program D. Anyone else going to this program, or saw the Thurs night performance? I'm looking forward to it.
  2. Oh, OUCH. But you're right, it's part of the game. How many performances do you suppose Macaulay attends each year/season? I would, however, like to shout out and/or reiterate that Joseph Wharton performed in Program A and it sounds like he did a fine job. Kudos to Wharton!
  3. I did - it seems as though that cast is remaining the lone cast -- or maybe we will see a second cast (for other ballets as well) next week? Both Sylve and Kochetkova were stunning to watch. It's a real delight to see them dancing such similar steps, at one point in unison, and seeing the way their different bodies and personal aesthetics respond. It was uncanny, actually, that at one point their unison was flawless, and it was as if they'd both tapped into the core of the music, the artfulness of the steps, so that their physical differences disappeared and they were like mirror images, the music and steps just flowing through them. ((LOL, don't know if any of that made sense - it was like a prose poem gone bad!)) I was crazy about the costumes and lighting from Dawson's ballet. James F. Ingalls did lighting for every single ballet - maybe for the whole festival - and this one was truly unique, along with a room/box-like set. When the dancers were downstage, the lighting seemed fairly normal, but when they danced far upstage, it almost felt like an optical illusion - their bodies seemed so small next to all the whiteness, and they became more of a silhouette. Again, I'm likely describing it poorly, but it was amazing to watch. And I think that, after the heavy storytelling of Otherness and Snowblind, I liked that this was much more about movement. Everything felt light, airy, sky-bound. It felt particularly poignant, watching Masha, knowing she'll be leaving. And Sylve, as always, is just such a beautiful, classy, refined dancer, resisting any easy categorization. I realize I haven't brought up Cathy Marston's Snowbound. The performances by Van Patten, Froustey and Birkkjaer could not have been better. It really defined the ballet and what people would bring home from it. Froustey, in particular, was this lone ray of sunshine, in this beautiful coral dress, the only dollop of color in the ballet. Which is/was as it should be, but boy, without the joy and buoyancy her character (and Froustey herself) brought to the story, I would have found the ballet to be effective but a little too dreary. But I noticed that all the reviewers I admire had loads of positive things to say about her ballet. Of the three ballets, I'm crossing my fingers that Animus Anima will get slotted into next year's season. But it wouldn't surprise me if Snowbound claimed the spot instead.
  4. Wow, did it bother me that Alastair Macaulay named the wrong dancer in his review. It was indeed Joseph Wharton, and it bothers me every time I see the mistake hasn't been fixed. Oh well, I guess Joseph Wharton can take comfort in the fact that Macaulay thought he was as superior a dancer as Joseph Walsh. So sorry Walsh is still unable to perform, but yes, as someone commented, it is what Froustey, Zahorian and Powell (didn't know this one) went through - and wasn't Lonnie Weeks injured for a spell, delaying a deserved promotion? So happy he did, in the end, receive it.
  5. Reporting in on seeing Program B's Saturday night opener. Pretty exciting vibe, there at the War Memorial Opera House. I saw some of the choreographers, sat near some of the creative team members (maybe scenic designer or composer). It was great fun at the end of each ballet to see the quartet of creators onstage with the dancers. Gave you a real sense of what a big deal all of this is. I didn't attend the 2008 (?) festival of 10 new works, so this was a new, fun feeling for me. I published my review at Bachtrack; hopefully the link is forthcoming on the correct page here, but in the meantime, the link is posted at The Classical Girl as well. Thoughts that don't sound like a duplicate of my review... Myles Thatchers' Otherness was a cute, fun way to start the night; I don't think the ballet would have been as successful anywhere else in the evening's lineup. The swimsuits, swim caps and goggle sunglasses, the preening, brought to mind Possokhov's Swimmer, and I think it had been Thatcher's intention to make it feel sort of mid-20th century, the rigid norms and beliefs of the 1950's. The two separate groups, I'll call them the "pinks" and the "blues" had their own signature moves, but honestly, I didn't catch on that one was "synchronized swimming team" and the other was "swing-dancing, rugby-esque circus clowns" - the program's description, not mine. Which, I have to say, led to problems in interpreting/enjoying the ballet. There was so much story involved; it was so packed with "a riff on gender binaries" and how we perceive those who are different, and how, when threatened with something new and unfamiliar, we pull back, retreat to the comfortable, that I'm thinking more about the program notes than the actual dancing. In writing the review, i was appalled to see how little I commented (and/or retained) about the dance steps. Max Cauthorn looked incredibly dynamic as the Protagonist, the male lead, and I'm just so pleased to see the way he's living up to the promise he showed as a younger dancer, and, indeed, seems headed toward performing at a level reserved for the principals. It was great to see Sean Orza as the "pink" equivalent of Max, and they had a really nice pas de deux at one point. I really like seeing same sex pas de deux. What fascinates me is that Thatcher cast Lauren Strongin as the "pink" leader, for the second cast (or at least this was what was relayed in the program) and that Lauren will at times be lifting her partner (Vitor Luiz?). Wow, would I love to see that cast perform. Jahna Frantziskonis (boy, does auto-correct hate her name) was great fun as one of the lead "blues" - strutting and showing attitude. I was surprised to discover that James Sofranko was the "blue" equivalent - with their swim caps and goggle sunglasses, you didn't really know who was who. My other complaint here was that it became a little preachy and heavy-handed, kind of like a Tele-Tubbies episode, all that pink and blue and unambiguous "we shouldn't ostracize people who are different or think differently". My sense is that less would have been more, and I almost wanted more abstraction, so that the dancing, the dancers' body language, told the story. I think "Ghosts in the Machine' found the sweet spot a little more effectively. Will comment in detail later on the other two ballets. For now, Cathy Marston's Snowblind seemed to be a big hit with the other critics, and I enjoyed it - Van Patten, Froustey and Birkjaer were fabulous and had great synergy - but it was David Dawson's Anima Animus that really dazzled me. Such good dancing - I wanted to name every ensemble dancer in my review, but with an 800 word limit, that couldn't happen.
  6. Didn't see this coming and am so sad. But ah well, it's all part of the game. There are some beautiful young dancers on the SFB roster (and all around the world) so I'll look forward to discovering them (or seeing the already discovered ones test ever bigger roles). They deserve the new opportunities.
  7. Terez

    Dancer Promotions for 2018-2019

    What a great thread - I've been absorbed in daily life and too busy to catch this exciting news. Wow - big congrats to all three men. Agree that this is long overdue for Weeks. Pherank, I'm cracking up over the Frankenstein pic. Where do you GET these wonderful pics?! Enjoying all the thoughtful, insightful commentary.
  8. Terez

    2019 Season

    Wow. Interesting news to digest. I didn't realize we were already at that announcement time. Love reading everyone's comments. Can't imagine Shostakovich Trilogy w/o Karapetyan, but ah well, time moves along, rosters change, new stars emerge within a role. Agreed that it would be pretty neat to see what WanTing Zhao could do in The Little Mermaid. Pherank, you brought up a good/poignant point in your above comments. All good things must come to an end, eventually.
  9. Terez

    Program 4 - Frankenstein

    Thank you both for your comments, Dreamer and SF Herminator. Great to hear your perspectives. I, too, had that "saw it once, which I enjoyed, but didn't need to see it twice" feeling and the Opera House is such a slog from the Santa Cruz Mountains that I just have to give some programs a pass. But I always feel wistful when I let a performance run slip past, especially since the SFB season is so short. I agree that the second year of a performance allows the dancers to incorporate more nuance, refinement, coherence & interpretation. Oh, ugh, now I really DO want to see a performance, particularly because I have this uneasy feeling I will never once see Birkkjaer perform this season. Ah, choices...
  10. Terez

    Program 4 - Frankenstein

    Is it my imagination or has there been little media coverage of this run? I saw the SF Gate review but have found nothing else, and I always enjoy reading reviews of productions I know.
  11. I cannot wait! Thanks for posting this delicious teaser.
  12. Terez

    Program 4 - Frankenstein

    Well, I was just stunned, seeing this casting list. I have to miss out on the whole run, and I'm worried the entire season is going to fly by without my seeing Ulrik Birkkjaer in a leading role. Do we know how serious Walsh's sidelining is? So disappointing (except that I'm not seeing any of Frankenstein anyway). What a surprise to see Robison on the list - very exciting, actually. Looking forward to hearing others' comments after they've watched the performance(s).
  13. Terez

    SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    Great conversation, all of it. Thank you, all who contributed.
  14. Terez

    SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    Aww, I like Froustey so much - this just confirms [one of the reasons] why. You really see that honest, honorable intention coming across when she dances, too. Well... I do. Thanks for posting, pherank!
  15. Terez

    SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty

    Wow, what fun to read these comments about the 1/27 shows - thanks, PeggyR! And others, for the informative replies. I saw the matinee on 1/27 as well, and I didn't have any complaints about Scheller's performance - I enjoyed it. But I'm nodding with what you said, PeggyR, about the "here's a moment" thing, which Froustey, for one, always excels at. So do Sarah VP and Sofiane. I was a little concerned that the hand-gripping in the Rose Adagio just before balancing was a little too... grippy. Martin West had to slow down the orchestra not once but twice, and I had this flash of vicarious anxiety of "what if the female simply can't let go?" I wonder if that goes on in their heads, of, "OMG this is taking way too long, I'm blowing it." But Scheller held the final arabesque en pointe nicely solid, for an extra two beats, as if to say, "There, see? I've got this." I agree that Greco's personality is strong enough to overcome the inertia that seems to dog every one of the males dancing the prince. Can anyone report on seeing a really dynamic Prince Desiré? I wonder if I would have felt "meh" about the role, seeing Davit Karapetyan perform it? Alas, not going to happen. Was wondering if Tiit Helimets might be the one to hit all the right marks there? But I was nonetheless happy with Greco's performance, and I thought they did a "vision" pas de deux and Act III grand pas. One thing I was so impressed with were the feather-soft landings by Wei Wang in Bluebird. It made me think that both Di Lanno and Greco might have had softer landings (again, I'm thinking, "Karapetyan would have aced those.") I thought WanTing Zhao was a fabulous Carabosse and she might very well be my new dancer-of-interest to watch. I was disappointed that Jen Stahl didn't dance Lilac Fairy, and I thought Ludmila B was competent but not exceptional. In fact, it seemed rather wrong for Lauren S. to be dancing one of the other fairies in the same performance. I didn't look to see where else she was on the cast list for this run, so maybe she was dancing that role another time. She certainly has the right grace and sensibility for the role. I do think, however, that Sarah VP's opening night performance of Lilac Fairy was exemplary, though. Fun to see Norika Matsuyama as one of the fairies, agreed that Lonnie Weeks is very much ready to be promoted to soloist, and it was fun seeing Madison Keesler both performances as the Countess. Her pantomime and body language was so easy to read without it ever being too obvious. Those ENB years taught her how to do this well, I imagine. Fun to see Thamires Chuvas dancing as Gold Fairy and Kamryn Baldwin as White Cat - haven't seen either of them dancing soloist roles before.
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