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Globetrotter

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Everything posted by Globetrotter

  1. Not much interest in the 4Ts so far in this thread - one of my favorite Balanchine ballets. As a musician, I've always loved Hindemith. He knows the instruments, so his orchestrations keep each instrument doing what its good at. As a result, Hindemith is fun to play and listen to. And, given that the 4Ts was composed as a ballet for Mr. Balanchine (a 'mercy' commission by Balanchine because Hindemith had just emigrated from Germany and was unemployed), it is very unique. I went today and saw Sarah Van Patten and Tiit Helimets. I'd seen them some years ago thought it was one of the best Balanchine performances I'd ever seen. Raw and edgy but still intimate and emotional. When I saw them today I was not disappointed. I think Ms Van Patten's interpretation was even more nuanced and informed. And Mr Helimet's partnering was clean and flawless. (Why they don't dance together more is a mystery to me.) When they danced the 4Ts in New York a few years back, Ms Van Patten was singled out for her performance. I see why. I guess dancers have favorite ballets and choreographers. But there is something special now and then when a ballet and dancer are 'made for' each other. This was made for Ms. Van Patten or she for it. If she does it again, its worth seeing.
  2. It seems every Giselle cast is good. I saw Sarah Van Patten's Giselle last night and she was spectacular. Everyone knows she can act. So it was her level of dancing that impressed me. She and Carlos are becoming excellent partners. Can't wait for their Romeo & Juliet.
  3. In interviews Ms Van Patten tells the story of being selected for Juliet by John Neumeier at age 15. Imagine carrying a 3-act ballet at the Royal Danish at 15? Despite her emotional performances, there's some steel in this girl.
  4. When I think of ballerinas, I think of dancers who fill a stage for three acts. It is a four-dimensional presence. It lasts for meters as well as hours. There are the brilliant ones who floor me with their technique. And the emotional ones who fill time. And then there are those few ballerinas who you can't wait for or imagine what is coming next. Who you breath with and move with and feel with.
  5. Is the issue not so much compensation but the absolute control of the artistic director? I'd guess the ballet is the last bastion of dictatorial power in modern organizations. Who dances what role and when, is, as I understand it, decided by one person and not necessarily with an explanation. I can see why the dancers are asking for more respect. As a musician, at least I always played the music written for my chair. The conductor had little discretion in assigning that.
  6. Nice cover story on Sarah at Dance Magazine.
  7. I'd recommend the Inn at the Opera. Its across the street from the Opera house, not too pricey and has a good breakfast. It reminds me of the Hotel Opera in Copenhagen: same location, price & breakfast!
  8. From SFB's website: Opening Night Gala Performance - Thursday, January 19, 2012 Excerpt from CLASSICAL SYMPHONY Composer: Sergei Prokofiev Choreography: Yuri Possokhov Conductor: Martin West Jaime Garcia Castilla, Diego Cruz, Isaac Hernandez, Steven Morse, Benjamin Stewart, Matthew Stewart Pas de deux from THE DANCE HOUSE Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich Choreography: David Bintley Conductor: Martin West Sarah Van Patten*, Tiit Helimets, Pascal Molat ARIA Composer: George Frideric Handel Choreography: Val Caniparoli Conductor: Martin West Damian Smith TCHAIKOVSKY PAS DE DEUX© Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Choreography: George Balanchine Conductor: Martin West Vanessa Zahorian, Davit Karapetyan* Pas de deux from CONTINUUM© Composer: Gyorgi Ligeti Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon Conductor: Martin West/Pianist: Michael McGraw Sofiane Sylve*, Vito Mazzeo* Pas de deux from FLAMES OF PARIS Composer: Boris Assafiev Choreography: Vassili Vainonen Conductor: Martin West Frances Chung, Taras Domitro INTERMISSION SOLO Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach Choreography: Hans van Manen Gennadi Nedvigin, Garen Scribner*, Hansuke Yamamoto* San Francisco Ballet Premiere VOICES OF SPRING Composer: Johann Strauss II Choreography: Sir Frederic Ashton Conductor: Martin West Maria Kotchetkova*, Joan Boada* San Francisco Ballet Premiere Pas de deux from LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS Composer: Frédéric Chopin Choreography and Lighting Design: John Neumeier Conductor: Martin West/Piano soloist: Roy Bogas Yuan Yuan Tan, Alexander Riabko+ +Guest Artist courtesy of Hamburg Ballet NUMBER NINE Composer: Michael Torke Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Conductor: Martin West Elana Altman, Dores Andre Courtney Elizabeth, Dana Genshaft Isaac Hernandez, Pascal Molat Ruben Martin Cintas, Anthony Spaulding
  9. I have heard these dancers include Sarah Van Patten, Pierre Vilanoba, Guennadi Nedviguine, Joan Boada, and Frances Chung. SFB is well represented in a good cause. I also heard the dancers are donating some of their personal items - signed shoes, etc - to the silent auction. Sounds like a great opportunity to mingle with some of SFB's finest.
  10. I've been hearing of a performance to benefit children in Uganda at Fort Mason in San Francisco that's by members of San Francisco Ballet. But I can't find anything specific about it. Anybody out there know more about this?
  11. I had a chance to see Wednesday night's Giselle and agree with all posters. Sarah van Patten and Tiit Helimets (sp?) were wonderful. There was a 5-minute span early in the second act that rivals the best ballet I have ever seen. People around me (I think me too) were literally holding their breath. And kudos to Daniel Baker and Alana Altman. Mr Baker brought an unusual solidity to Hilarion's character, as did Ms Altman to Myrtha. In the end there were no pure villains, heroes, or victims, making the ballet even more tragic.
  12. Funding and the arts has always been a difficult subject. Is selective support also passive censorship? Should we be concerned when a wealthy person chooses to sponsor one ballet instead of another? Or fund one choreographer over another? Does a benefactor's favorite dancer also get favored treatment by the artistic director (as some suspect)? I think it goes even further - are children from wealthier families who can afford private lessons, summer camps, and pointe shoes unfairly represented in the ranks of our companies? I bet there are a lot of tremendous 13 year-old dancers I'll never get to see because their families can't afford a pair of pointe shoes a week. Those with the cash get to choose. We get to watch. I remember the hue and cry when Nelson Rockefeller laid out the plans for Lincoln Center - demolishing stores, houses, and most of a neighborhood to achieve his vision. There are many times when individuals - regardless of their politics - are the only ones who can cut through the redtape and get significant things done; in the arts and elsewhere. At least we have individuals who are getting things done in the Arts.
  13. I saw R&J on Saturday and it was terrific. The entire cast was very good, especially Sarah Van Patten (Juliet), Pierre-François Vilanoba (Romeo), Pascal Molat (Mercutio) and Damian Smith (Tybalt). I can't say enough about how moving this ballet can be when the principals can act - and these four were outstanding. There were more than a few moist eyes leaving the Opera House Saturday evening. I'm going back this week to see Vanessa as Juliet and was going to see Maria Kochetkova as Juliet on Tuesday, but she was replaced with Sarah. I hope Maria is OK. I'm a sucker for Prokofiev so the evening was especially satisfying for me. I would have liked the orchestra to play stronger - more energetic, but they still sounded good. For example, the end of Act Two (where Tybalt dies) is frenetic music - almost out of control - it should be raw and almost frightening. It was loud, but still controlled. The best recording I've heard of this score is Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  14. I recently saw SFB's Sarah Van Patten in The Little Mermaid and was knocked out. The mermaid role didn't seem too demanding dance-wise, but required tremendous range as an actress. She's known as a good actress, but this was something else. She tops my list as a dancer/actress. Who else has a favorite?
  15. No. Yes. You are. I really liked Opus 19. Perhaps it was the cast you saw? I thought there was a lot of Dybbuk in it, so the dancers needed to tell a story with the choreography rather than do steps. I would have also said there were quotes of Wheldon (lifts), Elo (port de bras), and Morris (partnering) except Robbins came first by about 40 years. And I'm amused that anyone can dismiss a Robbins ballet. I always think if I see a Larry Poons painting I don't get, or listen to Karel Husa that I can't hear, or read a Haruki Murakami novel I can't follow, that its me who needs to step up. These guys are good, and Robbins and Prokofiev are more than good.
  16. It seems Alastair Macauley from the NYT enjoyed himself in San Francisco! New York Times Review
  17. I also like to stand. It really is one of the best seats in the house (the video and still photographers are there). The Orchestra is a bit muffled due to the overhang, but acceptable. I also like Orchestra seats. There is more of them than Dress Circle, which always seems sold out. The Opera House has a center aisle (unlike NYCB) so aisle seats have a fantastic view. Being a fairly short person, I always seem to draw the seat behind the woman in the large hat.
  18. I'll vote for the SFB women: Vanessa Zahorian and Sarah Van Patten are both gorgeous. Most other SFB dancers are merely beautiful.
  19. Bravo to Frances. I saw her Nutcracker Grand Pas as week ago and she was great. This promotion couldn't happen to a more wonderful person, regardless of her dancing. "Whoever follows these words of mine builds on rock and will survive, whoever does not builds on sand...."
  20. It was the women of NYCB in Saratoga in the mid 1960's. I was brand new to ballet at the age of 14 or so and was a competitive gymnast & diver. I knew what I could do in a pool, but was floored by what they were doing on the stage. I was slack-jawed during Diamonds.
  21. What a great night. Everything perfectly done. It seems to me, to use a sports term, that Tina 'took one for the team.' She can still do all the steps and still has all the 'voody-voody' to be a principal dancer. I'd love to see her dance next year. I'm thinking she retired to help SF Ballet bring along the next generation - Frances Chung, Elana Altman and others who are Principal bound. There are so few roles and so few chances that if principal dancers don't retire, the up and coming won't get the chances they need. If Brett Favre had as much class...
  22. Today I was able to find a way into the LAST performance of Jewels. I thought Emeralds was great, Rubies was OK, and Diamonds terrific. A beautiful sunny and warm Sunday afternoon in San Francisco and I can't think of a better way to send in the Summer. I can't believe we won't see these dancers until Stern Grove (are they still doing Stern Grove?). Oh well. I've been thinking about how spoiled we are here. These dancers are some of the best in the world. We sometimes complain (I'm guilty) of slightly off corps, or a bit of funky partnering or a wobbly solo. But it is the end of the season when I remember things I saw this year that were unbelievable. It is these moments I live to see, and there have been plenty. Too bad there's no 'Saratoga' for SFB. I'd be there.
  23. I got an email from SFB (as did all subscribers) asking me to re-up for next year. It listed the season's programs, including three full-lengths. Here's the season as described: Program 1 Swan Lake Program 2 The Dreamer New Wheeldon Company B Balanchine Program 3 Serenade Stravinsky Violin Concerto Theme and Variations Program 4 Diving in to the Lilacs in the middle... Petrouchka (Fokine) Program 5 The Little Mermaid (Neumeier) Program 6 Haffner Symphony New Renato Zanella premiere Russian Seasons Program 7 Rush New Possokhov premiere The Concert Program 8 Romeo & Juliet
  24. Initial casting is up for Program 6 Program 6 Opening Night Friday, April 03, 2009, 8pm STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO Choreographer: George Balanchine Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Aria I: Sofiane Sylve, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba Aria II: Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith INTERMISSION WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Viola: Paul Ehrlich Katita Waldo, Brett Bauer Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba INTERMISSION WEST SIDE STORY SUITE Choreographer: Jerome Robbins Conductor: David Briskin Riff: Damian Smith Tony: Rory Hohenstein^ Bernardo: Ruben Martin Anita: Shannon Roberts Maria: Dores Andre Rosalia: Nicole Grand Graziela: Pauli Magierek Saturday, April 04, 2009, 2pm STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO Choreographer: George Balanchine Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Aria I: Elana Altman*, Tiit Helimets* Aria II: Katita Waldo, Ruben Martin INTERMISSION WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Viola: Paul Ehrlich Elizabeth Miner*, Pascal Molat* Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada Dana Genshaft, Mateo Klemmayer INTERMISSION WEST SIDE STORY SUITE Choreographer: Jerome Robbins Conductor: David Briskin Riff: Rory Hohenstein^ Tony: Garen Scribner Bernardo: Pierre-Francois Vilanoba Anita: Katita Waldo Maria: Ludmila Campos Rosalia: Dana Genshaft Graziela: Pauli Magierek Saturday, April 04, 2009, 8pm STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO Choreographer: George Balanchine Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Aria I: Sarah Van Patten*, Ivan Popov* Aria II: Vanessa Zahorian*, Davit Karapetyan* INTERMISSION WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Viola: Paul Ehrlich Katita Waldo, Damian Smith Tina LeBlanc, Nicolas Blanc* Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba INTERMISSION WEST SIDE STORY SUITE Choreographer: Jerome Robbins Conductor: David Briskin Riff: Damian Smith Tony: Rory Hohenstein^ Bernardo: Ruben Martin Anita: Shannon Roberts Maria: Dores Andre Rosalia: Nicole Grand Graziela: Pauli Magierek Sunday, April 05, 2009, 2pm STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO Choreographer: George Balanchine Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Aria I: Sofiane Sylve, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba Aria II: Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith INTERMISSION WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Viola: Paul Ehrlich Elizabeth Miner, Pascal Molat Tina LeBlanc, Nicolas Blanc Dana Genshaft, Mateo Klemmayer INTERMISSION WEST SIDE STORY SUITE Choreographer: Jerome Robbins Conductor: David Briskin Riff: Damian Smith Tony: Rory Hohenstein^ Bernardo: Davit Karapetyan Anita: Lorena Feijoo Maria: Dores Andre Rosalia: Danielle Santos Graziela: Julianne Kepley Tuesday, April 07, 2009, 8pm STRAVINSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO Choreographer: George Balanchine Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Aria I: Sofiane Sylve, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba Aria II: Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith INTERMISSION WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Conductor: David Briskin Violin: Roy Malan Viola: Paul Ehrlich Katita Waldo, Brett Bauer Maria Kochetkova, Joan Boada Sarah Van Patten, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba INTERMISSION WEST SIDE STORY SUITE Choreographer: Jerome Robbins Conductor: David Briskin Riff: Damian Smith Tony: Rory Hohenstein^ Bernardo: Ruben Martin Anita: Shannon Roberts Maria: Dores Andre Rosalia: Nicole Grand Graziela: Julianne Kepley
  25. Looking at the six Odette/Odile's, it will be tough to choose who to see. I remember Sarah Van Patten's Juliet some years back, so I'm interested to see what she will do. I've always liked Vanessa's dancing so this will be a nice opportunity to see her acting. And then there's Lorena, Tina, and Yuan Yuan - all three pros at everything they do, but each unique. Maybe there's some TARP money for balletgoers?
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