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Posts posted by PeggyR

  1. 30 minutes ago, pherank said:

    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/

    At the virtual Gala they danced the PdD from Don Q, so maybe that’s on their schedule too.  I remember thinking that she didn’t look entirely comfortable in that kind of bravura piece (maybe just nerves, of course), but that she had beautiful arms and upper body, and I could easily picture her as Odette.

    32 minutes ago, pherank said:

    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.

    I don’t disagree with this, but on the other hand, given what Tomasson has done to raise SFB to the ranks of nationally and internationally recognized companies, I’m willing to give him one last shot at showing off his work if he wants to.

    33 minutes ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

    It seems like no Danielle Rowe work this season?  I was really looking forward to seeing more from her.

    Me too, even though I wasn’t crazy about Wooden Dimes.  I thought she and Myles Thatcher were both going to convert their filmed ballets for the stage, but that’s probably a pretty big undertaking, so maybe next season.  

  2. Given the circumstances, it's understandable that the first season after lockdown might be curtailed and something less than thrilling.  However, what does thrill me are Symphony in C, La Sylphide, and Blake Works I.  I love Forsythe, although based on comments I've heard after performances at SFB of some of his other work, he's not always popular with some members of the audience.  

    Also happy with Don Q:  it’s a lot of fun, and gives opportunities for soloists and promising corp members to show their stuff.  

    As for yes-Virginia-another-Swan Lake, I hope dancers like Andre and Chung (among others, of course) will get their chances at O/O.  Chung showed her exquisitely lyrical side in Giselle, and she's got the technique and then some for both Os.  Andre is one of those dancers who always surprises me; I tend to think of her as more suited to contemporary ballets that let her show her strong-woman side.  But she danced a beautifully delicate Princess Florine, and I'm betting she would be a lovely Odette, although an Andre Odile would probably eat Siegfried alive.

    Anyway, just getting back to live ballet in 2022 will be thrills enough for me.

  3. Here are the specific programs; to see exact performance dates, click ‘Learn More’ for each program.  Note only seven programs again this season instead of the usual, pre-lockdown eight.

    Isn’t the order of Program 4 a little odd?  Even though the Ratmansky is an SFB premiere, which makes it something of an event, it just seems like the full length La Sylphide would be last on the program.

    (Sorry, don't know why this insists on double spacing every carriage return.)

    Program 1

    February 1 – 12

    Symphony in C; Trio; Mrs. Robinson

     Program 2

    Feb 3 - 13

    Caprice; In the Night; Blake Works I

    Don Quixote

    Feb 26 – Mar 6

     Program 4

    Mar 15 – 20

    La Sylphide; The Seasons

     Program 5

    Apr 2 – 16

    The Fifth Season; Harmony; Magrittomania

     Program 6

    April 6 - 15

    Prism; Wheeldon and Rhoden World Premieres

     Swan Lake

    April 29 – May 8

  4. On 4/23/2021 at 9:44 PM, Josette said:

    I've seen her as Odette-Odile, so I understand what you mean, PeggyR.  It is curious how she can deliver a devastatingly emotional portrayal in The Little Mermaid and RAkU but then is cold in other works.  I was disappointed in her Giselle; though it was danced beautifully from a technical standpoint, there was nothing human projected. I still want to see her Odette again because of her purity. 

    [We're talking about Yuan Yuan Tan here. :) ]  Agree, especially about her Giselle.  On the other hand, I have never seen any dancer who could convey that quality of being absolutely weightless in Act 2 so well.  I think Helimets was her partner when I saw it and he's a superb partner, which helps a lot.  Did you see her in Onegin?  I was expecting the usual chilly beauty, but she left me in shreds.  Just a stunningly emotional and beautiful performance - completely unexpected.  And that's my problem with Sasha De Sola:  she's a beautiful dancer in every way, except that she rarely surprises me:  I know exactly what I'm going to see.  Having said that, I liked her sassiness in ColorForms.

    I liked Mukhamedov too - definitely looking forward to O/O, Myrtha and Lilac Fairy - although I found her broken wrists and prominent index finger a little distracting (both were absolute no nos when I was studying ballet).

  5. 4 minutes ago, Josette said:

    Wow, this is great!  And Taras Domitro as well!


    I saw this cast, and Domitro is the real attraction here.  Tan, needless to say, is gorgeous, but I wasn't moved by either of her Os.  Despite the beauty of her dancing, i don't really think this is an ideal role for her.

    It's really a shame a new performance couldn't be filmed so we could get a look at some of the newer dancers, but, of course, I understand the reason why they weren't able to do it.

  6. 3 hours ago, pherank said:

    I've been wondering what the company has been working on at this time. But what is Blake Works intended for?

    Maybe for 2022 season (which I fervently hope will be in the theater, at least part of it).  Since they likely don’t need to rehearse multiple casts for this season, it seems like a good bet they would be working on next year’s ballets.  New seasons are usually announced in April, although with the uncertainty around pretty much everything these days, we might have to be patient.  But I really hope we’ll see the Forsythe, who’s one of my favorites.

  7. 1 hour ago, PeggyTulle said:

    Really enjoyed Colorforms as part of Program 2, so much so I've re-watched it several times. The visual richness, quick and playful editing, and camaraderie that I think many of us are missing these days... Myles Thatcher hit it out of the park with this one. I'm curious how it'll translate to the stage in the future. 

    My thoughts exactly!  Plus, it was wonderful to see something so filled with color (no black costumes, which, I suppose, are meant to be sophisticated and/or edgy, but sometimes just look boring), and enough light to see what was going on, even when dimly lit.  

    Agree that Thatcher fulfilled expectations, although I suspect the director gets some of the credit too.  It would be interesting to know how a choreographer and film director collaborate.  I'd love to have the them interviewed together and hear how it worked.

    It occurs to me that ballets made specifically to be filmed might be a new 'thing', even after in-person venues open up.  I'd happily pay to purchase a digital download of this one.  

  8. Last week I wrote to SFB and (politely) complained that only large donors were allowed to view the Gala. They responded: “As a Premium Plus Digital Package holder, you will have access to a special bonus program featuring many of the performances [emphasis added] featured on the evening of our virtual benefit.  You will have access beginning January 25th for 1 week.”  So, it looks like more than ‘a couple of items’ - at least I hope so.  

     I appreciate that we get this as part of our subscriptions, but it seems like a missed opportunity to raise more funds.  Many of us are happy to pay $100+ just to attend the Gala performance without any of the big-donor perks.  I’d certainly be willing to pay to attend digitally (yes, I’ve made a donation in lieu).  On the other hand, at least I don't have to hobble to the Opera House in heels.

     It’s also curious how something digital is ‘sold out’.  I know some platforms have limitations on how many can log in, so maybe that’s the reason, but it still seems a little odd. 

    Anyway, I’m more than happy to have regular performances ballet back in my life.

  9. Very glad to hear there will be some kind of season, even if it’s not live.  However, maybe I’ve missed something (my head is spinning right now with everything else going on in the world), but leaving out the possibility of previously filmed performances, are they saying that one performance of each program will be filmed and available digitally for the specific period of time?  That means only one cast per program, which would require fewer dancers than a live season that would normally have at least two or three casts per ballet.  If so, what a terrible impact for dancers waiting to debut new roles.  Plus, needing so many fewer dancers, can the company keep them all employed?

  10. 1 hour ago, California said:

    Boston Ballet is going to try a six-performance virtual season ... So that's PNB, Louisville, Boston -- are there others planning to try this?

    Several weeks ago, San Francisco Ballet sent out a questionnaire.  Among other things, they asked if we would be willing to pay to watch professionally produced on line programs.  I can't remember details now, but that sounds to me like they are considering it.  The problem is that, no matter how undesirable it is to watch videos rather than live performances, I'm not about to pass up a chance to see companies that I would never otherwise be able to attend in person, and I can see my Social Security check rapidly withering away to nothing if I buy subscriptions to all these companies.  [sigh]

  11. Ellen Rose Hummel:  Finally!!!  :clapping:

    All excellent promotions.  Have to agree with others that Park’s may be a little premature.  Despite an excellent Kitri, her Aurora had little or no character development, but I guess creating a fully rounded character is a little like learning to drive a stick shift:  you just have to stall the car a few times while you get the hang of it.

    It seems to me that these promotions show confidence on Tomasson’s part that next season will continue more or less normally, a confidence I don’t quite share.  Hope I’m wrong but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if large gatherings were restricted or even still prohibited until effective ways are found to deal with the virus.  Also curious to see the season announcement for 2021:  full season, or a partial one to save money.  I certainly don’t envy ADs who have to make these tough decisions.  Still, these promotions are the kind of good news we could all use now.

  12. Zellerbach (across the Bay in Berkeley) is open with Joffrey this weekend, the Trocks next week, and Alvin Ailey at the end of March.  There’s a notice on the web site that they are monitoring the situation, so things could change.  I have a ticket for Pina Bausch in late April, so hoping things will have stabilized by then.  

     Quite aside from all the other difficult aspects of this situation, this uncertainty must be awful for performers.

  13. I am just gutted.  Had tickets for 4 perfs and was so looking forward to seeing this finally on stage, but as a member of an 'at risk' group (crochety old ladies), I certainly can't complain about more aggressive measures being taken.  How this situation plays out in the end (cancelled performances/gatherins at various venues, lost revenues, unhappy customers...) will be interesting in a grim sort of way.  Agree that it's the dancers who are the most affected after putting so much time and effort into preparing.  The effects go beyond the WMOH, of course.  I cancelled both hotel and lunch reservations for today, and likely many others will do the same.  


  14. 4 hours ago, sf_herminator said:

    I was at tonight's opening (and now only) performance of A Midsummer NIght's Dream.  Why did it take so long to bring it back after 30+ years??  The entire company was wonderful.  In addition to the already posted cast (Yuan Yuan Tan as Titania, Joseph Walsh as Oberon, Esteban Hernandez as Puck, Wona Park as Lead Butterfly, Angelo Grecp/Misa Kuranaga as Act 2 Divertissement), we had Helena-Mathilde Froustey, Hermia-Dores Andre, Lysander-Benjamin Freemantle, Demetrius-Ulrik Birkjaer, Theseus-Luke Ingham, Titania's Cavalier-Tiit Helimets, and Bottom-Alexandre Cagnat.  The entire company was in wonderful form.  Yuan Yuan was a really lovely Titania, Esteban a very spirited Puck.  I have never seen Jennifer Stahl dance with so much verve.  I am just so disappointed that we will not be able to see any more performances now that there is an order to close all performance venues for the next two weeks.  I may most more but I am just gutted right now about the decision to close the venues.  I feel the most badly for the dancers who worked so hard for these performances - and not there won't be any more this season.  I posted pics of the program cover, cast sheet, and the view from my seat on FB which I have made public (just this post) so you should be able to see - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10221456940523087&set=pcb.10221456942923147&type=3&theater.  Here is a link to the War Memorial website with the closure announcement - https://sfwarmemorial.org/notices.  


    It's good you were able to see last night's performance; that's really luxury casting.

  15. Well, that certainly puts a damper on the rest of the ballet season.  Of course, I’m happy for them, although I too had hopes that when Sylve retired, she would be involved either with the ballet school or the company in some capacity.  Wishing them both all the best, and I hope they know how much they will be missed.

     BTW, if Sylve dances Diamonds later this season, I’d suggest moving heaven and earth to see her.

  16. I’ve got tickets for March 7 at 2 and 8 pm, and March 8 and 15 at 2 pm.  My budget is groaning in agony, but I might try to eke out the Tuesday performance just to see Tan, who should be a glorious Titania.

    Glad to see Lucas Erni dancing Puck.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he were in line for promotion to soloist:  his technique looks solid and he has personality to spare.  

    Also, very happy to have a chance to see Max Cauthorn with an Oberon.  He always stands out for his clean, beautiful dancing, but he isn’t often cast at my subscription performances.

  17. 19 hours ago, Josette said:

    The first featured Sasha De Sola in her premiere, dancing with Luke Ingham.  I thought she looked tense in the first act. Honestly, I was underwhelmed by her  performance and felt she was making faces without her understanding who her Cinderella is, and this was not helped by the fact that Sarah Van Patten was on stage, more brilliant a presence and actress than ever.  During the intermission and upon leaving the opera house, I heard numerous people rhapsodizing about Van Patten's performance.

    I went to one of the rehearsals that patrons can attend, and had a nice, long discussion with someone about De Sola.  Unfortunately, we were in complete agreement that she isn't much of an actor.  She seems to be a work horse and dances a lot, which I appreciate; but she just isn't someone I look forward to seeing, and I certainly wouldn't buy an extra ticket just to see her.  Knowing the amount of time and sweat dancers put into becoming dancers, not to mention the brevity of their careers, I always feels guilty about not wanting to see someone perform.

    I assume you saw Van Patten as the Stepmother, and couldn't agree more about how funny she is.  Playing 'tipsy' needs impeccable timing and she's got it.  I also saw Maggie Weirich in the same role, and while she danced the comedy well enough, she just wasn't particularly funny.  And BTW, if you thought Van Patten's Stepmother was hilarious, don't miss her Juliet:  an absolutely stunning dramatic performance that left me shredded.

  18. 5 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

    If that means better sight lines, then it's a very big deal!

    Here's the press release about the new seating.  The problem is, that absolutely nothing will make that place suitable for watching dance.  I guess at least we can be comfortable while we aren't seeing the ballet!😊

  19. 2 hours ago, Josette said:

    ...  but find it interesting that she is not dancing the Wheeldon Cinderella as she would be lovely in it. 

    It might be  a little premature to say she’s not dancing Cinderella, since there are three more performances on Feb 1 and 2 where she might show up.  I certainly hope so; it’s a perfect role for her.

  20. 8 hours ago, seattle_dancer said:

    I do think it will be interesting to see Sofiane in the title role, she is a much taller dancer and of different physique than the two SB dancers I saw dance Odette.  They were more petite.  But I know Dawson has a long history with Sofiane, there is You Tube footage of her in The Grey Area pdd when she was with NYCB, so I'm sure it's going to be something special.

    Watching that video, I have to say the choreography looks well suited to Sylve's long limbs and beautiful lines.

    Re the rest of the Gala, I'm curious about the absence of Ulrik Birkkjaer, especially with the Bournonville excerpt.  Having him in the company seems like a good time to bring in some Bournonville.  He and Kochectkova danced (beautifully) a PdD from La Sylphide at the 2018 Gala, and it occurred to me then that his presence was a great opportunity to give all the dancers, but particularly the newer promotees (is that a word?) some experience with the style.

    Enjoy the performance, and I look forward to comparing notes.

  21. 4 hours ago, pherank said:

    RE: Sofiiane - in interviews/talks she keeps indicating that she's not particularly interested in dancing those "young maiden" roles in the traditional ballets. But obviously, she makes the effort when required to do so.

    I believe the Dawson SL is not based on the standard version, but is his own interpretation and choreography:   no Rothbart, no tutus, and a strong, more contemporary Odette.  This Odette might appeal to Sylve more than the usual version, although I saw her performance at SFB a few years ago and it was, predictably, gorgeous.  Plus, of course, we’ll just be seeing one PdD, not the whole ballet.

     Here’s a link to a ‘making of’ video from Scottish Ballet.  Dawson’s commentary and the viewer comments give some interesting information about his take on the ballet.


  22. On 1/7/2020 at 5:02 PM, pherank said:

    Sylve dancing Swan Lake roles is unusual these days. a farewell to the classics?.

    Note that this is not the usual SL, but David Dawson’s version.  I’m very curious to see this; I believe it has gotten mixed reviews, and there appear to be several clips on YouTube.




    Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Men's Regiment from STARS & STRIPES
    Composer: John Philip Sousa, arranged by Hershy Kay
    Choreographer: George Balanchine
    Conductor: Martin West

    Lucas Erni

    Composer: TBA
    Choreographer: Myles Thatcher

    Sasha De Sola, Benjamin Freemantle

     "JOCKEY DANCE" from From Siberia To Moscow
    Composer: Carl Christian Møller
    Choreographer: August Bournonville
    Conductor: Martin West

    Esteban Hernandez, Max Cauthorn

    Composer: Ludovico Einaudi
    Choreographer: Val Caniparoli
    Conductor: Martin West

    Jennifer Stahl, Elizabeth Powell, Tiit Helimets

     Balcony Pas de Deux from ROMEO & JULIET
    Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
    Choreographer: Helgi Tomasson
    Conductor: Martin West

    Mathilde Froustey, Carlo Di Lanno

     Pas de Deux from LE CORSAIRE
    Composer: Riccardo Drigo
    Choreography: after Marius Petipa
    Conductor: Martin West

    Misa Kuranaga, Angelo Greco


     Pas de Deux from HURRY UP, WE'RE DREAMING
    Composers: Anthony Gonzalez, Yann Gonzalez, and Justin Meldal-Johnsen
    Choreographer: Justin Peck

    Sarah Van Patten, Henry Sidford

    Composer: TBA
    Choreographer: Danielle Rowe

    Dores André, Joseph Walsh

     SF Ballet Premiere
    Pas de Deux from SWAN LAKE

    Composer: Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky
    Choreographer: David Dawson
    Conductor: Martin West
    Violin: Cordula Merks
    Cello: Eric Sung

    Sofiane Sylve, Carlo Di Lanno

    Composer: D. F. E. Auber
    Choreography: Victor Gsovsky
    Conductor: Martin West

    Wona Park, Wei Wang

     Pas de Deux from BELLS
    Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff
    Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
    Conductor: Martin West
    Piano: Mungunchimeg Buriad

    Yuan Yuan Tan, Vitor Luiz

     Finale from DIAMONDS
    Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Choreographer: George Balanchine
    Conductor: Martin West

    Sasha Mukhamedov, Tiit Helimets


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