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Everything posted by PeggyR

  1. I saw Kuranaga at last year’s Gala and completely agree: she is a gem, and she seems to fit right into the SFB company style. (As much as I admired the beauty of Ana Sophia Scheller’s dancing, I never saw the energy and vivacity that characterizes SFB.) According to some of Kuranaga’s Instagram posts, she’s rehearsing Cinderella; I definitely plan on seeing that.
  2. I don’t think the ‘uninspired’ had anything to do with the anyone not dancing his/her heart out. I’m not a musician, but to my ear some of the tempos seemed on the slow side, which kind of stifles a cheerful ballet like Nutcracker. Enjoy the ballet and I hope you report on the performances.
  3. Saturday 12/21 2:00 pm Nice if overall uninspired performance with a few notable moments to brighten things up a bit. I chose this performance mainly to see Jahna Frantziskonis (hereafter JF) and Wona Park, neither of whom disappointed. JF danced the Snow Queen, and what I find amusing about her is that she ‘dances big’, so big that you don’t realize how petite she is until you see her standing on flat foot among other dancers. It’s really a little startling. This is the first time I’ve seen her in a classical role and she danced with great delicacy, including half a dozen fouettes that ended with a perfect quad and a perfectly nailed finish. I don’t usually give more than halfhearted applause to fouettés, because too often they’re just applause machines regardless of the quality. But this time, happy to clap with enthusiasm. Snow King (Wei Wang) doesn’t have a lot to do, but Wang did let loose with some gorgeous double tours en l’air, all fully turned and landed in a perfect fifth. You get so accustomed to these being cheated and scrunched around to finish that it really makes you sit up and notice when they’re this flawless. Park and Greco danced the Grand Pas de Deux beautifully, including the shoulder jumps that went without a hitch. Greco’s jumps are airy and spacious, and his landings nearly soundless, which is nice change from some of the thuds I’ve heard from other male dancers in recent seasons. And getting back to fouettés: Park did a dozen on-a-dime single-single-doubles with a clean finish. Again, happy to add my applause. Oh, and still the old Flower costumes. I wonder what happened.
  4. According to SFBallet on Instagram, the program for the 2020 Opening Night Gala has been announced. Here’s an announcement, but not the program since I have never in my entire life been able to find the mysterious ‘link in our bio’ (I clicked on everything clickable and nothing took me to the program, or to anything that looked like a link to the program; Googled re ‘where the heck is the bio’ – apparently I’m not the only one with this problem – followed directions, but still can’t find it.). Anyway, here’s information from the Instagram post. Looking forward to the premieres, especially Thatcher’s. And very sorry to be reminded Luiz is leaving. “Just announced: programming for SPELLBOUND: SF Ballet’s Opening Night Gala! This one-night-only performance, on 1/16/20, will include three world premieres by current and former members of SF Ballet: Val Caniparoli, Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov, and Myles Thatcher. “For the first time in 30 years, I decided to ask three choreographers to create new pas de deux or pas de trois for opening night,” says Tomasson, who celebrates his record-breaking 35th season with the Company in 2020. “What connects these choreographers is that they are all close members of the San Francisco Ballet family, and they each represent a different generation of dancemaking.” The world premieres by Caniparoli, Possokhov, and Thatcher are highlights of a twelve-piece program that also includes the SF Ballet premiere of a pas de deux from David Dawson’s Swan Lake, created in 2016 for Scottish Ballet, and the Balcony Pas de Deux from Romeo & Juliet. Yuan Yuan Tan, who celebrates her 25th season with SF Ballet in 2020, will also dance the pas de deux from Yuri Possokhov’s Bells with Vitor Luiz, marking Luiz’s farewell performance with the Company. Link in bio for full programming.”
  5. Attending 12/21 2 pm performance: Snow: Frantziskonis/Wang SPF: Andre GPdD: Park/Greco Wish I could afford more, but may try standing room for a couple. Does anyone know if the new Flower costumes have made an appearance this season? All the photos I’ve seen have the old ones, but are likely photos from previous years.
  6. Hi Buddy: yes, The performance does begin at 1 pm. By 11/2 I meant November 2, just too lazy to write it out Sorry for the confusion.
  7. Thanks so much for posting the review. I have a ticket for Saturday 11/2 matinee, which is also Kondaurova. Saw her in Swan Lake last time they were here and I'm really looking forward to this. Not sure I'm going to make it, though; I spent four nights sleeping on a friends extremely uncomfortable sofa after being evacuated from Santa Rosa due to the fires. My part of town was in no real danger, but the winds were so strong and unpredictable, the powers that be very sensibly decided it was better not to take chances with blowing embers, and they issued a mandatory evacuation. My back hurts so much, not sure I can sit through a three hour ballet, which is frustrating, because what I really need right now is some ballet!😊
  8. It looks like SFB has a new website. I wasn’t crazy about the previous one, but this one seems to have some problems. I'm curious to know it anyone else is experiencing similar issues before I report it to SFB. I'm using Safari High Sierra on Mac, so maybe that's the problem, but it's hard to believe such a widely used platform wasn't thoroughly tested. -Choosing your own seats takes quite a while to load. Actually, everything seems to be very slow to load, slow to the point I finally just gave up trying to browse the new site. -Once the seat selection screen does finally load, I can’t find the camera view showing how the stage looks from different seating areas. Not critical, but it was nice to have. -During payment, the billing address that popped up is 30 years old (the more important mailing address was OK, but still…) Strongly suggest carefully checking any auto-filled information. -After completing the purchase, got a message asking if I wanted to add the dates to my calendar. “Sure” said I, little suspecting. Now there’s a popup labeled ‘Progress’ which has not made any progress in the last hour; no ‘Cancel’ button; my calendar displayed when I gave the go-ahead and is now frozen and can’t be closed. I tried shutting down the computer, but can’t because … the calendar is open. Can’t close the calendar so … can’t shut down the computer. Will need to unplug, which is hardly the most graceful way to exit. Arrrggghhh!
  9. Sorry if this is a repeat, but I don’t see that this has been posted. The TBD for Program 6 is now listed as Possokhov’s Classical Symphony. Hoping to seeing some of the newer solists in the Kochetkova role, https://www.sfballet.org/season/2020-repertory/2020-Program-6
  10. Just purchased tickets for all three. I went to last year’s series about the history of ballet in the US. Given the time limitations, the lectures were well organized and informative, and more important, a lot of fun. Definitely recommend attending if you can.
  11. Very sorry he’s no longer on the roster. He was promoted to principal in 2008, around the time I started attending SFB regularly, and I vividly remember his beautiful performance in Tomasson’s ‘7 for 8’. He seemed disappear for a while, and it’s only in the last few years that I’ve seen him with some regularity, always for me kind of a special occasion. All the best to him in the future.
  12. I've got tickets to both Saturday performances. Last time around, the same cast danced the matinee and evening, so I'm glad to see different casts this time. Interesting that Tan is in Chamber Symphony; is that a debut for her? I don't remember her being in it previously. Also, very glad to see Walsh in Chamber; he has the drama to do it justice.
  13. The Little Mermaid 4/27 matinee Froustey/Di Lanno/Remez/Keesler/Freemantle Fully agree with Josette about Froustey’s exquisite Mermaid. I’ve seen four Mermaids (Tan and Van Patten during the last run; this time Zhao and Froustey), and while all gave beautiful, very individual performances, Froustey is the only one who had me in tears. Also notable was Nathaniel Remez’s excellent Poet. As noted upthread he’s very young, and I really expected something more along the lines of ‘promising, but a work in progress’. Instead, his Poet was detailed, mature, fully thought out, and nearly as heart breaking as Froustey’s Mermaid. The Poet doesn’t really have much actual dancing, so it’s hard to judge his classical technique, but if it lives up to his acting abilities, he’s going to be very exciting to watch over the next few seasons.
  14. PeggyR

    Sarah Van Patten

    Looks like SVP is a budding choreographer. The article is about former SFB principal dancer Victoria Morgan and discusses her plans to showcase emerging female choreographers at Cincinnati Ballet, where Morgan has been Artistic Director for 22 years.
  15. Saw the Zhao/Helimets/Ingham/Andre/Freemantle performance on Saturday afternoon 4/20. I’ve been a Zhao fan for a while now, and she didn’t disappoint in the title role. No one can come close to matching Tan’s extraordinary fluidity but Zhao did well: beautiful arms in Part I, touching and fragile in Part II. Dores Andre brought considerably more personality to Henriette/The Princess than either character deserved. I thought The Poet’s slower, stylized movement suited Helimets better than the bouncy goofiness of Edvard/The Prince. On the other hand, Luke Ingham handled the dual role with easy charm, although I still can’t figure out why anyone would be obsessing about golf in the middle of the ocean (or anyplace, for that matter). But the show was pretty much stolen by Benjamin Freemantle’s creepy Sea Witch; think Petyr Baelish on steroids (for GOT fans only🙂). Aside from his technical strength, Freemantle is proving himself to be a powerful and charismatic actor. He’s only been a soloist since last year, but I hope he’s on the short list for principal. On to the Froustey/Di Lanno cast for the Saturday matinee. I’m curious about Nathanial Remez as The Poet; he was an apprentice in 2016, joined the corps in 2017, so he’s very young for a major role like this. Extremely happy to see Freemantle will be dancing the Sea Witch again.
  16. Promoted to the corps de ballet. Congratulations on a well deserved promotion.
  17. First intermission of Naghdi’s SB. One word to describe: WOW. Take out second mortgage if you need to, but go to her Friday performance.
  18. According to my records, Yuki was scheduled on 3/16 matinee with Lucas Erni; Jennifer Stahl is taking her place. I’m sure Stahl will be excellent, but I was looking forward to seeing Yuki’s debut.
  19. In the Blue Bird, Jimison was excellent; I suspect we’ll be seeing her in the corps next season, and in more solo roles over the next few seasons. A very confident, charming, technically secure performance. I did think her smile looked pasted on, but that’s understandable in a relatively inexperienced dancer making a major debut. Aside from that, there was no visible tension, although I didn’t think she and Hernandez had much stage chemistry. He danced beautifully, but he doesn’t project much to the audience: looks great, not a lot of presence. As for other ‘new talent’: in the third act, the Jewels’ Cavaliers were Cavan Conley and Lucas Erni, neither familiar to me, and both scheduled to dance Blue Bird later this week (I’m seeing Conley on 3/13, and Erni on 3/16 matinee). Very impressive dancing from both. As to the rest of the performance (Sunday, 3/10): Froustey was a delight, although a few of her supported turns with the suitors needed to be hauled back to the vertical, which I suspect was the fault of partnering, since she’s usually very centered. The Rose Adagio went well, the balances somewhat less ‘milked’ than I’ve seen from her before, and the last one was pretty spectacular. But her insistence on visibly holding on to the balance makes her look tense instead of relaxed and confident. Vitor Luiz gave his usual excellent performance: very clean, neat technique, and big, airy jumps. Turns aren’t his strongest point, but the finishes are clean, which counts for a lot with me. Among the various Jewels and Fairies, Ellen Rose Hummel stood out as Courage (I think that’s the one where she points her fingers). I really hope she makes it to soloist soon. Speaking of soloists, Julia Rowe was the Meet the Artist interviewee. She revealed that she will be debuting as one of the women in Shostakovich’s life during the Shostakovich Trilogy (second movement) later in the season.
  20. Ingham has danced with Froustey on at least two occasions that I saw: Giselle and Swan Lake. As I’ve said before, I don’t think he’s best suited to white tights roles, but he’s a good actor, plus he and Froustey have excellent stage chemistry and he’s a secure partner, so I’d guess she already feels comfortable with him.
  21. Performance of March 10, 2 pm, Bluebird Pas de deux: Esteban Hernandez replaces Nicolai Gorodiskii. It’s always a pleasure to see Hernandez, but I enjoy getting a look at talented corps members, so a bit of a disappointment. Sunday, March 10, 2019 – 2:00 pm Aurora: Mathilde Froustey Prince Desiré: Vitor Luiz Lilac Fairy: WanTing Zhao Bluebird: Esteban Hernandez Enchanted Princess: Jasmine Jimison*
  22. Cute video of Froustey rehearsing a variation. (Putting this here because I think it’s from Sleeping Beauty.)
  23. Good point. However, during the Don Quixote run, Walsh debuted Basilio with the also debuting Wona Park, so he didn’t need an experienced ballerina for that, and Basilio has a lot more dancing/acting than the rather bleh Desiré (who seems to me to be more of a device than a character – but that’s a different discussion). Also, now that we know Wei Wang is guesting at the RB in Frankenstein, perhaps this was an exchange situation: one of ours there, one of theirs here, which I think is good for the dancers and good for the audience now and then. Based on the favorable comments re Naghdi on this board, I’m very much looking forward to seeing her. I saw her last year and she was good, though I think she needed more majestic sweep, but it was a good start. Also looking forward to another Carabosse from WanTing Zhao: very vivid characterization.
  24. To be honest, I'm kind of torn between both reactions: on the one hand, excited to see Naghdi (just bought a ticket), but -- disappointed an in-house dancer isn't getting a chance. SB was performed last season, so I'm a little surprised at least one other soloist didn't prepare the role at that time (of course, maybe someone did and it just didn't work out for some reason). Agree with PeggyTulle’s comment upthread that Rowe and (especially) Devivo would likely be lovely Auroras. Plus, I'm surprised Dores Andre hasn't danced the role either last season or (so far) this season. Having said all that, the 3/13 cast looks especially interesting: I was worried Walsh wouldn’t get a Desiré, so happy for that. Very much looking forward to Ishihara and Rowe. Cavan Conley is a totally unknown quantity from the corps, so that’s going to be interesting.
  25. I’m going Sunday and Saturday 3/16; very happy to see Froustey, a truly delightful Aurora, and Luiz, who’s always good. Don’t know anything about Gorodiskii (link to his bio; looks like he’s danced all over the place), but I saw apprentice Jimison as Amor during the Don Q run and she was very good, so this should be an interesting pas de deux.
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