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PeggyR

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Everything posted by PeggyR

  1. Sometimes it’s good to see a performance that doesn’t knock your socks off, but just gives you a nice, comfortable feeling of satisfaction. Saturday 2/16 matinee The Fifth Season (Tomasson) Tan/Powell/Olivier, Robison/Di Lanno/Simoens The Fifth Season is probably the only Tomasson ballet that I actually look forward to seeing: good music, attractive costumes, and some interesting choreography. As sf_herminator noted above, Froustey/Deivison-Oliveira were replaced by corps dancers Kimberly Marie Olivier and John-Paul Simoens, both of whom held their own very well. Olivier seemed a little nervous at first, but settled down and was particularly effective in the flirty Tango. Lately, I’ve been viewing Simoens as a future soloist, and this performance reinforced that opinion. Elizabeth Powell continues to impress with her long, beautiful lines and solid technique. I’d like to see her in something dramatic; if she can act, I’d say she’s definitely on principal track in the next few years. Snowblind (Marston) Birkkjaer/Stahl/Froustey Just as compelling as it was last year, with vivid performances from all. Jennifer Stahl had the unenviable task of taking over a dramatic role from Sarah Van Patten. Stahl was excellent, although nobody can match Van Patten’s pale blue, slightly manic gaze. Etudes (Lander) De Sola/Greco/Walsh/DiLanno I’ve always had fond memories of seeing this back in the 60’s with, if memory serves, Toni Lander dancing the lead. However, in all honesty, this time it wore out its welcome a little sooner than I expected, although overall, the company danced it well. I know it’s meant to mimic the progression of a ballet class, but really, how many battement tendus does anybody really need to see. So, enjoyable with slight reservations. The four soloists were excellent: Walsh completely back on form, De Sola appropriately glittering, Greco grinning hugely, Di Lanno scowling like he wanted to strangle somebody. Too bad about the music.🤯
  2. Well, I wouldn't go that far ... 🙄
  3. Terez, I’m totally in sympathy with you re the Dawson being displaced; it was my favorite too. In fact, I bought a ticket to see a second performance of Program 2 just to see the Dawson and Divertimento 15 again. I’ve liked the other Peck ballets SFB has performed, and absolutely loved Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes, so I don’t automatically assume I won’t like his ballets. Having said that, my 2 cents re Hurry Up… - Music: Really don’t like the music. I’ve never liked ‘pop’ anyway, and this score is a pop sub-genre I think of as ‘soppy pop’. Give me the Rolling Stones any time. - Lighting: Very dark. Very, very dark. Very, very, very dark. Bright lights at the rear of the stage directed straight into the audience render the dancers more or less entirely in silhouette. It’s kind of like driving on a busy four-lane street in December at evening rush hour in the pouring rain. I should point out that I’m old and my eyesight isn’t happy with this kind of lighting, so maybe someone younger would have an easier time of it. I’ve seen the ballet from both the Balcony Circle and the Dress Circle, and the angle doesn’t seem to have any effect on visibility. - Costumes: Due to the darkness, for all I know the dancers could be starkers. At the curtain call (when the lighting was more reasonable), it was a surprise to see the costumes were kind of glittery. - Choreography: Note that I have no objection to sneaker ballets in principle. What I could see looked pretty standard for this type of dance – a lot of running around and vaguely acrobatic moves – but the darkness makes it difficult to see the stage as a whole, so it’s hard to get a feel for how everything fits together, and frankly, it just didn’t seem worth the effort to figure out what was going on. Looking forward to hearing what you think.
  4. Well, yes. I was just making a joke. Sorry! 😀
  5. Although I didn't see her performance, word was that she was excellent as the Chosen One in Rite of Spring a few seasons ago, so the omen is promising that she'll do well with this. It's just that, after seeing Van Patten in just about any dramatic role (or comedy, for that matter: SVP is very funny), it can be hard to imagine anyone else. Plus, Stahl has to hold her own with Birkkjaer and Froustey, both excellent actors.
  6. Programs 2 and 3 run concurrently. I'm interested to see Jennifer Stahl as Zeena Frome, since I haven't really seen much of her since her promotion, and nothing that was an acting role. The part was originated by Sarah Van Patten, who's a superb dramatic actress. The Etudes cast looks exciting with four virtuoso dancers. Program 3: In Space & Time Thursday, February 14, 2019 – 7:30 pm The Fifth Season Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: Karl Jenkins Conductor: Martin West Dores Andre Vitor Luiz Sofiane Sylve Luke Ingham Yuan Yuan Tan Tiit Helimets Snowblind Choreography: Cathy Marston Music: Amy Beach, Arthur Foote, Arvo Pärt, Philip Sweeney Conductor: Martin West Piano: Mungunchimeg Buriad Ethan Frome: Ulrik Birkkjaer Zeena Frome: Jennifer Stahl Mattie Silver: Mathilde Froustey Etudes Choreography: Harald Lander Music: Knudåge Riisager after Carl Czerny Conductor: Martin West Sasha De Sola Tour: Angelo Greco Mazurka: Joseph Walsh Pas de Deux Man: Carlo Di Lanno
  7. Programs 2 and 3 run concurrently. Program 2: Kaleidoscope Tuesday, February 12, 2019 – 7:30 pm Divertimento No. 15 Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Conductor: Martin West Angelo Greco Ben Freemantle Lonnie Weeks Sasha De Sola Mathilde Froustey Isabella Devivo Julia Rowe Koto Ishihara Appassionata (SF Ballet premiere) Choreography: Benjamin Millepied Music: Ludwig van Beethoven Dores Andre Ulrik Birkkjaer Sasha De Sola Benjamin Freemantle Elizabeth Powell Jaime Garcia Castilla Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Choreography: Justin Peck Music: M83 Dores Andre Joseph Walsh Elizabeth Powell Luke Ingham Gabriela Gonzales Ulrik Birkkjaer Wednesday, February 13, 2019 – 7:30 pm Divertimento No. 15 Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Conductor: Martin West Angelo Greco Ben Freemantle Lonnie Weeks Wona Park Mathilde Froustey Isabella Devivo Julia Rowe Koto Ishihara Appassionata (SF Ballet premiere) Choreography: Benjamin Millepied Music: Ludwig van Beethoven Jennifer Stahl Ian Robison Not sure who Ian Robison might be (presumably not the proof reader). Mathilde Froustey Henry Sidford Madison Keesler Steven Morse Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Choreography: Justin Peck Music: M83 Dores Andre Joseph Walsh Elizabeth Powell Luke Ingham Gabriela Gonzales Ulrik Birkkjaer
  8. Closeup of the beautiful Don Q/Dryad tutus.
  9. Sat 1/26 2 pm Kitri: Wona Park Basilio: Joseph Walsh Driad Queen: Jennifer Stahl I really hate to call anything ‘flawless’, because nothing is, but this performance came close enough. The company as a whole looked relaxed and well-rehearsed. Wona Park’s excellent Kitri had it all: stellar technique; musicality; long, relaxed balances; dead-center turns (Walsh didn’t really need to do anything but spin her a few extra spins-she stayed vertical on her own); glorious, floating ballon; and good character development. I just can’t say enough about how good she was (which is consistent with her Waltz Girl in Serenade last season, and the Nutcracker Grand Pas de deux in December). It’s almost too bad that there is at least one, maybe two, promotion-worthy female soloists right now, so Park may need to wait a bit. I hope the company keeps her happy and she sticks around; she’s pretty special. Joseph Walsh, and wasn’t it great seeing him back on stage in his debut as Basilio. Although I thought his turns weren’t up to his usual standard, there was nothing ‘off’ about the rest of his dancing. In particular, there are two one-hand overhead lifts: the first one held fully for the length of the music; who thought the second one could be better, but Walsh got Park overhead, then walked across the stage; both lifts ended with a clean drop and end pose. Just spectacular. Walsh was interviewed Sunday for Meet the Artist. He said he was feeling ‘pretty trashed’ after his debut. He and Park only found out three weeks ago they would be doing this performance, so they had to work hard to get used to each other so quickly. When someone asked how he approached the character of Basilio, he pointed out that Basilio isn’t the nicest guy on the stage, what with giving all the girls the glad eye, and he tried to make him ‘a little less of a prick’, which got a good laugh. Stahl’s Driad Queen variation was everything you could ask for: easy, relaxed Italian fouetees, beautiful lines, and those opening side jumps/développés were perfection. Cupid was performed by an apprentice, Jasmine Jimison (is that a great stage name or what?). I love this role and how it can showcase a young dancer. Jimison needs a little more crispness in her batterie, but otherwise, she was technically excellent, and managed to be adorable, but avoid the cuteness that can sometimes overtake the role. And I have to mention corps member Gabriela Gonzalez as the Gitana Woman in the Gypsy encampment scene. This is one of those clichéd character dances (a lot of scarves and skirts) that almost always ends up looking like a pulled up, turned out ballet dancer unsuccessfully playing at being an earthy character dancer. Gonzalez, however, simply got it: uninhibited, sexy, totally abandoned. She was so good, it was a little startling. Sunday 1/27 2 pm Kitri: Dores André Basilio: Wei Wang This performance didn’t come close to reaching the heights of Saturday’s, but nevertheless, an enjoyable afternoon. Wang and the always watchable André worked well togetherand he showed a nice flair for comedy, plus he let loose with some truly gorgeous turns. The single-hand overhead lifts didn’t go well, but otherwise his partnering looked good. I wonder if he’ll get a crack at Sleeping Beauty.
  10. Interesting; I believe that spot originally belonged to Scheller. Her replacement means Park and De Sola each get three performances (if my counting is correct) and Scheller none. I had planned to go again this Saturday to revisit the Park/Walsh pairing, but now I think I'll go Sunday instead to see De Sola. While I couldn't imaging Scheller as Kitri, I think she would be a beautiful Queen of the Driads. Anyway, looking forward to De Sola/Luiz.
  11. My apologies; I didn't mean to start rumors but was just trying to clarify comments re Chung upthread and on other threads that I didn't fully understand. Offending comment has been deleted.
  12. Having computer problems, so just saw this info re Anima Animus being withdrawn. I had purchased an extra ticket just to see that and Divertimento; I'm seriously upset about the change, particularly since the replacement is Hurry Up ..., which I loathed. Fortunately, it's at the end, so I'll just leave early, but still. Also (still trying to catch up): Van Patten is pregnant again? DELETED
  13. ‘Low key’ is putting it mildly; Like Hernando’s Hideaway, I could have used another showcase pas de deux to add a little zip to the proceedings (btw, Le Corsaire was performed at the 2018 Gala, with De Sola and Greco). Most of the oomph was provided by terrific Kuranaga/Greco performances in Tomasson’s ‘Soirees Musicales’. She’s wonderfully musical with glorious balances – relaxed, never forced or overheld for effect. As expected, Greco dazzled. Also liked ‘UnSaid’, even if it was a bit bleak for a gala. I’d like to see what Rowe would do with an actual narrative story to tell, like Cathy Marston did with Ethan Frome. I hope we see more from her. ‘Rubies’ fell a little flat for me. Scheller was nicely flirtatious and, of course, danced beautifully, but she didn’t quite seem to capture that hip-swinging, jazzy flavor that I was expecting.
  14. On my way, assuming I can walk two blocks in heels!
  15. The Gala has been shuffled around, plus the cast (previously TBA) for the Agon pas de trois is announced. As far as I can see, the only dancer substitution is Luke Ingham for Ulrik Birkkjae in Etudes, which is really too bad: this type of role isn't really Ingham's strong point, and Birkkjae would probably be stunning. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 AT 8PM Excerpt from Études Choreography: Harald Lander Music: Knudåge Lander after Carl Czerny Conductor: Martin West Sasha De Sola Aaron Robison Luke Ingham Pas de Deux from Handel—A Celebration Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: George Frideric Handel Conductor: Martin West Mathilde Froustey Tiit Helimets Pas de Trois from Agon Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Igor Stravinsky Conductor: Martin West WanTing Zhao Ben Freemantle Jennifer Stahl Soirées Musicales Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: Benjamin Britten Conductor: Martin West Misa Kuranaga Angelo Greco Pas de Deux from "Rubies" Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Igor Stravinsky Conductor: Martin West Ana Sophia Scheller Vitor Luiz UnSaid Choreography: Danielle Rowe Music: Ezio Bosso Natasha Feygina (piano) / Eric Sung (cello) Sofiane Sylve Aaron Robison Excerpt from Diving into the Lilacs Choreography: Yuri Possokhov Music: Boris Tchaikovsky Conductor: Martin West Yuan Yuan Tan Carlo Di Lanno Excerpt from Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Choreography: Justin Peck Music: M83 Elizabeth Powell Luke Ingham Gabriela Gonzalez Ulrik Birkkjaer Dores Andre Joseph Walsh
  16. Another casting update. Just bought a ticket for this one. Sunday, January 27, 2019 – 2 pm Conductor: Martin West Kitri: Dores Andre Basilio: Wei Wang Don Quixote: Alexander Reneff-Olson Sancho Panza: Diego Cruz Gamache: Myles Thatcher
  17. Here’s the casting so far. My season tickets are Saturday matinee, so I’m very happy to see the Park/Walsh cast. Plus, Sohm is an excellent Don, and Thatcher, a hilariously over-the-top Gamache. DON QUIXOTE Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov Music: Ludwig Minkus Friday, January 25, 2019 – 8 pm Conductor: Martin West Kitri: Mathilde Froustey Basilio: Angelo Greco Don Quixote: Jim Sohm Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 2 pm Conductor: Martin West Kitri: Wona Park Basilio: Joseph Walsh Don Quixote: Jim Sohm Sancho Panza: Davide Occhipinti Gamache: Myles Thatcher Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 8 pm Conductor: Martin West Kitri: Sasha De Sola Basilio: Aaron Robison Don Quixote: Jim Sohm Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat
  18. Still no casts posted for the Don Q run on the SFB website; I do wish they’d hurry up. Good news that Froustey gets opening night; she’s earned it and apparently, it’s her favorite role. I’m going to do my best to see all the casts my (rapidly shrinking) wallet can manage, especially the ones with Wang or Park. She’s technically strong, with great presence; if she can act at all, she should be terrific. And I’m really curious to see Wei Wang. Technically he’ll have no problems, but I’ve never thought he projected very well: maybe this role will show hidden talents. Hoping the same for Scheller, who I think would be a good Mercedes, but Kitri? Maybe they will both be happy surprises. Matching a debut with an experienced partner seems to be the usual practice in the past, so I’d guess it’s likely here, too. Which brings up Wang and who will be his partner if four out of five Kitris are debuts. Plus, there appear to be four Basilios to five Kitris, so one of the men will have to double up. I saw the Wang/Park Waltz Couple in Serenade and they’re a good match, but since these are both debuts, maybe that pairing won’t happen.
  19. Mathilde Froustey discusses Kitri's variation and some of its difficulties.
  20. The Pas de Trois from Agon is still to be cast, so maybe some of the above will show up there. Why is Strongin 'probably injured'?
  21. According the Kuranaga's bio on the BB site, she was an apprentice at San Francisco Ballet in 2001, then joined BB in 2003.
  22. It does seem a little odd, bringing an outside dancer (Boston Ballet) in for a performance that's supposed to show off the company dancers. Maybe it's an 'audition'?
  23. OPENING NIGHT GALA: THIS IS PASSION WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 AT 8PM Pas de Deux from "Rubies" Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Igor Stravinsky Conductor: Martin West Ana Sophia Scheller Vitor Luiz UnSaid Choreography: Danielle Rowe Music: Ezio Bosso Natasha Feygina (piano) / Eric Sung (cello) Sofiane Sylve Aaron Robison Pas de Deux from Handel—A Celebration Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: George Frideric Handel Conductor: Martin West Mathilde Froustey Tiit Helimets Excerpt from Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Choreography: Justin Peck Music: M83 Elizabeth Powell Luke Ingham Gabriela Gonzalez Ulrik Birkkjaer Dores Andre Joseph Walsh Soirées Musicales Choreography: Helgi Tomasson Music: Benjamin Britten Conductor: Martin West Misa Kuranaga Angelo Greco Pas de Trois from Agon Choreography: George Balanchine Music: Igor Stravinsky Conductor: Martin West Soloists to be announced. Excerpt from Diving into the Lilacs Choreography: Yuri Possokhov Music: Boris Tchaikovksy Conductor: Martin West Yuan Yuan Tan Carlo Di Lanno Excerpt from Études Choreography: Harald Lander Music: Knudåge Lander after Carl Czerny Conductor: Martin West Sasha De Sola Aaron Robison Ulrik Birkkjae I hope the result on the stage is a little more exciting than it appears on the page: I can’t picture the lovely, but rather aloof Ana Sophia Scheller in the Rubies PdD; two unfamiliar (to me) Tomasson ballets which I expect will be as prettily bland as his other works; and Justin Peck’s sneaker ballet ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”, which I didn’t like. At least we get something from Agon, plus the lovely pas de deux (which is the usual excerpt from this ballet) from Diving Into the Lilacs. I’m unfamiliar with Danielle Rowe, choreographer of UnSaid: according to Wikipedia (so no guarantees for accuracy), she’s from Australia and has danced with Houston Ballet, The Australian Ballet, and Nederlands Dans Theater, and “has been in a long term relationship with fellow South Australian [SFB principal dancer] Luke Ingham”.
  24. Last year SFB had a series of lectures/interviews about the history of ballet in the USA and San Francisco. The lectures were good, but the best parts were the interviews/conversations with current and former dancers – very articulate and funny, so this should be entertaining. Ballet Talk - Don Quixote Dancer's Cut What does it take to be a character dancer? And what goes through their mind on stage? Come find out. Hear insights and commentary on a video capture of Don Quixote from regular SF Ballet character dancers, Ballet Master Anita Paciotti and SF Ballet School faculty Pascal Molat. January 26, 2019 Time: 5–6:30pm Location: Dollar Board Room, Chris Hellman Center for Dance Price: $35/$30 (subscribers and donors above $75) Note that if the Company runs true to form, performance casts probably won’t be posted until sometime next week.
  25. They seem to be well matched physically - she's petite so should be easy to lift. Plus, he doing the GPdD with Andre next day, so at least he's getting plenty of practice with experienced partners. If there are any standing room tickets available, I'm definitely going to the Frantziskonis/Cauthorn performance.
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