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Everything posted by linsusanr

  1. I was looking for this book too -- guess where I found it? I got it at my local library! I didn't expect to find it there, but I checked it out and had a wonderful time reading it. Don't hesitate to call your local libraries to see whether it is in their catalog, you might be surprised. Good luck!
  2. My friend is back from the competition now and she said at least her music tape didn't get messed up during her variation! She was very positive about the whole thing but did mention that it was extremely tiring -- mostly due to the fact that schedules changed constantly. Fortunately she seemed quite happy with the experience of having gone to NYC and danced.
  3. After reading the SF Chronicle article by Octavio Roca discussing the season gone by (check the Sunday links), I had some thoughts too! I didn't think Jewels was a disappointment at all! In fact, both times I saw it (in one week) the audience was ecstatic. I do agree that the corps was a wee bit shaky at certain moments, but the sum of the whole was quite delicious. I do agree that 'Later' and 'Continuum' weren't the best and brightest, although I really did enjoy seeing Ms. Berman develop 'Later' into something more than it was originally. I just didn't take to 'Continuum' much at all -- I think if it were different music and better lighting it would have made a world of difference! My eyes sort of hurt after awhile ... I like Mr. Wheeldon's style of showcasing corps members, though. In Mr. Roca's list of corps members that shone this season, I couldn't agree more with his inclusion of Garrett Anderson. He really catches the attention with his energy, leaps, turns, and his great smile. The smile adds so much! I would have also added Hansuke Yamamoto, another new corps male this year. The audience audibly made its approval when he appeared in 'Dances at a Gathering' and his technique was incredibly sharp. He definitely surpassed the "technician" status, I thought, since he had a real flair and earnest quality to his dancing. I wish I had seen more of him this season ... maybe next! Also, Nicole Starbuck was promoted to Soloist. I saw her dance the peasant Pas de Cinq in Giselle last Friday. When paired with Vanessa Zahorian, poor Ms. Starbuck looked very nervous as Ms. Zahorian danced happily with that awesome smile of hers. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see a corps member promotion! I wonder if there will be more? Otherwise the soloist section will be quite slim, unless there are dancers brought in from elsewhere.
  4. Yes, Ms. Schofield is dancing wonderfully at SFB! She danced Liberty Bell for Stars and Stripes at SFB's opening night gala. I just saw her last Friday in Mark Morris' Sandpaper Ballet. She was very charming as one of the love-besotted trio of gals in what I call the "south of the border" number
  5. I just thought I'd add that "Mad" King Ludwig of Bavaria had a very special affinity with swans, which explains a bit about Lohengrin -- Ludwig was Wagner's major benefactor. If you see Ludwig's various castles (or at least photos of them), there are swan motifs here and there. I believe Neuschwanstein has some depictions of the scene in Lohengrin which was described earlier, and also some figurines. For Ludwig, at least, the Swan and Lily were symbols of purity, serenity, and aesthetic beauty. It is a shame that he did not have that peace in his actual life.
  6. On Friday (4/26) I saw Yuri Possokhov's "Damned" with Joanna Berman dancing Medea and Roman Rykine as Jason. I was very impressed with the choreography, it really gave Ms. Berman a chance to dance and act. Yuan Yuan Tan was the Princess, and was more than exquisite as usual. I really enjoyed the corps' choreography, however. The men and women moved in flocks and the masks lent a very tribal feel to the whole thing. There was one part where all the men were poised as if to strike down the women with invisible weapons, which was rather frightening especially since Medea's two little sons came running through the scene at that moment. I just hope that the boys don't grow up thinking that's the way to treat women! Ms. Berman was most heart-wrenching when her character made two abortive attempts to do away with her children. She approached them with conviction, but couldn't do it when she saw her sons' faces. When she finally came to them, gliding with the black cloak behind her, she was for real. We were all stunned at the end as Ravel's Pavane began playing again and Medea walks away from the audience, upstage. Needless to say, the audience roared. Ms. Berman looked very appreciative. It was apparent that Helgi Tomasson didn't want the evening to end on such a tragic note, as Mark Morris' Sandpaper Ballet was next (and last) on the program. What fun! It looks like such a fun ballet to dance, with all the swinging, loose limbs and Busby Berkley type formations in The Syncopated Clock. I was giggling throughout the whole thing. One thing: those costumes! It's so much ... green ... If the tights and arms weren't green it'd be so much easier on the eyes. The green arms and hands got to me especially -- it gave me the feel of aliens, don't ask me why! The evening opened with Tomasson's Silver Ladders. It was better than I had expected. Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre danced the main couple, and I was glad to see them as they will not be with the company after the season. Mr. Pierre pulled off some very nice turns and Ms. Lacarra was very delicate. In the pas de trois, Vanessa Zahorian was her usual fearless self. It's very refreshing to see her upbeat dancing. I can't believe it's almost the end of the season ... only Giselle left. Why does it all pass so quickly?
  7. Hi Leigh, I see what you're saying! I should have elaborated a bit on what I really meant ... I think it would be compelling to see men dance a more "feminine" role not in the traditional women's costumes. I'd like to see something serious and gutsy, something that combines the grace and strength of pointework and the power and masculinity of the dancers. They would still be dancing as men, without wigs and in men's clothing. I think it would be tremendously interesting! Does this make any sense? (I hope I don't sound too weird!)
  8. Does anyone have any idea as to where Megan Pepin went? Thanks!
  9. Fernando was born in Madrid, Spain, and danced with the Classical Ballet of Barcelona, Basel Ballet, and Ballet L'Opera de Nice before joining the Trocks. He says the Trocks is where he wants to stay until he retires! He must really love it. Previously, he'd performed as a woman in Midsummer Night's Dream for Basel Ballet, en pointe at his request! He lives in Queens now. I don't know whether he performs elsewhere ... it'd be great to see him guesting in other companies, though. I really like his dancing and I think it's neat that he and Angel look alike! He pulls off some dazzling turns very neatly. I also couldn't help doubling over in laughter at his Raymonda solo, where he slaps his hands together so loud (whilst executing a powerful front battement) I think they must hurt! He does look quite elegant as Sveltlana. I'd like to meet Fernando if the Trocks come around the SF Bay Area next year. Love4FinchSoCo, I nearly met Angel at Berkeley once, too! Unfortunately, he was starving and all the conversation I got with him was how to get to the nearest yogurt shop. That was enough to make me giddy the rest of the evening, though! How lucky that you got to really meet him!
  10. It was between Diaghilev and Bournonville, but I picked Bournonville ... never get to see enough of his work! Given the chance I would definitely see both, just to see Spectre de la Rose as well. At this point my favorite version of that is Nureyev's.
  11. It was between Diaghilev and Bournonville, but I picked Bournonville ... never get to see enough of his work! Given the chance I would definitely see both, just to see Spectre de la Rose as well. At this point my favorite version of that is Nureyev's.
  12. I love the Trocks! I do enjoy the hilarity of their little jokes and such, but what I truly love is their wonderful dancing. I find myself wishing a lot of times that they would once in a while (or more often) ditch the silly parts and dance it even more seriously. I think that's why my favorite was the Corsaire pas de deux. I would love to see an all-male ballet company dance something in all seriousness, and for people to really appreciate it for what it is! I feel that it doesn't always have to be made funny when there are men dancing en pointe. I once saw a few photographs of one of the Trocks rehearsing Dying Swan in practice clothes sans wig, and he seemed to be doing some of it very seriously ... and it was very beautiful. By the way, I was very, very impressed with "Sylphia Belchick", the one who danced Medora in Corsaire. Boy can s/he turn! I also really liked Fernando Medina Gallego as "Prince Myshkin" in Corsaire and as "Sveltlana Lofatkina" in Raymonda. I found a photograph of him elsewhere and he looks a bit like Angel Corella.
  13. Thanks, rg, for all the information! I checked the PBS listings for the San Francisco station and the NYCB telecast was *not listed*! I checked some surrounding dates, no trace of the program ... I emailed the local station last week but have not yet heard a response. Does anyone know whether this will only air in the NYC region? I will be so upset if we can't get it in SF. It looks like the Antiques Roadshow (which seems to be on every night) just can't be sacrificed!
  14. Wow! I didn't know her final performance was coming up soon ... thanks for the notice. I'm so sad, since I won't be able to go out to NYC and see her perform at least once with NYCB! I hope some of you out there get to see her in Vienna Waltzes, that's one of my all-time favorites. Does anyone know whether she'll be in the Live from Lincoln Center broadcast that's going out in May? (I've only heard about this broadcast so I'm not sure whether it's for real...)
  15. I attended the "Meet the Artist" interview before the performance this past Friday, and had the chance to hear Vanessa Zahorian tell us a little about herself. It was her 23rd birthday that day, and everyone clapped for her when it was announced that she was being promoted to Principal Dancer. I am happy to hear it, since she really is quite a fearless dancer, with such great turns. I wish I was a natural turner! Apparently she had studied for a year with the Kirov, and it did her well. It's been sad that we are losing some of our principals, but the recent promotions are well deserved. I'm very excited about next season already!
  16. I liked Later so much better this time around! I saw it on 4/5. I liked Joanna's slight costume/hair change, and her dancing was so soft and beautiful. It really looked like she had grown wonderfully into the role. I felt like her dancing was absorbing me, instead of only the great music (that's what happened to me during the Gala performance). I might as well add what I thought about Helgi Tomasson's new work Chi-Lin. Well, what a showpiece for Yuan Yuan Tan! She is my favorite ballerina at SFB, so I was more than happy to see her featured. Her arms are amazing. In one of her dances, her arms almost did more dancing than her feet! I didn't know whether there was supposed to be a plotline to the whole thing, but I found that I really didn't care. The roles chosen for the other creatures were very well chosen. I particularly liked Parrish Maynard's Phoenix. That man has an amazing extension and flexibility, not to mention a great piercing gaze that befit the Phoenix well. Also, I though Yuri Possokhov's Dragon headpiece made him look somewhat Rastafarian! What fun. The Corps did a great job, too.
  17. Berman's first performance of Later was at the Opening Night Gala, and while everybody loved the music and Berman's floaty quality, most of us thought it was a bit long and choreographically sparse. I'm sure it was meant to be simple, but I don't think it really spoke to the audience that night. That and her costume was a bit distracting! I'm glad to hear that her hair has gone up and the tights are pink! I'll be at the performance tonight, and I'm anxious to see how I feel about it this time Susan
  18. I went and checked out Vanessa's website just to see what she was up to album-wise. On her homepage are various publicity photographs for her album, but also one great photo of her in a swan lake pose on attitude. The last time I went to Macy's in San Francisco, the junior's department music video TV was as usual blaring out various artists' works. I recognized Vanessa's face on the TV from her web photos. She was singing and playing a grand piano that was on the flatbed of a speeding truck. Interesting. I congratulate her on making the initial break into the recording industry, but to me her singing sounded just like everyone else's in that genre ... but then again, I'm not really into that kind of music so I shouldn't say! Much luck to her.
  19. I'm a subscriber to the San Francisco Ballet. I feel so fortunate to be in close proximity to such a wonderful company. I've been on the fabulous student discount for a few seasons, but next season I'll have to pony up extra money. It will be worth it. I just wish I could see NYCB concurrently, what a great thing that would be! I'm trying to see when I can go visit New York and see some performances.
  20. I'd seen her in a few televised NYCB performances, but seeing as I live far away from NYC I haven't seen her dance live ... I recently rewatched the documentary about Suzanne Farrell (Elusive Muse) and there was a segment of Suzanne rehearsing Slaughter on Tenth Avenue with Helene. I thought Helene looked lovely, even in rehearsal! For anybody who's seen her, what did/do you think? I'm very curious. Thanks!
  21. What great news that Gonzalo Garcia is to be promoted to Principal dancer! I've always enjoyed his fast turns and high yet light jumps ... but my favorite thing about him is that he seems to enjoy it so much. It looks like he is both truly dancing for himself and for the audience, which makes it wonderful. I remember seeing him a few years ago in The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, and was totally wowed. There was so much raw energy. This season I last saw him in Dances at a Gathering. He was the Man in Brown, the one who touches the ground at the very end. Boy was this different from Vertiginous type dancing, but no less exciting. He displayed so much sensitivity, which was perfect for Dances. I hope to see him dance again later this season. Now I'm curious as to who else may be promoted ... or brought in?!
  22. Does anyone have any videos of performances and/or the documentary of the Trocks? I lost the documentary via UPS while moving! ARgh! As of yet, there are no official videos that I know of. Any information is greatly appreciated.
  23. Fans of Boston Ballet will definitely enjoy Roman Rykine! I particularly enjoyed his Albrecht in Giselle. Of course, it's our (San Franciscans') loss in a way ... but it is always good to know that others will get the chance to see an excellent dancer. Spread the Love, as we put it
  24. I saw Jaffe dance Giselle last May at the Met during a great visit to NYC! She was lovely. Ethan Stiefel was her Albrecht. I would love to see her last performance, but alas, I'm sure that's a subscriber special not to mention I'm across the country! She has been at ABT for, what, 22 years? Is that right? The first thing I ever saw Jaffe dance in was the PBS broadcast of Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove where she dances with Baryshnikov. (My mom taped the broadcast a long time ago and we still watch it.) Wow, was she saucy and full of life in that role! It really stuck with me. After such a long and wonderful dancing career, I hope she has a great and restful retirement. I also hope that the audience in NYC on her final performance gives her the tribute she deserves!
  25. I've had a subscription for two seasons now, and used to get single tickets before that here are there (due to financial issues). I am wondering whether Helgi will bring more principals in from outside, or promote within the company. Although most of the corps comes from their school, very few of the principals were from SFBS. Hmm. I know Helgi has a pretty open policy about letting his dancers travel and guest a lot, so maybe that's why they're moving away? I'm not sure, but it could be a factor. I myself am very sad to see these dancers go. I attended a special event honoring Joanna Berman last Sunday, which was very touching. Lucia is a very special dancer, and I think it was great for SFB to have such a "controversial" dancer. Those who loved her loved her immensely, and those who hated her really hated her! She dances with great feeling, though, and I'll miss her. As for Cyril and Roman, they dance wonderfully and I certainly hope the ranks of principal male dancers will stay up when they leave. I'm really curious, though -- I thought Roman Rykine and Lorena Feijoo are a couple -- if they still are will she follow him to Boston?? Does anybody know if they're still together? I know for sure, though, if Yuan Yuan Tan announced that she was leaving the company, I would just cry. She is my favorite.
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