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Reviews of season opener

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The San Francisco Ballet opened its season in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

  • Art Priromprntr in USC's Daily Trojan
    [A] good performance of this ballet demands a good amount of light-heartedness, comedy and stellar dancing from the company dancing it to overcome it the ridiculousness of the plot.
    San Francisco Ballet lived up to the challenge, thanks in large part to performances by Lorena Feijoo and Joan Boada as Kitri and Basilio.
    There was some great dancing all around, even in the filler group dances for the chorus. The entire group gave the lightly Spanish-flavored dancing some real oomph and attitude, making it fun to watch.
    But the show belonged to Feijoo and Boada — especially to Boada. The stage seemed to brighten every time they were on stage, and when they left, one longed for them to return.
  • Lewis Segal's review in the LA Times is available online only to paid subscribers, but here is a taste:
    Proficiency without passion, the endless recycling of an atrophied heritage but no semblance of creative vision: These are the hallmarks of an art form on the ropes, and they're so much a part of the new San Francisco Ballet "Don Quixote" that you might consider the whole project a stopgap until the next big thing comes along. Restaged by artistic director Helgi Tomasson and principal dancer Yuri Possokhov in sets and costumes from a 20-year-old Danish production, this exercise in hand-me-down aesthetics opened the Music Center's first self- produced dance season Tuesday in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
    Good taste prevailed, plus a feathery delicacy in the dancing evident from Mayo Sugano's first jump onstage early in Act 1 as one of the heroine's nameless friends through the elegant — but not notably joyous — full-company finale.
    But most of the new Tomasson-Possokhov choreography for this 1869 comedy ballet proved something of a mess, and the dream scene looked out of whack spatially.
  • Laura Bleiberg in the Orange County Register
    It was deja vu at the Los Angeles Music Center on Tuesday, as San Francisco Ballet's very Bolshoi-like, old-new "Don Quixote" staging had its Southern California debut.
    A great proportion of this "Don Quixote's" steps and the fundamentals arrived via Moscow, but it was, happily, the stylish, movement-hungry San Franciscans dancing. After 18 years as artistic director, Helgi Tomasson has molded his ensemble of 70 dancers into one of the finest companies, if not the premiere big classical troupe, that this country has. His is a winning formula —  sheen and verve.

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