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San Francisco Ballet in LA

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San Francisco Ballet at LA's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Friday evening, Oct. 10: an enjoyable mixed bill.

The evening began with Allegro Brillante. I'd never seen this before so have no reference of comparison. Lorena Feijoo and Zachary Hench starred. Feijoo's role seems very demanding, and though she's very good she did not quite dazzle. The pas de deux's were a tad off, appearing underrehearsed. None the less I liked the ballet very much and look forward to seeing it again and watching the choreography more closely.

Concerto Grosso followed; a ballet for 5 men. Nijinski, Nureyev, Baryshnikov. Martins, and Dowell could have been dancing and I still wouldn't have enjoy this ballet...just not my cup of tea. The audience loved it.

Polyphonia was the third offering and I enjoy this very much. The music for the opening and closing is too atonal for me; the rest passed mustard. All the couples were excellent: Katita Waldo and Yuri Possokhov (my personal favorites, mostly because of Waldo whom I've always liked), Feijoo and Gonzalo Garcia, Julie Diana and Ruben Martin, and Kristin Long and Guennadi Nedviguine. Long and Nedviguine excelled in the slower, more romantic pdd of the ballet

The evening ended with Elite Syncopations. I was sitting in the 3rd row Orchestra and one should not see this ballet from 3rd row Orchestra; Balcony would be much better so that one could get a view of all the activity going on. This ballet is great fun, and there's something for everyone to like and/or dislike. It's colorful, jazzy, and a great way to end the evening. Julia Diana stood out; she and Damian Smith in the concert waltz (Bethena) were beautiful. Maffre and Sofranko were in the tall/short pdd; funny, as always, even though Sofranko wasn't quite short enough.

In truth, the star of the evening was the music. Concerto Grosso has violin, voila and cello soloists and each selection is of note. Polyphonia features a pianist and he was simply terrific (Michael McGraw). Elite Syncopations has a jazz band on stage (led by Michael McGraw) and they're as much fun to watch as the dancers.

Nice evening.


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SFBallet in Los Angeles, Saturday matinee, Oct. 11.

Don Quixote starring Vanessa Zahorian and Vadim Solomakha.

It's really not fair for me to review this ballet cuz:

1. I had a lousy, expensive seat and I couldn't see a darn thing. Had to move.

2. Saw ABT's DQ just a few weeks ago and that was an EVENT for me.

3. My hand hurt. Don't ask, but you can say "Awwww!"

The ballet didn't sparkle. Lots of people, activity, pretty costumes, etc., but not much oomph. Capable dancing by the stars but.... I hope someone with a more open mind will step forward and review.


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I saw the Thursday, October 9, show and the Saturday, October 11, evening show of Don Q. I had never seen any of the Thursday program, but I loved the Allegro Brillante and the Concerto Grosso; not as crazy about the other two (different strokes for different folks...), but I certainly agree with you about the music. It would have been worth the price of the ticket just to listen to the music without having the added bonus of the dancing.

As for Don Quixote, I also preferred ABT's recent performance and I also had a horrible expensive seat. And I was dismayed to see that ticket sales had apparently not been strong as the audience in the upper levels was invited to come sit down in the orchestra, and, even then, there were empty seats. Not an auspicious start for the fledgling dance program at the Music Center.

Mrs. Stahlbaum

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