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SFB Program 8 Casts and Reviews

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Link to additional casts: Program 8

Program 8 Opening Night

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 8pm


Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov

Conductor: David Briskin

Piano: Natal'ya Feygina, Michael McGraw

Saxaphone: Dale Wolford

Lorena Feijoo, Hansuke Yamamoto

Maria Kochetkova, James Sofranko

Frances Chung, Garen Scribner

Yuan Yuan Tan, Damian Smith



Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky

Conductor: David Briskin

Violin: Roy Malan

Soprano: Susana Poretsky

Orange/White: Yuan Yuan Tan*, Damian Smith*

Red: Sofiane Sylve, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Green: Lorena Feijoo*, Ruben Martin*

Blue: Vanessa Zahorian*, Pascal Molat*

Violet: Maria Kochetkova*, Isaac Hernandez*

Purple: Elizabeth Miner*, Hansuke Yamamoto*



Choreographer: Jorma Elo

Conductor: David Briskin

Timpani: Jason Goodman, John Burgardt

Violin: Roy Malan

Elana Altman, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba

Sarah Van Patten, Garen Scribner

Vanessa Zahorian, Pascal Molat

Pauli Magierek, James Sofranko

* Denotes premiere in role.

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Just wanted to let you know that I received an e-mail from SF Ballet that due to dancer's illness, there is a change to all Program 8 perofrmances this weekend. Ballanchine's Rubies will replace Russian Seasons. Here is the link to casting which includes the change:


While I am disappointed because I wanted to see the second cast of Russian Seasons (saw the company premiere), I am happy I will get the chance to see Maria Kochetkova perform in Rubies.


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I hope whoever is ill gets well soon. The announcement and changes are also on the casting list on the SRB website:


From Rachel Howard's review of "Russian Seasons", I suspect this is a stronger program. It will be interesting to see how the other ballets look compared to "Rubies" in the same program.

For tonight's cast they put together the women from two different casts from opening weekend: LeBlanc and Altman. I've read numerous observations that Altman is usually a reserved dancer; as Tall Girl, she was not, and I think that that this pair is best matched, and not only physically: Altman had a bit of wryness that spiced it up, just one eyebrow raised temperamentally.

Tomorrow afternoon, Zahorian gets a new Tall Girl, Lily Rogers. From what I saw of Rogers in "Diamonds", I think they, too, might be more suited as a pair.

I would have loved to see Kochetkova in "Rubies", and I'm glad she's paired with Domitro, who's less muscular physically and dynamically than Molat.

Did anyone see any of this week's performances of "Jewels"? If the website is up-to-date, last Wednesday, Sofiane Sylve and Quinn Wharton danced the second couple to Feijoo and Damian Smith's first couple, with Elizabeth Miner and Clara Blanco making their debuts in the Pas de Trois, and last night, Rachel Viselli and Ivan Popov danced second couple to the Kochetkova/Nicolas Blanc first, with Isaac Hernandez in the Pas de Trois. Also Yuan Yuan Tan danced "Diamonds" in both performances -- she's on all of the posters, and I was wondering when she'd dance the role.

Please tell us how it went!

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Sofiane was fantastic in Emeralds, moving --as she did in Diamonds -- as if it were fated. The variation brought tears to my eyes, and I saw details I'd never seen before -- at the end of one phrase, she put her face in her hands, covering her eyes. She cast a very powerful spell.

During the pdd in Rubies, someone seated down front in the orchestra had a Grand Mal seizure that was so dangerous, and so long-lasting his groans could be heard all over the house -- including onstage. Dimitro and Kochetkova had to be aware of the commotion. They didn't get him on a gurney and out till the end of the pdd. We were all distracted by it. It would not be fair to anybody to critique their performance beyond saying that they gave it their all under very distressing circumstances.

Lily Rogers had a great evening and is a natural for the tall girl role.

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Disappointing to miss out Russian Seasons at Saturday's matinee (May 2), but fortunately it's to be repeated in the 2010 season. And best wishes for a speedy recovery to whoever is ill.

Despite being technically well danced by Maria Kochetkova and Taras Domitro, Rubies (substituting for Russian Seasons) never quite caught fire for me. She did all the head tilts and hip swings, but her slight air of Russian melancholy worked against the ballet's American cheeriness. Domitro's brashness was a better fit, but there were times when he and Kochetkova seemed to be dancing at instead of with each other. I'll be seeing both Jewels this coming Saturday and Sunday; I hope she dances Emeralds at one of them.

Jennifer Stahl, in her debut as the tall girl, danced well and threw her legs about with great abandon, but lacked Elana Altman's authority. Where Altman was leader of the pack, Stahl tended to fade into the corps. Still, a promising start.

In an overall excellent performance of Possokhov's Fusion, Daniel Deivison stood out for how beautifully he uses his upper body.

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