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Sarah Van Patten


PeggyR

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San Francisco Chronicle interview with San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Sarah Van Patten.

Q: Do ballet dancers hang with the [san Francisco] Giants [baseball team] on Chestnut [street]?

A: I've heard of it, but I've never run into a baseball player. I wouldn't know one even if he bumped into me, unfortunately. Football is another story.
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Love this dancer! In my review of SFB's Program Four, I waxed on and on about her. In fact, I'm going to try and post that review here at this site right now, never mind that it took place several weeks ago.

Please let me know, longtime members, if I'm not supposed to do it this way!

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Welcome to the SVP fan club!

She's an interesting, musical and very lovely Odette, as well as an excellent Tatiana in Onegin.

The last time the Company performed Giselle, I was sitting next to an elderly woman who told me that when her husband retired, they traveled all over the world and always saw whatever ballet was available, especially Giselle. And, she said, SVP's was the best Giselle she had seen in 20 years. Although I thought her first act was pretty standard issue, the second act was sublime: I don't think I've ever seen anyone so completely weightless (helped immeasurably by Tiit Helimets strong partnering). I already saving my retirement pennies to see her performances next season.

I hope we hear more of your impressions, Terez. I haven't been able to get to many performances this year, so I'm very grateful for all the comments here and on the SFB threads; really makes me feel like I'm there (and sad to hear what I've missed!).

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Love this dancer! In my review of SFB's Program Four, I waxed on and on about her. In fact, I'm going to try and post that review here at this site right now, never mind that it took place several weeks ago.

Please let me know, longtime members, if I'm not supposed to do it this way!

Reviews by members only are properly posted in the company forums as you did, once. The only places for duplicate posts on the board are in Links and then in an appropriate forum to discuss what's written in the linked article. (The place to discuss professional reviewers and critics is "Writings on Ballet.")

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Peggy R, I enjoyed hearing your impressions, as well. I get to go to the SFB this Saturday and it looks like Sarah VP will be dancing again. Yay! Happy to share my impressions; I love talking about what I saw, but my local friends and family aren't ballet people, so alas, the words usually just go into my journaling. Glad to have found this place to share a mutual interest with others! (And listen a lot, as well!)

And thanks for the info, Helene. Lots of neat subjects to look in on here!

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It's great to see this underrated (in my opinion) dancer being given the national recognition she deserves. Thanks for the link.

Nice cover story on Sarah at Dance Magazine.

Agreed - Van Patten certainly deserves attention for her technical and aesthetic abilities. From what I can gather, she appreciates mostly quieter, calmer pursuits when not in performance (aside from rooting for her favorite football teams), and isn't really inclined towards self-promotion (at least not like her company-mate, Maria Kochetkova).

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Sarah Van Patten talks about working with Mark Morris, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon at San Francisco Ballet
By Gia Kourlas, 10/3/13

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/dance/sarah-van-patten-talks-about-san-francisco-ballet

"My teacher was Jacqueline Cronsberg ... Her daughter, Sandra Jennings, danced with New York City Ballet and is a répétiteur for the Balanchine Trust, and she set many Balanchine ballets on us. So I did Serenade, “Russian girl” when I was 12. I did Concerto Barocco, first violin, when I was 13. I got to do [Le] Baiser de la Fée, the principal. I did Divertimento No. 15. We did Who Cares? So I got to dance a lot when I was quite young, which I think really helped me take on a company when I was really young. I joined the Royal Danish when I was 15. Without all of that experience, I think I would have come in and not really understood how you pick up choreography and do what you need to do."

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Many thanks for posting this interview. Van Patten has had an unusual range of experience, including having worked with Ratmansky at the beginning of his career and with Wheeldon and Morris throughout their work with San Francisco Ballet. It's a fascinating read.

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Many thanks for posting this interview. Van Patten has had an unusual range of experience, including having worked with Ratmansky at the beginning of his career and with Wheeldon and Morris throughout their work with San Francisco Ballet. It's a fascinating read.

I was kind of shocked by this information myself. I've read her bio blurbs before but it's funny how much more interesting things are once you get the details.

I didn't realize that when she was at Boston Ballet and Dutch National she really was just a kid. Mainly because she didn't bother with school, at all.

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She worked with Ratmansky at Royal Danish Ballet where she was from 15-17 and did "Nutcracker" with PA Ballet at 14, living in an apartment. That's a crazy amount of professional experience, not to mention the extensive Balanchine coaching and performance history she had until then.

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She worked with Ratmansky at Royal Danish Ballet where she was from 15-17 and did "Nutcracker" with PA Ballet at 14, living in an apartment. That's a crazy amount of professional experience, not to mention the extensive Balanchine coaching and performance history she had until then.

I do wonder how her family coped with these things. The fact that her mother danced probably make it easier to accept the demands of dance training.

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In interviews Ms Van Patten tells the story of being selected for Juliet by John Neumeier at age 15. Imagine carrying a 3-act ballet at the Royal Danish at 15? Despite her emotional performances, there's some steel in this girl.

I've often heard that it can help to be "too young" for such roles, because the dancer has no idea she/he is supposed to take things so seriously. ;)

Kids don't overthink the role and the responsibilites.

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Or to paraphrase Mark Morris in the Jacob's Pillow documentary, when talking about how older generations view younger ones, the younger ones still are having fun, and they haven't realized yet that they are going to die.

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Or to paraphrase Mark Morris in the Jacob's Pillow documentary, when talking about how older generations view younger ones, the younger ones still are having fun, and they haven't realized yet that they are going to die.

He's always very good copy, isn't he?

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