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2017 Gala

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Casting for the upcoming gala is posted:


2017 Opening Night Gala

Choreography: Myles Thatcher
Music: Franz Liszt
Pianist: Natalya Feygina

Natasha Sheehan, Angelo Greco

SF Ballet Premiere

Choreography: Liam Scarlett
Music: Claude Debussy
Conductor: Martin West 

Lorena Feijóo*, Wei Wang*

Pas de trois from AGON
Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Conductor: Martin West

Dores André, Jaime Garcia Castilla*, Sasha De Sola 

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Enrique Granados
Piano: Ronny Michael Greenberg

Mathilde Froustey*, Carlo Di Lanno*

World Premiere

Choreography: Trey McIntyre
Music: Barbara Lewis, Of Montreal, The Zombies

Sarah Van Patten*, Luke Ingham*

Pas de deux from FLAMES OF PARIS
Choreography: Vassili Vainonen
Music: Boris Assafiev
Conductor: Martin West

Vanessa Zahorian*, Taras Domitro


World Premiere

Choreography: Benjamin Millepied
Music: John Adams
Conductor: Martin West

Maria Kochetkova*, Carlo Di Lanno* & Ensemble

Choreography: James Kudelka
Music: Michael Torke
Conductor: Martin West

Frances Chung*, Vitor Luiz*

Choreography: Paul Taylor
Music: The Andrews Sisters

Joseph Walsh

Choreography: Stanton Welch
Music: Claude Debussy
Pianist: Natalya Feygina

Yuan Yuan Tan, Aaron Robison*

Finale from DIAMONDS
Choreography: George Balanchine
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets

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Definitely an intriguing lineup.

A couple of the dancer pairings I question - Kochetkova with Di Lano, and Tan with Robison, but galas do tend to have that "you won't normally see this, but what the heck" spirit.

I can't quite picture André, Castilla and De Sola in Agon either, but once you make principal, you do have to up your game considerably. I'd love to hear a report on this gala.


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The 2017 Gala audience seemed a little bit more subdued this year, everyone perhaps feeling the heaviness of the inaugural events and beginning of the grim new era. Fewer people in the lobby and it was easier to get to the refreshment table during the "Prosseco Promenade". The program itself seemed overall better than in past years, balanced, well done, just the right length.


The standout was Trey McIntyre's "Presentce" with Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham playing very charming characters in a piece set to jukebox music. It had a lightness and humor that were very welcoming after some of the more intense m/f pas de deuxs. Of which, the Thatcher and Scarlett ballets seemed very well crafted but didn't break new ground. Lorena Feijoo was in fine form and Angelo Greco a great addition to the company, completely present on stage, no tenuousness, no apologies. Ditto Aaron Robison, but in a different way – big, solid, dramatic, the equivalent of a bass instrument. "Flames of Paris" I believe had been in a gala four year ago, with Taras Domitro reprising his role instead of trying something fresh, but it did make a rousing end to the first half.


"Agon" was good and I think Jaime Garcia Castilla caught the angularity and beats well but his wry facial expressions were distracting. The major problem for me is that it seemed out of sync with the music – not the fault of the dancers but with the orchestra who played it outside of the strong percussive and sour-horned Stravinsky idiom. It sounded too polite and refined, as if it were a slow moment to Copeland Rodeo. It didn't rise out of the orchestra pit and make contact with the dancers.


But the finale from “Diamonds” really caught me by surprise. Suddenly I remembered what had drawn me night after night in the 1990s to the New York State Theater. What grandeur, what architecture, what clarity, what wit!



Edited by Quiggin
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