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PeggyR

SFB 2018 Nutcracker

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First few days of casting :

Nutcracker

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 7 pm

Conductor: Ming Luke

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli
Queen and King of the Snow: Mathilde Froustey, Carlo Di Lanno
Sugar Plum Fairy: Sofiane Sylve
Grand Pas de Deux: Sasha De Sola, Aaron Robison


Thursday, December 13, 2018, 2 pm

Conductor: Ming Luke

Drosselmeyer: Alexander Reneff-Olson
Queen and King of the Snow: Dores Andre, Luke Ingham
Sugar Plum Fairy: Julia Rowe
Grand Pas de Deux: Ana Sophia Scheller, Vitor Luiz


Thursday, December 13, 2018, 7 pm

Conductor: Ming Luke

Drosselmeyer: Tiit Helimets
Queen and King of the Snow: Norika Matsuyama, Hansuke Yamamoto
Sugar Plum Fairy: Sasha De Sola
Grand Pas de Deux: Frances Chung, Joseph Walsh


Friday, December 14, 2018, 2 pm

Conductor: Tara Simoncic

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli
Queen and King of the Snow: Isabella DeVivo, Max Cauthorn
Sugar Plum Fairy: Ana Sophia Scheller
Grand Pas de Deux: Jennifer Stahl, Tiit Helimets


Friday, December 14, 2018, 7 pm

Conductor: Ming Luke

Drosselmeyer: Ricardo Bustamente
Queen and King of the Snow: Yuan Yuan Tan, Carlo Di Lanno
Sugar Plum Fairy: Dores Andre
Grand Pas de Deux: Mathilde Froustey, Luke Ingham

 

Edited by PeggyR
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Always exciting to see! I'll be attending opening night. This year it will likely only be one performance that I see, alas. Will miss that second chance, later in the run, to spot new/rising talent.

Where's Martin West this week?!

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More casts.  Good to see Pascal Molat back on stage; he should be a good  Drosselmeyer.  I'm hoping to get to either 12/15 evening to see Park/Greco, and Froustey/Wei Wang (which sounds like an interesting pairing), or 12/16 matinee for everybody, but particularly Frantziskonis/Cauthorn.

Terez, enjoy opening night and be sure to let us know what you think of the new flower costumes.


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018, 2 PM

Conductor: Ming Luke

 Drosselmeyer: Pascal Molat
Queen and King of the Snow: Frances Chung, Tiit Helmits
Sugar Plum Fairy: Sasha De Sola
Grand Pas de Deux: WanTing Zhao, Carlo Di Lanno


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018, 7 PM

Conductor: Ming Luke

 Drosselmeyer: Pascal Molat
Queen and King of the Snow: Mathilde Froustey, Wei Wang
Sugar Plum Fairy: Frances Chung
Grand Pas de Deux: Wona Park, Angelo Greco


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018, 2 PM

Conductor: Ming Luke

 Drosselmeyer: Ricardo Bustamente
Queen and King of the Snow: Jahna Frantziskonis, Max Cauthorn
Sugar Plum Fairy: Koto Ishihara
Grand Pas de Deux: Dores Andre, Wei Wang


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2018, 7 PM

Conductor: Tara Simoncic

 Drosselmeyer: Alexander Reneff-Olson
Queen and King of the Snow: WanTing Zhao, Mingxuan Wang
Sugar Plum Fairy: Mathilde Froustey
Grand Pas de Deux: Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helmets


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On 12/8/2018 at 5:46 PM, PeggyR said:

More casts.  Good to see Pascal Molat back on stage; he should be a good  Drosselmeyer.  I'm hoping to get to either 12/15 evening to see Park/Greco, and Froustey/Wei Wang (which sounds like an interesting pairing), or 12/16 matinee for everybody, but particularly Frantziskonis/Cauthorn.


Yes, I'm glad to see that Molat will be back on stage, he was always a good character dancer/actor. And Aaron Robison is back, and apparently healthy. The Froustey/Wei Wang pairing strikes me as odd. Wang has looked good in solo sections - it was his partnering skills (and strength) that needed development. Toi, toi, toi.

I hope someone can report on the Frantziskonis/Cauthorn pairing...

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 6:46 PM, pherank said:

The Froustey/Wei Wang pairing strikes me as odd. Wang has looked good in solo sections - it was his partnering skills (and strength) that needed development.

They seem to be well matched physically - she's petite so should be easy to lift.  Plus, he doing the GPdD with Andre next day, so at least he's getting plenty of practice with experienced partners.

If there are any standing room tickets available, I'm definitely going to the Frantziskonis/Cauthorn performance.

Edited by PeggyR
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Love the pics, pherank!

Well, reporting in briefly on last night. (I'm supposed to be at work on a "real" review for Bachtrack with a 36 hour deadline, but this counts, doesn't it?) I though Aaron Robison was brilliant, and exciting to watch. Seeing him dance made me miss Davit K a bit less. They share some of the same characteristics, with a presentation and energy that just fills the stage, and a smile/exuberance that felt contagious. He paired well with Sasha, and they both had knockout solos during the Grand Pas.  Froustey and di Lanno were impeccable in Snow. I always feel this sense of extraordinary dancing, particularly in épaulement, when Froustey dances. She continues to be one of my favorite female principals. Right there next to her would be Sofiane, reliably excellent as SPF. She is so lovely to watch, and the audience clearly adores her, too -- their roar of approbation during the curtain call said it all.

I had this thud of disappointment when I saw the Waltz of the Flowers costumes were the same old tired costumes -- what happened to the aforementioned new costumes?! The dancing was lovely; I've always like the choreography here, even though it seems to always be the one that gets bashed by the critics. 

WanTing Zhao danced Arabian, and there's no one in the company who does it better. My only regret is that the actual dancing she does is so brief. Steven Morse and Daniel D-O had great synchronicity as her partners. All the dances looked well polished. The Grand Pas couple aside, casting looked very much like last year, down to Land of Snow and Waltz of the Flowers. Maybe that's what made everything look well rehearsed and synchronized. No misbehaving ribbons on French this year, and they (Kimberly Marie Olivier, Maggie Weirich, Ami Yuki) danced it confidently, right on the money. I've resigned myself to the unpalatable blue of the tights/shoes (if Pepto-Bismal were blue and not pink, it would be this color) and as a result, enjoyed this number more than in past years.

Nice to see Mingxuan Wang getting some good roles - I think he's been ready for promotion to soloist for quite some time now. Also pleased to see Norika M. getting some lead roles. I've always been a fan of her dancing, the energy she brings to her roles. Surprised not to see Natasha Sheehan anywhere on casting, or in Snow/Flowers. Hope it's because she is performing elsewhere this first week, and that it's not injury related. Same goes for Ulrich B.

All in all, a successful opening night. Orchestra sounded amazing, no surprise there, but I harbor such gratitude at their level of proficiency and artistry. I'm going to be attending the closing performance on the 29th, for the first time ever, and it will be a fun comparison, how they sound on the first performance versus the 30th. 

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3 hours ago, Terez said:

Love the pics, pherank!

Well, reporting in briefly on last night. (I'm supposed to be at work on a "real" review for Bachtrack with a 36 hour deadline, but this counts, doesn't it?) I though Aaron Robison was brilliant, and exciting to watch. Seeing him dance made me miss Davit K a bit less. They share some of the same characteristics, with a presentation and energy that just fills the stage, and a smile/exuberance that felt contagious. He paired well with Sasha, and they both had knockout solos during the Grand Pas.  Froustey and di Lanno were impeccable in Snow. I always feel this sense of extraordinary dancing, particularly in épaulement, when Froustey dances. She continues to be one of my favorite female principals. Right there next to her would be Sofiane, reliably excellent as SPF. She is so lovely to watch, and the audience clearly adores her, too -- their roar of approbation during the curtain call said it all.

I had this thud of disappointment when I saw the Waltz of the Flowers costumes were the same old tired costumes -- what happened to the aforementioned new costumes?! The dancing was lovely; I've always like the choreography here, even though it seems to always be the one that gets bashed by the critics. 

WanTing Zhao danced Arabian, and there's no one in the company who does it better. My only regret is that the actual dancing she does is so brief. Steven Morse and Daniel D-O had great synchronicity as her partners. All the dances looked well polished. The Grand Pas couple aside, casting looked very much like last year, down to Land of Snow and Waltz of the Flowers. Maybe that's what made everything look well rehearsed and synchronized. No misbehaving ribbons on French this year, and they (Kimberly Marie Olivier, Maggie Weirich, Ami Yuki) danced it confidently, right on the money. I've resigned myself to the unpalatable blue of the tights/shoes (if Pepto-Bismal were blue and not pink, it would be this color) and as a result, enjoyed this number more than in past years.

Nice to see Mingxuan Wang getting some good roles - I think he's been ready for promotion to soloist for quite some time now. Also pleased to see Norika M. getting some lead roles. I've always been a fan of her dancing, the energy she brings to her roles. Surprised not to see Natasha Sheehan anywhere on casting, or in Snow/Flowers. Hope it's because she is performing elsewhere this first week, and that it's not injury related. Same goes for Ulrich B.

All in all, a successful opening night. Orchestra sounded amazing, no surprise there, but I harbor such gratitude at their level of proficiency and artistry. I'm going to be attending the closing performance on the 29th, for the first time ever, and it will be a fun comparison, how they sound on the first performance versus the 30th. 

Thanks so much for this report, Terez.
Natasha Sheehan is nursing a foot problem, and essentially holding off until the regular season starts. I think that's a smart move, since all the Nutcracker performances inevitably sideline one or more dancer for much of the season.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrBIRdsgtWv/

You may have been seeing the new Flower costumes - it seemed to me that they were only making tweaks to the general look of things (mostly to the bodice).

I too regret the brevity of Coffee/Arabian - allowing little room for more developed choreography - but the music is essentially a lullaby, so what was Tchaikovsky to do? Short and sweet it had to be.  ;)

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56 minutes ago, pherank said:

 

You may have been seeing the new Flower costumes - it seemed to me that they were only making tweaks to the general look of things (mostly to the bodice).

Good Lord, I hope not! I'd harbored high hopes for more significant change, like in the drawings, in that SF Chronicle article.

And thanks for the news on Natasha, and the Instagram link, pherank.

Edited by Terez

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Here's a bunch more castings - the newer soloists are getting plenty of action. Lizzy Powell as the Snow Queen - that has to be a thrill for her.

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 2 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Tara Simoncic

Drosselmeyer: Pascal Molat
Queen and King of the Snow: Koto Ishihara, Lonnie Weeks
Sugar Plum Fairy: Wona Park
Grand Pas de Deux: Elizabeth Rowe, Max Cauthorn


Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 7 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Tiit Helimets
Queen and King of the Snow: Elizabeth Powell, Henry Sidford
Sugar Plum Fairy: Frances Chung
Grand Pas de Deux: Ana Sophia Sheller, Vitor Luiz


Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 2 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli
Queen and King of the Snow: Elizabeth Mateer, Steven Morse
Sugar Plum Fairy: Isabella DeVivo
Grand Pas de Deux: Sasha De Sola, Aaron Robison


Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 7 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Ricardo Bustamante
Queen and King of the Snow: WanTing Zhao, Mingxuan Wang
Sugar Plum Fairy: Ana Sophia Scheller
Grand Pas de Deux: Jennifer Stahl, Tiit Helimets


Thursday, December 20, 2018, 2 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Ming Luke

Drosselmeyer: Pascal Molat
Queen and King of the Snow: Ana Sophia Scheller, Henry Sidford
Sugar Plum Fairy: Julia Rowe
Grand Pas de Deux: Koto Ishihara, Hansuke Yamamoto


Thursday, December 20, 2018, 7 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Pascal Molat
Queen and King of the Snow: Sasha De Sola, Ben Freemantle
Sugar Plum Fairy: Wona Park
Grand Pas de Deux: Frances Chung, Joseph Walsh


Friday, December 21, 2018, 2 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Alexander Reneff-Olson
Queen and King of the Snow: Yuan Yuan Tan, Tiit Helimets
Sugar Plum Fairy: Jahna Frantziskonis
Grand Pas de Deux: Julia Rowe, Max Cauthorn


Friday, December 21, 2018, 7 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli
Queen and King of the Snow: Frances Chung, Vitor Luiz
Sugar Plum Fairy: Sofiane Sylve
Grand Pas de Deux: Mathilde Froustey, Luke Ingham


Saturday, December 22, 2018, 2 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Tiit Helimets
Queen and King of the Snow: Jahna Frantziskonis, Max Cauthorn
Sugar Plum Fairy: Jennifer Stahl
Grand Pas de Deux: Dores Andre, Wei Wang


Saturday, December 22, 2018, 7 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Val Bustamante
Queen and King of the Snow: Yuan Yuan Tan, Carlo Di Lanno
Sugar Plum Fairy: Mathilde Froustey
Grand Pas de Deux: Sasha De Sola, Aaron Robison


Sunday, December 23, 2018, 2 pm

Choreography: Helgi Tomasson
Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli
Queen and King of the Snow: Mathilde Froustey, Carlo Di Lanno
Sugar Plum Fairy: Dores Andre
Grand Pas de Deux: Wona Park, Angelo Greco

 

Edited by pherank

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"Aaron Robison was brilliant, and exciting to watch. Seeing him dance made me miss Davit K a bit less"

For Terez -
Davit Karapetyan posted a short dance video online "My first double tour in about a year. Ohh it felt good to fly again"

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnrEYJNh5dY/

Ana Sophia Scheller replied, "Have a come back!! You guys are still young!"
Well, we can wish.

But now it's Aaron and Sasha looking good together:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrWeyujnnSM/

and Frances and Joseph too:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrUT-XugNpb/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrUFVjighBD/

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Thanks for the update, pherank! And, LOL, I can't wait to see Elizabeth Rowe and Val Bustamente perform. Don't think I've met them. ; )

Why no Lauren Strongin yet? Is she injured?

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1 hour ago, Terez said:

Why no Lauren Strongin yet? Is she injured? 

I was wondering that, too. Also no Sarah Van Patten...

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I don't remember SVP dancing anything last year (my bad memory?), and have just assumed that she prefers not to dance Nut so as to instead save herself for the repertory season. (Or get paid generous sums of money to dance lead Nut roles elsewhere.)

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Looking for a way out of Nutcracker madness is a thing.  😉

SVP, Strongin and Birkkjaer haven't been mentioned so far, but hopefully no one is dealing with a major injury. SVP, being the one principal woman with an infant probably doesn't want a full schedule in any case.
EDIT: SVP mentioned to Dance Magazine that she organizes Nutcracker hospital visits each year:
https://www.dancemagazine.com/advice-sfb-sarah-van-patten-2478831426.html

The casting of "Elizabeth Rowe" and "Val Bustamante" just shows the wealth of talent still to be found at SFB.

Edited by pherank

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Interesting side note: Ulrik Birkkjaer supposedly performed with Teresa Reichlen and Festival Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker (12/8 - 12/9 at Irvine Barclay Theater), and, Maria Kochetkova was doing the same with Vitor Luiz (12/15 - 12/16). So I guess the money was too good to pass up.  😉

https://www.instagram.com/p/BrdTyYKl1Vc/

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