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PeggyR

SFB 2019 Don Quixote (Program 1)

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Posted (edited)

Last year SFB had a series of lectures/interviews about the history of ballet in the USA and San Francisco.  The lectures were good, but the best parts were the interviews/conversations with current and former dancers – very articulate and funny, so this should be entertaining.

 

Ballet Talk - Don Quixote Dancer's Cut

What does it take to be a character dancer? And what goes through their mind on stage? Come find out. Hear insights and commentary on a video capture of Don Quixote from regular SF Ballet character dancers, Ballet Master Anita Paciotti and SF Ballet School faculty Pascal Molat.


January 26, 2019 Time: 5–6:30pm 
Location: Dollar Board Room, Chris Hellman Center for Dance 
Price: $35/$30 (subscribers and donors above $75) 

Note that if the Company runs true to form, performance casts probably won’t be posted until sometime next week.

 

 

Edited by PeggyR
Added date of event

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Mathilde announced on Instagram today that she will be dancing Kitri opening night, with Greco as Basilio:

"I’m beyond happy to dance Kitri for the Opening Night of Don Quixote on Friday January 25th. I’m also very excited to dance for the 1st time with this handsome, brillant and fun partner @_angelogreco_. Get ready for some caliente on stage!
Make sure to come to see Don Quixote at @sfballet any other day, every single cast of Principals and Soloist dancers are amazing and the corps dancers are absolutely stunning in this ballet!
The beautiful/badass Kitri are also @sashadesola , @doresandre , @la_scheller and @wonapark.
The Basilio are @aaronrobison86 , @way8way (
Wei Wang), @josephwalshsf and @ivitorluiz
All of them are amazing !!!!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsvqhzplz8E/

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38 minutes ago, pherank said:

Mathilde announced on Instagram today that she will be dancing Kitri opening night, with Greco as Basilio:

"I’m beyond happy to dance Kitri for the Opening Night of Don Quixote on Friday January 25th. I’m also very excited to dance for the 1st time with this handsome, brillant and fun partner @_angelogreco_. Get ready for some caliente on stage!
Make sure to come to see Don Quixote at @sfballet any other day, every single cast of Principals and Soloist dancers are amazing and the corps dancers are absolutely stunning in this ballet!
The beautiful/badass Kitri are also @sashadesola , @doresandre , @la_scheller and @wonapark.
The Basilio are @aaronrobison86 , @way8way (
Wei Wang), @josephwalshsf and @ivitorluiz
All of them are amazing !!!!

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsvqhzplz8E/

Wow!!!  Wona Park is one of the Kitri's!!  In the 2017 Student Showcase, she danced the Don Q PDD (to perhaps the fastest recording ever).  With her promotion at the end of last season, I was wondering if she would be learning Kitri - now we know.  I wonder who her Basilio will be.  On another note - no Frances Chung as Kitri???  Of the ladies this run, only Mathilde has danced it before.  Ana Sophia has probably danced it elsewhere but will be debuting in the SFB production.  I knew she would be Kitri - after all, that's the name of her dog!!

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6 minutes ago, sf_herminator said:

Wow!!!  Wona Park is one of the Kitri's!!  In the 2017 Student Showcase, she danced the Don Q PDD (to perhaps the fastest recording ever).  With her promotion at the end of last season, I was wondering if she would be learning Kitri - now we know.  I wonder who her Basilio will be.  On another note - no Frances Chung as Kitri???  Of the ladies this run, only Mathilde has danced it before.  Ana Sophia has probably danced it elsewhere but will be debuting in the SFB production.  I knew she would be Kitri - after all, that's the name of her dog!!

Yes, you can tell Scheller came to SFB hoping to check off certain boxes, and now she will dance Kitri. (She danced the lead in Swan Lake for the first time this past year in Kiev, with Tiit Helimets as her coach.)

I was kind of assuming that the order of Basilio's listed matches the order of Kitri's, but of course that may not be true. Matching Park with a partner as experienced as Luiz would be a good idea though.

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1 hour ago, pherank said:

The beautiful/badass Kitri are also @sashadesola , @doresandre , @la_scheller and @wonapark.
The Basilio are @aaronrobison86 , @way8way (
Wei Wang), @josephwalshsf and @ivitorluiz

Still no casts posted for the Don Q run on the SFB website; I do wish they’d hurry up.

Good news that Froustey gets opening night; she’s earned it and apparently, it’s her favorite role.

I’m going to do my best to see all the casts my (rapidly shrinking) wallet can manage, especially the ones with Wang or Park.  She’s technically strong, with great presence; if she can act at all, she should be terrific.  And I’m really curious to see Wei Wang.  Technically he’ll have no problems, but I’ve never thought he projected very well:  maybe this role will show hidden talents.   Hoping the same for Scheller, who I think would be a good Mercedes, but Kitri?  Maybe they will both be happy surprises.

1 hour ago, pherank said:

Matching Park with a partner as experienced as Luiz would be a good idea though.

Matching a debut with an experienced partner seems to be the usual practice in the past, so I’d guess it’s likely here, too.  Which brings up Wang and who will be his partner if four out of five Kitris are debuts.  Plus, there appear to be four Basilios to five Kitris, so one of the men will have to double up.  I saw the Wang/Park Waltz Couple in Serenade and they’re a good match, but since these are both debuts, maybe that pairing won’t happen.  

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Casting for the first three performances is posted, showing that Wona Park and Joe Walsh are dancing together in the matinee on Saturday, and De Sola and Robison in the evening performance. 

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5 hours ago, Josette said:

Casting for the first three performances is posted, showing that Wona Park and Joe Walsh are dancing together in the matinee on Saturday, and De Sola and Robison in the evening performance. 

Here’s the casting so far.  My season tickets are Saturday matinee, so I’m very happy to see the Park/Walsh cast.  Plus, Sohm is an excellent Don, and Thatcher, a hilariously over-the-top Gamache.   

DON QUIXOTE

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus


Friday, January 25, 2019 – 8 pm

Conductor: Martin West

 Kitri: Mathilde Froustey
Basilio: Angelo Greco
Don Quixote: Jim Sohm
Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat
Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat 

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 2 pm
Conductor: Martin West

 Kitri: Wona Park
Basilio: Joseph Walsh
Don Quixote: Jim Sohm
Sancho Panza: Davide Occhipinti
Gamache: Myles Thatcher 

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 8 pm
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Sasha De Sola
Basilio: Aaron Robison
Don Quixote: Jim Sohm
Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat
Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat

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Another casting update.  Just bought a ticket for this one.  

Sunday, January 27, 2019 – 2 pm
Conductor: Martin West 

Kitri: Dores Andre
Basilio: Wei Wang
Don Quixote: Alexander Reneff-Olson
Sancho Panza: Diego Cruz
Gamache: Myles Thatcher

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Those are interesting choices. Park and Walsh could be a wise pairing. I can't wait to hear people's reports on these shows.  😉

Edited by pherank

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Wow, Wona Park on the second performance. I have to say, though, I saw her Grand Pas performance on the last day of the Nut run, and I was wildly impressed. Not only did she display the gravitas of the role, and technical proficiency, she had this confident aplomb that carried her all the way through. It reminded me, interestingly, of Kochetkova, the way there was this fearless confidence and strong technique to all she did. But seeing it on such a young dancer is quite a different story. 

I'll be attending opening night, and am looking forward to the chemistry of Froustey and Greco. I adored her Kitri last time around. And Greco has that buoyant, winning personality that is sure to win over the audience. 

Would love to see a Park-Walsh pairing. (Apparently I'm not the only one who sees some resemblance to Kochetkova in her.) Alas, I will likely only get to see it vicariously, through others' eyes, so please do post comments!

 

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019 – 7:30 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Wona Park
Basilio: Joseph Walsh
Don Quixote: Nathaniel Remez
Sancho Panza: Davide Occhipinti
Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat


Wednesday, January 30, 2019 – 7:30 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Mathilde Froustey
Basilio: Angelo Greco
Don Quixote: Jim Sohm
Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat
Gamache: Myles Thatcher


Thursday, January 31, 2019 – 7:30 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Sasha de Sola
Basilio: Aaron Robison
Don Quixote: Jim Sohm
Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat
Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat


Friday, February 1, 2019 – 8:00 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Dores Andre
Basilio: Vitor Luiz
Don Quixote: Jim Sohm
Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat
Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat

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Casting for the last three performances of Don Q  (https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting):

Saturday, February 2, 2019 – 2:00 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Wona Park
Basilio: Joseph Walsh
Don Quixote: Nathaniel Remez
Sancho Panza: Davide Occhipinti
Gamache: Myles Thatcher

 

Saturday, February 2, 2019 – 8:00 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Mathilde Froustey
Basilio: Angelo Greco
Don Quixote: Jim Sohm
Sancho Panza: Pascal Molat
Gamache: Alexandre Cagnat

 

Sunday, February 3, 2019 – 2:00 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Ana Sophia Scheller
Basilio: Vitor Luiz
Don Quixote: Nathaniel Remez
Sancho Panza: Davide Occhipinti
Gamache: Myles Thatcher

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If you haven't seen Don Q yet and you're trying to decide which one to go see, I highly suggest going Saturday afternoon to see Wona Park and Joseph Walsh.  They delivered and then some.  I was happy to Joe's return to the stage.  Wona - what can I say??  There are not enough words and I don't want to use the normal cliches (a star is born) - even if it's true.  But from her first entrance in Act 1 all the way through the end she grabbed your attention and did not let go.  A perfect combination of technical prowess, acting, and characterization.  Plus, the chemistry between the two was the best IMHO.  I will just add:  I can't wait to see what she does next.  I'll try to post more later, but two additional things:  1)  I have seen all four principal couples so far and I think they all did a fine job - but if I didn't mention it before you should go see Wona & Joe;  2)  I also want to heap lots of praise on Don Q (Nathaniel Remez), Sancho Panza (Davide Occhipinti), and Gamache (Alexandre Cagnat).  I remember when they were Trainees, joined the company as Apprentices, and are now in their second year in the Corps.  They were alI wonderful in their roles and I noticed little things with each one (Gamache entering the Gypsy Camp in Act 2 sitting on the horse backwards, Sancho Panza dancing on the side in Act 1 with the three couples center stage, Don Q in the Act 2 dream sequence).  I think with the three of them and Wona (along with the rest of the company), the future of SFB is really bright!!!

Edited by sf_herminator

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3 hours ago, sf_herminator said:

If you haven't seen Don Q yet and you're trying to decide which one to go see, I highly suggest going Saturday afternoon to see Wona Park and Joseph Walsh.  They delivered and then some.  I was happy to Joe's return to the stage.  Wona - what can I say??  There are not enough words and I don't want to use the normal cliches (a star is born) - even if it's true.  But from her first entrance in Act 1 all the way through the end she grabbed your attention and did not let go.  A perfect combination of technical prowess, acting, and characterization.  Plus, the chemistry between the two was the best IMHO.  I will just add:  I can't wait to see what she does next.  I'll try to post more later, but two additional things:  1)  I have seen all four principal couples so far and I think they all did a fine job - but if I didn't mention it before you should go see Wona & Joe;  2)  I also want to heap lots of praise on Don Q (Nathaniel Remez), Sancho Panza (Davide Occhipinti), and Gamache (Alexandre Cagnat).  I remember when they were Trainees, joined the company as Apprentices, and are now in their second year in the Corps.  They were alI wonderful in their roles and I noticed little things with each one (Gamache entering the Gypsy Camp in Act 2 sitting on the horse backwards, Sancho Panza dancing on the side in Act 1 with the three couples center stage, Don Q in the Act 2 dream sequence).  I think with the three of them and Wona (along with the rest of the company), the future of SFB is really bright!!!

Wow, this was exciting to read, sf_herminator. Thanks so much for sharing! Dang, now I'd really like to see them perform, but it's just too long of a haul for me to go up a 2nd time (plus the ticket price). I saw opening night, and no complaints anywhere. Froustey and Greco did as well as I'd hoped. I adored Pascal Molat's Sancho Panza and Alexandre Cagnat's Gamache. Didn't get the chance in my Bachtrack review to mention the nice job Kitri's friends did. Isabella DiVivo and Julia Rowe were delightful and had great unison throughout. I loved seeing Norika Matsuyama in a soloist role - seems I always attend nights where she's not being featured. She's got such an infectious joy when she dances. And I thought Mathilde was sublime in the "Don Q's Vision/Dream" scene. She imbued such tender warmth in her movements, her interactions with Don Q. Really lovely to watch. And the grand pas de deux was as delicious as one would expect. 

sf_herminator, I loved the little asides you noticed, of Gamache entering the Gypsy Camp sitting on the horse backward - so funny! I didn't notice that.

So happy to hear you give Bona and Joe (yay that he's back!!) thumbs' up. That is indeed exciting. I just love "wow" performances when Helgi is test driving young talent in a lead role. Wish I could witness this one myself.

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Thanks for the write ups everyone - I hope PeggyR can report back too.  😉

Joe Walsh posted some curtain call bow photos to Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtKyc9XA-DS/

"Yesterday with @wonapark .... we had our premiere of Don Q, a ballet I had never imagined myself in before. I am so grateful for the opportunity to dance this role and to share the stage as a star was being born in Wona..."

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I was at the matinee performance with Wona Park and Joseph Walsh and did not intend to post any comments about it for one simple reason — I did not not know how to put into words what I saw. It sounds corny to say that history was made that day but I did feel I witnessed something really very special.  It was one of the most memorable moments of my ballet going experience. Park was stunning in her debut as Kitri and together with Walsh they set the stage on fire energizing every single dancer. I never thought Walsh could outdance the jumping, spinning and turning wonder boy Angelo Greco. But I guess the confidence and “go for broke” attitude displayed by Wona was contagious. Particularly thrilling were Park’s fouettés — she alternated double-single with the fan opening and closing through the entire sequence. I knew Park was a very talented dancer with incredible technical skills but after this performance I could fully understand why she had such a meterioc rise through the ranks. When the curtain fell and lights came on I could hear company’s members cheering and applauding backstage. 

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Updated casting for Sunday 2/3 performance (https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting):

Sunday, February 3, 2019 – 2:00 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Sasha de Sola
Basilio: Vitor Luiz
Don Quixote: Nathaniel Remez
Sancho Panza: Davide Occhipinti
Gamache: Myles Thatcher

  

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23 minutes ago, sf_herminator said:

Updated casting for Sunday 2/3 performance (https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting😞

Sunday, February 3, 2019 – 2:00 pm

Choreography: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and Additional Choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Conductor: Martin West

Kitri: Sasha de Sola
Basilio: Vitor Luiz
Don Quixote: Nathaniel Remez
Sancho Panza: Davide Occhipinti
Gamache: Myles Thatcher

Interesting; I believe that spot originally belonged to Scheller.  Her replacement means Park and De Sola each get three performances (if my counting is correct) and Scheller none.  I had planned to go again this Saturday to revisit the Park/Walsh pairing, but now I think I'll go Sunday instead to see De Sola.  While I couldn't imaging Scheller as Kitri, I think she would be a beautiful Queen of the Driads.  Anyway, looking forward to De Sola/Luiz.

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Sat 1/26 2 pm Kitri:  Wona Park Basilio:  Joseph Walsh Driad Queen:  Jennifer Stahl

 I really hate to call anything ‘flawless’, because nothing is, but this performance came close enough.  The company as a whole looked relaxed and well-rehearsed.

 Wona Park’s excellent Kitri had it all:  stellar technique; musicality; long, relaxed balances; dead-center turns (Walsh didn’t really need to do anything but spin her a few extra spins-she stayed vertical on her own); glorious, floating ballon; and good character development.  I just can’t say enough about how good she was (which is consistent with her Waltz Girl in Serenade last season, and the Nutcracker Grand Pas de deux in December). It’s almost too bad that there is at least one, maybe two, promotion-worthy female soloists right now, so Park may need to wait a bit.  I hope the company keeps her happy and she sticks around; she’s pretty special.

 Joseph Walsh, and wasn’t it great seeing him back on stage in his debut as Basilio.  Although I thought his turns weren’t up to his usual standard, there was nothing ‘off’ about the rest of his dancing.  In particular, there are two one-hand overhead lifts:  the first one held fully for the length of the music; who thought the second one could be better, but Walsh got Park overhead, then walked across the stage; both lifts ended with a clean drop and end pose.  Just spectacular.

 Walsh was interviewed Sunday for Meet the Artist.  He said he was feeling ‘pretty trashed’ after his debut.  He and Park only found out three weeks ago they would be doing this performance, so they had to work hard to get used to each other so quickly.  When someone asked how he approached the character of Basilio, he pointed out that Basilio isn’t the nicest guy on the stage, what with giving all the girls the glad eye, and he tried to make him ‘a little less of a prick’, which got a good laugh.

 Stahl’s Driad Queen variation was everything you could ask for:  easy, relaxed Italian fouetees, beautiful lines, and those opening side jumps/développés were perfection.

 Cupid was performed by an apprentice, Jasmine Jimison (is that a great stage name or what?).  I love this role and how it can showcase a young dancer. Jimison needs a little more crispness in her batterie, but otherwise, she was technically excellent, and managed to be adorable, but avoid the cuteness that can sometimes overtake the role.

 And I have to mention corps member Gabriela Gonzalez as the Gitana Woman in the Gypsy encampment scene. This is one of those clichéd character dances (a lot of scarves and skirts) that almost always ends up looking like a pulled up, turned out ballet dancer unsuccessfully playing at being an earthy character dancer.  Gonzalez, however, simply got it:  uninhibited, sexy, totally abandoned.  She was so good, it was a little startling.  

Sunday 1/27 2 pm Kitri:  Dores André  Basilio:  Wei Wang

This performance didn’t come close to reaching the heights of Saturday’s, but nevertheless, an enjoyable afternoon.  Wang and the always watchable André worked well togetherand he showed a nice flair for comedy, plus he let loose with some truly gorgeous turns. The single-hand overhead lifts didn’t go well, but otherwise his partnering looked good.  I wonder if he’ll get a crack at Sleeping Beauty.

Edited by PeggyR

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7 hours ago, PeggyR said:

 I wonder if he’ll get a crack at Sleeping Beauty.

Casting Wang as Aurora would be refreshing;)

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8 hours ago, PeggyR said:

I wonder if he’ll get a crack at Sleeping Beauty.

He has actually already performed Prince Desire.  His Princess Aurora was Natasha Sheehan.  In this link to the cover story you can scroll down and see a picture of them from last year's student matinee:  https://www.pointemagazine.com/natasha-sheehan-ballet-2627550597.html?utm_campaign=RebelMouse&socialux=facebook&share_id=4356430&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Pointe&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR281Tv_uHrVxbKDgt1_fLm0S-5A-NHxnW2SD2cLBrDXVxrklYQJJ-vrstU.  

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14 hours ago, sf_herminator said:

He has actually already performed Prince Desire.  His Princess Aurora was Natasha Sheehan.  In this link to the cover story you can scroll down and see a picture of them from last year's student matinee:  https://www.pointemagazine.com/natasha-sheehan-ballet-2627550597.html?utm_campaign=RebelMouse&socialux=facebook&share_id=4356430&utm_medium=social&utm_content=Pointe&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR281Tv_uHrVxbKDgt1_fLm0S-5A-NHxnW2SD2cLBrDXVxrklYQJJ-vrstU.  

I hope both he and Natasha get cast for a regular ticketed performance! 

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Closeup of the beautiful Don Q/Dryad tutus.

 

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Mathilde posted another nice shout out to the Corps dancers of SFB:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtcKCEeFCw4/

"I have no words to express how grateful I am to all the dancers of @sfballet for your support and your energy on stage and backstage.
I have been in the Corps de Ballet for 15years before to become Principal Dancer, I know and remember all the pain, difficulties but also joy this position gives.
But if there is one thing I learned by becoming Principal Dancer is that there is no show without great Corps Dancers, they are the strength of any ballet you’ll see."

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