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PeggyTulle

SFB 2019 The Little Mermaid

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52 minutes ago, pherank said:

Josette do you mean Saturday the 27th? It doesn't look like there is anything scheduled for Friday the 26th - which is kind of interesting, actually. The SFB calendar shows that day as being an OFF day.

It is odd that there's no performance that night, but there's a lot going on on 4/26. Kim Kardashian is launching a new fragrance, the Avengers movie opens, the Yankees will be in town...

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Posted (edited)

Oops, I'm going tomorrow and on Thursday, April 25.  I've noticed repeatedly that, nearly every season, SFB will  announce  its performance schedule and leave a blank Friday evening, and, when the performances for the particular ballet sell really well, SFB adds a Friday performance, and you can get a great ticket.   I was hoping that this would happen for The Little Mermaid, but it was obvious about a month ago that the performances were not selling the way that Swan Lake or Romeo and Juliet always do.  So no Friday performance was added on April 26.   

 

 

Edited by Josette

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SFB has also left a Friday night open at the end of the season for a "retirement" performance.  This happened with Tina LeBlanc's special performance, and with Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan in Swan Lake two years ago.

  

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1 hour ago, Josette said:

SFB has also left a Friday night open at the end of the season for a "retirement" performance.  This happened with Tina LeBlanc's special performance, and with Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan in Swan Lake two years ago.

Whichever way it goes, it won't be a happy night.

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Posted (edited)

Casting for the final performance of The Little Mermaid is now posted:  https://www.sfballet.org/season/casting

Sunday, April 28, 2019 – 2:00 pm

Choreography: John Neumeier
Music: Lera Auerbach
Conductor: Martin West

The Little Mermaid: Yuan Yuan Tan
Prince / Edvard: Aaron Robison
Poet / Hans Christian Andersen: Ulrik Birkkjaer
Princess / Henriette: Sasha De Sola
Sea Witch: Wei Wang

I suspected Yuan Yuan would get the last show.  But if I am being honest, I was hoping for Tiit Helimets to dance the Poet.  This is nothing against Ulrik, as I like him a lot as well and am looking forward to tonight's performance.  But I would really like to see Yuan Yuan and Tiit dance together in a story ballet before the end of their SFB careers, which we do not know when it will be but.....  I thought it might be possible since Nathaniel Remez will be dancing as the Poet in both Saturday performances.  I also think it would be unique to have Tiit dance The Poet to Yuan Yuan's Mermaid because the last time SFB did The Little Mermaid, Tiit was The Prince.

Edited by sf_herminator

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On 4/18/2019 at 3:07 PM, Josette said:

Oops, I'm going tomorrow and on Thursday, April 25.  I've noticed repeatedly that, nearly every season, SFB will  announce  its performance schedule and leave a blank Friday evening, and, when the performances for the particular ballet sell really well, SFB adds a Friday performance, and you can get a great ticket.   I was hoping that this would happen for The Little Mermaid, but it was obvious about a month ago that the performances were not selling the way that Swan Lake or Romeo and Juliet always do.  So no Friday performance was added on April 26.  

It can't help that SFB has to keep reminding the audience that LM is not for children. Romeo & Juliet is equally intense, but I can't remember if there was ever a warning about children attending that ballet.

 

7 hours ago, sf_herminator said:

I suspected Yuan Yuan would get the last show.  But if I am being honest, I was hoping for Tiit Helimets to dance the Poet.  This is nothing against Ulrik, as I like him a lot as well and am looking forward to tonight's performance.  But I would really like to see Yuan Yuan and Tiit dance together in a story ballet before the end of their SFB careers, which we do not know when it will be but.....  I thought it might be possible since Nathaniel Remez will be dancing as the Poet in both Saturday performances.  I also think it would be unique to have Tiit dance The Poet to Yuan Yuan's Mermaid because the last time SFB did The Little Mermaid, Tiit was The Prince.

Helimets was excellent as the Prince. Earlier in the season, Tiit complained about not being given enough to do, and we've certainly been seeing that. It's hard not to wonder what's going on. Tomasson has been giving lots of opportunities to the younger dancers, and that's great, but appearances by some of the principals/soloists has been more spotty. If SVP, Chung, Scheller, and Strongin were not out for the season, the opportunities to see any particular female principal/soloist in a lead role would have been relatively few. Except of course for The Little Mermaid, which we knew would likely be all about Yuan Yuan.  As things have worked out, the season has been great for De Sola and Froustey fans.

Now it seems clear that the mixed rep programs are essential for providing lead opportunities to all the dancers who will not be Aurora/Kitri/The Little Mermaid, etc. I personally love all the different cast opportunities with the mixed rep ballets.

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Posted by Ben Freemantle: time-lapse of the Sea Witch makeup process
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwf4k0bA34Q/

Finished costume:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwdTN7Hgin5/

Bridesmaid costumes (posted by Dores Andre):
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwdG6vynXCY/

Natasha Sheehan in Bridesmaid makeup and hair bob:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwfXYxjA5b1/

Edit: YYT posted this clip of the opening night bows:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwfP1L1DGHj/

Edited by pherank

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A few images of the opening night cast courtesy of SFB:

56936292_276954169686665_258551519687545

57506125_278164109802200_401744468977325

57111694_115285029452000_622640585301586

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I went for opening night, and while I really liked the first 10-20 minutes (up to and including when the Poet first meets TLM) and the ending image is chilling and beautiful, I found a lot of the stuff in between to be protracted repetition. I've been reading Apollo's Angels and its discussion about the narrative limitations of dance/ballet seem relevant: I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where in the story we were at any given time instead of letting the emotional affect carry me forward. (Then again, I think the narrative pacing in Frankenstein was a lot brisker and thus more engaging.)

HOWEVER: I've never sympathized as much to YYT's dancing as when she plays TLM -- and all it took was flexed feet and knocked knees.

Other notes:

  • TLM's pants seemed to have made the partnering a lot more challenging than usual, as some of the lifts looked unusually labored.
  • I think I saw YYT crying during the bows!
  • I don't get what TLM sees in the Prince. Not much of a catch, if you ask me. So many other fish in the sea.
  • Who was the dancer with light brown hair in the pink Jackie Kennedy dress? She gave great comedic face.

 

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4 hours ago, leee said:
  • Who was the dancer with light brown hair in the pink Jackie Kennedy dress? She gave great comedic face. 

 

I believe Jackie O lookalikes wear wigs... Was it one of these four?

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

If it is the bridesmaid that got to dance a short solo, it was Julia Rowe.  I can always spot her from a distance and in a group because she moves so distinctly.  And that is Julia with the lighter brown hair on the far right ( vantage point of looking at the photo).

 

Edited by Josette

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Saw the Zhao/Helimets/Ingham/Andre/Freemantle performance on Saturday afternoon 4/20.   

I’ve been a Zhao fan for a while now, and she didn’t disappoint in the title role.  No one can come close to matching Tan’s extraordinary fluidity but Zhao did well:  beautiful arms in Part I, touching and fragile in Part II. 

Dores Andre brought considerably more personality to Henriette/The Princess than either character deserved.

I thought The Poet’s slower, stylized movement suited Helimets better than the bouncy goofiness of Edvard/The Prince.  On the other hand, Luke Ingham handled the dual role with easy charm, although I still can’t figure out why anyone would be obsessing about golf in the middle of the ocean (or anyplace, for that matter).

But the show was pretty much stolen by Benjamin Freemantle’s creepy Sea Witch; think Petyr Baelish on steroids (for GOT fans only🙂).  Aside from his technical strength, Freemantle is proving himself to be a powerful and charismatic actor.  He’s only been a soloist since last year, but I hope he’s on the short list for principal.

On to the Froustey/Di Lanno cast for the Saturday matinee.  I’m curious about Nathanial Remez as The Poet; he was an apprentice in 2016, joined the corps in 2017, so he’s very young for a major role like this.  Extremely happy to see Freemantle will be dancing the Sea Witch again.

Edited by PeggyR

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23 hours ago, Josette said:

If it is the bridesmaid that got to dance a short solo, it was Julia Rowe.  I can always spot her from a distance and in a group because she moves so distinctly.  And that is Julia with the lighter brown hair on the far right ( vantage point of looking at the photo).

 

Yes, that's her! Thank you!

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Mathilde Froustey gave an utterly poignant, vulnerable, heartbreaking performance last night  - understated and deeply realized. I was in the second row, her eyes said everything that the Little Mermaid was feeling. 

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5 hours ago, Josette said:

Mathilde Froustey gave an utterly poignant, vulnerable, heartbreaking performance last night  - understated and deeply realized. I was in the second row, her eyes said everything that the Little Mermaid was feeling. 

There's a part of Froustey's personality that IS the Little Mermaid. Fortunately there is also a more goofy and buoyant side to her as well.

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As I've only talked with Mlle Froustey once, I am clueless as to any sides of her personality. 

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On 4/26/2019 at 8:48 AM, Josette said:

Mathilde Froustey gave an utterly poignant, vulnerable, heartbreaking performance last night  - understated and deeply realized. I was in the second row, her eyes said everything that the Little Mermaid was feeling. 

The Little Mermaid 4/27 matinee

Froustey/Di Lanno/Remez/Keesler/Freemantle

Fully agree with Josette about Froustey’s exquisite Mermaid.  I’ve seen four Mermaids (Tan and Van Patten during the last run; this time Zhao and Froustey), and while all gave beautiful, very individual performances, Froustey is the only one who had me in tears.

Also notable was Nathaniel Remez’s excellent Poet.  As noted upthread he’s very young, and I really expected something more along the lines of ‘promising, but a work in progress’.  Instead, his Poet was detailed, mature, fully thought out, and nearly as heart breaking as Froustey’s Mermaid.  The Poet doesn’t really have much actual dancing, so it’s hard to judge his classical technique, but if it lives up to his acting abilities, he’s going to be very exciting to watch over the next few seasons.

Edited by PeggyR
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1 hour ago, PeggyR said:

Also notable was Nathaniel Remez’s excellent Poet.  As noted upthread he’s very young, and I really expected something more along the lines of ‘promising, but a work in progress’.  Instead, his Poet was detailed, mature, fully thought out, and nearly as heart breaking as Froustey’s Mermaid.  The Poet doesn’t really have much actual dancing, so it’s hard to judge his classical technique, but if it lives up to his acting abilities, he’s going to be very exciting to watch over the next few seasons.

Remez got good reviews for the Don Quixote role - he seems to excel at 'older man' depictions.  ;)

It kind of boggles the mind how many young SFB dancers have unexpected talents.

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