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Phrenchphry11

2020 Season Announcement

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Posted (edited)

I just got an email from SFB as to their 2019/2020 roster of dancers. Among other items, Misa Kuranaga is joining as a principal, and Sasha Mukhamedov, lately a principal of the Dutch National Ballet, is joining as a soloist (seems odd, considering that she has danced Odette/Odile, Giselle, Aurora, Nikiya and Gamzatti, Cinderella in Wheeldon's Cinderella, also to be danced in the coming SFB season; and, yes, there are only so many principal contracts . . .  but still seems odd).   Also, Ana Sophia Scheller is no longer on the roster.  

Edited by Josette

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13 minutes ago, Josette said:

I just got an email from SFB as to their 2019/2020 roster of dancers. Among other items, Misa Kuranaga is joining as a principal, and Sasha Mukhamedov, lately a principal of the Dutch National Ballet, is joining as a soloist (seems odd, considering that she has danced Odette/Odile, Giselle, Aurora, Nikiya and Gamzatti, Cinderella in Wheeldon's Cinderella, also to be danced in the coming SFB season; and, yes, there are only so many principal contracts . . .  but still seems odd).   Also, Ana Sophia Scheller is no longer on the roster.  

Just saw this too. Gasp! The instant I saw Misa K's name, my first thought was, "Who'd they lose?" Sensed that it was Scheller, because otherwise there would have been a "final performance" at the end of last season. Or have any senior principals just up and left, post-season? Glad to see Vladislav Kozlov still on the roster - I felt he was a bit underused last season and I really liked what he did do (but that could have simply been that he was performing other roles on nights I wasn't there). He paired wonderfully with WanTing Zhao. I see Nicolai Gorodiskii is no longer on roster; I never saw him perform at all last season. I guess that sometimes happens, too. (Injury?)

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I have to say, not surprised to see Misa Kuranaga on there.  It felt like she was auditioning ever since she performed in the SFB Gala and some guest performances with Angelo G.

Super surprised to see Scheller off the roster.  It seemed like she was given lots of roles two seasons ago (including opening night Aurora, I believe?).  Plus, SFB's Balanchine-heavy 2020 season seems like a good fit for her given her history at NYCB.

Nevertheless, I'm super excited for the roster next season.  I don't know much about Sasha Mikhamedov, interesting she's joining as a soloist.  I imagine there's lot of current SFB soloists eyeing a promotion to a principal spot, I'm not sure how the addition of Sasha M changes things.

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2 hours ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

I have to say, not surprised to see Misa Kuranaga on there.  It felt like she was auditioning ever since she performed in the SFB Gala and some guest performances with Angelo G.

Bingo!   😉

An article on Sasha Mukhamedov:

https://www.pointemagazine.com/sasha-mukhamedov-ballerina-2479504367.html

If it matters, she's fluent in English, so she won't be struggling with the language as Froustey had to do.

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From the Bloch website:

A day in the life of Principal Ballet Dancer Sasha Mukhamedov

"Finally, what’s next for you?
From July I am joining San Francisco Ballet, which is an exciting new challenge for me because in America they work a lot differently to how we do in Europe, and I want to see what I can learn from them and how I can bring the American style into my dancing."
(Published on: 31st May, 2019)

https://us.blochworld.com/article/457/day-in-the-life-of-principal-ballet-dancer-sasha-mukhamedov

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And so it begins:

"Today we started working on Emeralds together"

Sasha Mukhamedov enjoys the Bay

 

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Posted (edited)

Any recommendations of contemporary fare for 2020?

The name of Program 3 sounds apt, as do 5 and 6. However, I just saw Etudes this past season, I didn't find "Snowblind" interesting in the least, and am generally not a fan of Ratmansky.

Edited by leee

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26 minutes ago, leee said:

Any recommendations of contemporary fare for 2020?

The name of Program 3 sounds apt, as do 5 and 6. However, I just saw Etudes this past season, I didn't find "Snowblind" interesting in the least, and am generally not a fan of Ratmansky.

I don't know how your tastes run, but I really want to see the new Ratmansky (The Seasons), and new works by Marston and McIntyre have the potential to be good, but one never really knows.  ;)

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On 8/1/2019 at 7:32 PM, pherank said:

I don't know how your tastes run, but I really want to see the new Ratmansky (The Seasons), and new works by Marston and McIntyre have the potential to be good, but one never really knows.  😉

"Die Toteninsel" was easily my favorite from this past season.

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19 hours ago, leee said:

"Die Toteninsel" was easily my favorite from this past season.

Great choice, which reminds me - it was disappointing for me to see that Die Toteninsel was not being brought back, instead we get a repeat of Hummingbird. Did Tomasson really think that Die Toteninsel failed?

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Does anyone know when single tickets go on sale? I couldn't find that information on the Web site.

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1 hour ago, miliosr said:

Does anyone know when single tickets go on sale? I couldn't find that information on the Web site.

The great mystery of 2019.  ;)

The subscription drive hasn't ended yet. Mostly, SFB is hoping people will sign up for at least the "Choreograph/Choose Your Own" subscription, which I recommend. You do have to make at least a $75 donation, but if you buy extra tickets, you receive them at a discount, so the donation tends to pay for itself.

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11 hours ago, pherank said:

The subscription drive hasn't ended yet. Mostly, SFB is hoping people will sign up for at least the "Choreograph/Choose Your Own" subscription, which I recommend. You do have to make at least a $75 donation, but if you buy extra tickets, you receive them at a discount, so the donation tends to pay for itself.

Choose your own is not available until September 12. But I looked at the requirements. It's not encouraging and details are not very clear. It says "3 or more ballets" - I assume they mean 3 or more programs, not ballets. I was looking at the mixed bills for Programs 2 and 3, which overlap on two weekends. That's six ballets, but only two programs. I'd have to come back for a second weekend to meet the requirement. 

https://www.sfballet.org/visit/2020-season-tickets

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6 hours ago, California said:

Choose your own is not available until September 12. But I looked at the requirements. It's not encouraging and details are not very clear. It says "3 or more ballets" - I assume they mean 3 or more programs, not ballets. I was looking at the mixed bills for Programs 2 and 3, which overlap on two weekends. That's six ballets, but only two programs. I'd have to come back for a second weekend to meet the requirement. 

https://www.sfballet.org/visit/2020-season-tickets

Yes, tickets are for programs. I don't know of any company selling individual tickets for each of the ballets on a mixed rep night. That sounds 'difficult' to manage.

If you live far out of town, say Chicago, and can't be flying to SF very much, then it make sense to wait for the individual tickets to go on sale. I assume that will happen around October.

Personally I prefer being able to choose my own seats (that's my big issue with standard subscriptions - the purchaser chooses a section to be seated in, and the number of seats, but SFB chooses the actual seats to be assigned). So I always end up buying individual seats (with discount) for additional casts of a particular program - if travel allows.

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I think the question wasn't whether a ballet could be split out, but whether you were restricted to one program per slot, and most "make your own" only allow one ticket/sub to each program.  ABT at least used to allow the "make your own" to cross programs based on date, not program:  I once had a sub of three La Sylphides in a row, because I was in NYC for a long weekend and that's what they were playing.  (I remember someone posted here that they tried to make a sub with all of the performances of one dancer and was rejected.) 

The Met, which is a rep company, creates subs for people in for a long weekend: I once had a Thursday night (Tosca), Friday night (Queen of Spades), and Saturday night (La Traviata) "mini-sub," but, in general, for companies that don't do rep programming, it might not worth the marketing, training, and computer programming costs for a small group of balletomanes who want to see three Giselles, Sleeping Beautys, etc. in a row.

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24 minutes ago, Helene said:

The Met, which is a rep company, creates subs for people in for a long weekend: I once had a Thursday night (Tosca), Friday night (Queen of Spades), and Saturday night (La Traviata) "mini-sub," but, in general, for companies that don't do rep programming, it might not worth the marketing, training, and computer programming costs for a small group of balletomanes who want to see three Giselles, Sleeping Beautys, etc. in a row.

Balletomanes are a pain.  ;)

SFB doesn't make it really clear what their ticket substitution rules are for subscription packages, and I haven't had to deal with that much. Mostly I'm just buying additional tickets at the last minute - I tend to go to SF for about 4 days so I can see ballet (and other things) for Tuesday through Friday, or Thursday through Sunday.

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1 hour ago, pherank said:

Yes, tickets are for programs. I don't know of any company selling individual tickets for each of the ballets on a mixed rep night. That sounds 'difficult' to manage.

As "program" is the key jargon on their web site (not  "ballet") I'm wondering if a new staffer or intern wrote that up and didn't realize the difference. 

I am pretty sure that in recent years I had to pay an add-on premium donation to get a good seat for a performance I wanted to see. But at least that was tax-deductible (as opposed to ABT's silly costume restoration fee).

Buying good individual tickets is challenging at SFB -- which makes me think they have a loyal fan base that snaps things up before the general public.

I think they have a fairly new executive director -- perhaps not as attuned to ballet world jargon and subscription nuances.

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If I'm in SF during ballet season, that's almost always why I'm there, and I try to fit in as many performances over the weekend as I can, which makes their semi-rep/two program (aside from full-lengths) really appealing.  The opera does this too, but with more than two per block.

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29 minutes ago, California said:

I think they have a fairly new executive director -- perhaps not as attuned to ballet world jargon and subscription nuances.

Tweeddale is too new to have had anything to do with this subscription drive's marketing.
https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/44842-sfb-names-kelly-tweeddale-as-executive-director/
But I have to think they are being very purposeful in choosing the word "program" over "ballet".

As far as getting good seats is concerned, it all depends upon your preferred locations in the opera house, and, the day of the week you attend. Wednesday and Thursday can be good "off nights" and so decent seats are sometimes available. Also the Sunday matinees. I've sat in first row center at Pacific Northwest Ballet (which is pretty remarkable for an out-of-town attendee), but that's pretty much impossible in SF. I've managed to get seating in the side box seats in SF, and that was fun, but mostly I stick to the orchestra ring for my "extra" tickets - prices are cheap, and if you sit half way back most of the stage is visible. And it's close enough to the stage that details don't get lost. Even sitting in the front row of the Balcony is much too far away for me - I don't want to be peering though opera glasses for the entire performance.

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On 6/18/2019 at 8:51 PM, Phrenchphry11 said:

.  I don't know much about Sasha Mikhamedov, interesting she's joining as a soloist.  I imagine there's lot of current SFB soloists eyeing a promotion to a principal spot, I'm not sure how the addition of Sasha M changes things.

The Dutch National Ballet website states that Sasha will join San Francisco Ballet for a year and it sounds like she will return after this year, since she is not classified as a "leaver"

https://www.operaballet.nl/nl/nieuws/2019/07/promoties-en-nieuwe-dansers-bij-nationale-ballet

 

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49 minutes ago, BalletPerfection1 said:

The Dutch National Ballet website states that Sasha will join San Francisco Ballet for a year and it sounds like she will return after this year, since she is not classified as a "leaver"

https://www.operaballet.nl/nl/nieuws/2019/07/promoties-en-nieuwe-dansers-bij-nationale-ballet

 

Studying abroad for a year?  ;)
That's actually a great idea and should be a more regular happening. But in the U.S., the dancers generally have 1 year contracts and that makes it impossible for them (except to cut ties with the original company). The European dancers often have contracts that run for a few years, or an entire career, so taking a 'sabbatical' would be easier to set up. That's how Mathilde Froustey was initially able to come to SFB - she could take a year off to explore other things. But once she decided to stay at SFB, she naturally lost all her lifetime benefits as a POB dancer.

EDIT: I just noticed that Mikhamedov's Instagram page reads, "Former Principal with Dutch National Ballet". If she hasn't really severed ties then she should get rid of the "former" part.

Edited by pherank

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On 9/2/2019 at 10:19 PM, pherank said:

DIT: I just noticed that Mikhamedov's Instagram page reads, "Former Principal with Dutch National Ballet". If she hasn't really severed ties then she should get rid of the "former" part.

Didn't know this. Would be sad if this was true. She was always one of my favorites

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3 hours ago, BalletPerfection1 said:

Didn't know this. Would be sad if this was true. She was always one of my favorites

We can't assume anything yet, as she's only just joined the company. Right now the dancers are going through the very grueling Summer/Fall rehearsal period. SFB dancers have to do about 90% of rehearsals and 100% creation of new ballet roles during the July - November period. It's all performances and touring after that. Not all dancers like this regimen and leave. I hope Mikhamedov has a positive experience working with the SFB artists and staff, but who knows?

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