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SFB 2020 - Cinderella


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Casting is now up for the first three performances of Cinderella - https://www.sfballet.org/tickets/casting/

Tue, Jan 21 at 7:30 pm (Meet the Artist interview at 6:30 pm)
Cinderella: Frances Chung
Prince Guillaume: Joseph Walsh
Stepmother: Sarah Van Patten
Stepsister Edwina: Elizabeth Powell
Stepsister Clementine: Ellen Rose Hummel
Benjamin: Esteban Hernandez*
 
Wed, Jan 22 at 7:30 pm (Pointes of View lectture 6-6:45 pm)
Cinderella: Dores André
Prince Guillaume: Carlo Di Lanno
Stepmother: Jennifer Stahl
Stepsister Edwina: Jahna Frantziskonis
Stepsister Clementine: Julia Rowe
Benjamin: Diego Cruz
 
Thu, Jan 23 at 7:30 pm
Cinderella: Sasha De Sola*
Prince Guillaume: Luke Ingham
Stepmother: Sarah Van Patten
Stepsister Edwina: Elizabeth Powell
Stepsister Clementine: Ellen Rose Hummel
Benjamin: Myles Thatcher
Edited by sf_herminator
added Meet the Artist & Pointes of Viedw
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It's good to see my favorites, Chung and Walsh, getting opening night.  And the André/Di Lanno pairing sound interesting, if a little unexpected.  Have they danced together before?

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3 hours ago, PeggyR said:

It's good to see my favorites, Chung and Walsh, getting opening night.  And the André/Di Lanno pairing sound interesting, if a little unexpected.  Have they danced together before?

Here is the link to the topic of Cinderella 2017:  https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/42494-sfb-2017-program-8-cinderella/?tab=comments#comment-380088.  Chung and Walsh danced opening night, Andre and DiLanno also danced together in this run.  Sasha was Stepsister Edwina in the last run, but is now Cinderella.  Looking forward to seeing the casts for the rest of the performances.

 

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I am attending the Jan. 23 and 24 performances and am very happy that I will see Sasha De Sola's debut as Cinderella and to see Sarah Van Patten, who was a memorable Cinderella, on stage as the Stepmother.  I hope to see another new cast the following night;  I assume that Mathilde Froustey is dancing the role, as well as the already reported Misa Kuranaga and Sasha Mukhamedov.  I also hope to see Ulrik Birkkjaer, a favorite of mine, who is not dancing in the gala. 

I just discovered the new photographs of the dancers on the SFB website. 

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Casting for Friday 1/24 is now up  - https://www.sfballet.org/tickets/casting/

Fri, Jan 24 at 8:00 pm

Cinderella: Misa Kuranaga*
Prince Guillaume: Angelo Greco*
Stepmother: Maggie Weirich
Stepsister Edwina: Madison Keesler
Stepsister Clementine: Isabella DeVivo
Benjamin: Hansuke Yamamoto

There will be a Meet the Artist interview at 7:00 pm, but no word on the artist to be interviewed - link to Meet the Artist (which includes the schedule for the season):  https://www.sfballet.org/calendar/meet-the-artist-interviews/ 

Edited by sf_herminator
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On 1/14/2020 at 12:14 PM, Josette said:

I am attending the Jan. 23 and 24 performances and am very happy that I will see Sasha De Sola's debut as Cinderella and to see Sarah Van Patten, who was a memorable Cinderella, on stage as the Stepmother.  I hope to see another new cast the following night;  I assume that Mathilde Froustey is dancing the role, as well as the already reported Misa Kuranaga and Sasha Mukhamedov.  I also hope to see Ulrik Birkkjaer, a favorite of mine, who is not dancing in the gala. 

I just discovered the new photographs of the dancers on the SFB website. 

Mathilde has been posting about being in Hawaii on her public IG stories, which makes me think she's not cast for Cinderella.

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thank you @sf_herminator for the link to Misa's interview.  In 2018 I had the pleasure of seeing her as the dewdrop fairy in Boston Ballet's Nutcracker and she blew me away.  Her musicality, phrasing, jumps, speed, and lightness were so beautiful.  San Fransisco Ballet has quite an impressive roster off dancers.  

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Sat, Jan 25 at 2:00 pm

Conductor: Martin West

Cinderella: Frances Chung
Prince Guillaume: Joseph Walsh
Stepmother: Sarah Van Patten
Stepsister Edwina: Elizabeth Powell
Stepsister Clementine: Ellen Rose Hummel
Benjamin: Esteban Hernandez


Sat, Jan 25 at 8:00 pm

Conductor: David LaMarche

Cinderella: Sasha De Sola
Prince Guillaume: Luke Ingham
Stepmother: Sarah Van Patten
Stepsister Edwina: Elizabeth Powell
Stepsister Clementine: Ellen Rose Hummel
Benjamin: Myles Thatcher


Sun, Jan 26 at 2:00 pm

Conductor: David LaMarche

Cinderella: Dores André
Prince Guillaume: Carlo Di Lanno
Stepmother: Jennifer Stahl
Stepsister Edwina: Jahna Frantziskonis
Stepsister Clementine: Julia Rowe
Benjamin: Diego Cruz

Edited by pherank
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Sat, Feb 1 at 2:00 pm

Conductor: Martin West

Cinderella: Misa Kuranaga
Prince Guillaume: Angelo Greco
Stepmother: Maggie Weirich
Stepsister Edwina: Madison Keesler
Stepsister Clementine: Isabella DeVivo
Benjamin: Hansuke Yamamoto


Sat, Feb 1 at 8:00 pm

Conductor: Martin West

Cinderella: Frances Chung
Prince Guillaume: Joseph Walsh
Stepmother: Jennifer Stahl
Stepsister Edwina: Elizabeth Powell
Stepsister Clementine: Ellen Rose Hummel
Benjamin: Esteban Hernandez


Sun, Feb 2 at 2:00 pm

Conductor: David LaMarche

Cinderella: Sasha De Sola
Prince Guillaume: Luke Ingham
Stepmother: Jennifer Stahl
Stepsister Edwina: Elizabeth Powell
Stepsister Clementine: Ellen Rose Hummel
Benjamin: Myles Thatcher

Edited by pherank
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On 1/21/2020 at 5:56 PM, ECat said:

thank you @sf_herminator for the link to Misa's interview.  In 2018 I had the pleasure of seeing her as the dewdrop fairy in Boston Ballet's Nutcracker and she blew me away.  Her musicality, phrasing, jumps, speed, and lightness were so beautiful.  San Fransisco Ballet has quite an impressive roster off dancers.  

You're welcome!!  I look forward to seeing Misa tonight!!  I saw her in the gala and also in Nutcracker as Sugar Plum Fairy.  Looking to later in the season, it appears she will be dancing in Etudes - she posted a clip on IG when she was in Boston:  

She also was the artist in the opening night Meet the Artist interview on Tuesday (https://www.sfballet.org/calendar/meet-the-artist-interviews/).  I will post a link to the recording when it is available.

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At this weekend’s performances, check out the pop-up tables on main floor & grand tier level.  You can learn about tutus, pointe shoes & & watch some short video clips about Cinderella.  BTW, I will be at one of the tables on Friday & Sunday so come say Hi!!!   Full disclosure: I am a volunteer for the ballet. 😊

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Madison Keesler
"I'm so excited to perform the stepsister Edwina tonight in @Wheeldony's Cinderella!⠀

Since I am not allowed to share anything from San Francisco Ballet, and there were also no photos taken at our dress rehearsal....here is a picture of my beautiful friend @ali_mac_26 in the same role of Edwina with @englishnationalballet alongside the handsome gentlemen @sdynott and @theballettwins."

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7uXoQPFsz3/

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Betsy Erickson, Ballet Master, on Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella

Host Andi Yannone interviews Ballet Master Betsy Erickson and discusses how Cinderella is rehearsed and put together.  In particular, they discuss the challenges of a trans-continental co-production during the initial creative process.

https://sfballet.blog/2020/betsy-erickson-ballet-master-on-christopher-wheeldons-cinderella/

 

I also recommend Rachel Howard's review of SFB's Cinderella in the latest Fjord Review (online).

Quote

Where this “Cinderella” also shines is in its comedy. Wheeldon, whose generation of Brits grew up on the wicked stepsisters-in-drag from Frederick Ashton’s version, has taken a seemingly more conservative approach to those characters, but introduced some ingenious touches. Here, one pert-nosed stepsister (played perfectly by Elizabeth Powell, who is becoming the company’s go-to vainglorious beauty) is truly nasty. The other, bedecked in thick-framed glasses (and danced by corps member Ellen Rose Hummel with breakout charm), is just doing her sibling’s bidding. Her nerdy innocence is rewarded when she’s noticed by the prince’s friend (the equally virtuosic and sweet Esteban Hernandez), and makes a love match by ballet’s end. Beware, though, the perils of sharing the stage with Sarah Van Patten. She played the cackling (and hungover) stepmother with Meryl Streep-level command; the afternoon became, for me, a study in her artistry.

Edited by pherank
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I saw two performances of Cinderella this season.  The first featured Sasha De Sola in her premiere, dancing with Luke Ingham.  I thought she looked tense in the first act. Honestly, I was underwhelmed by her  performance and felt she was making faces without her understanding who her Cinderella is, and this was not helped by the fact that Sarah Van Patten was on stage, more brilliant a presence and actress than ever.  During the intermission and upon leaving the opera house, I heard numerous people rhapsodizing about Van Patten's performance. I feel so fortunate to have seen Van Patten in this role.   De Solo was technically precise, but I found myself thinking how beautiful her feet were, which is a sure sign that nothing much is happening artistically or dramatically; there was no musical phrasing in the Act II solo; as clean and exquisite as the execution was, her dancing lacked feeling, musicality, and sweep.   Also, at her premiere, Sasha De Solo did not convincingly engage with Luke Ingham, who was fully there for her, and who gave an excellent, natural performance.  I  can assume that her third performance of the role improved, as she has always grown in artistry since the time that she was promoted to soloist.  Kudos to the four remarkable men who act as her protectors, they each danced exceptionally well and supported their Cinderella physically and emotionally. 

And it's time to let Max Cauthorn dance more leading roles. 

The following night I saw Misa Kuranaga and Angelo Greco, along with Hansuke Yamamoto  giving an absolutely wonderful performance in all ways as Benjamin.  Kuranaga's Cinderella had pathos, which is so needed as indicated both in the story and Prokofiev's score.  Her dancing is extraordinary and musical, with beautiful phrasing.  All her movements are graceful and filled with meaning.  She has warmth and a heart that goes out to the audience.  Though she is technically phenomenal, she does not display it; her execution is effortless.  Additionally, we had Isabella DeVivo as an utterly adorable stepsister. Maggie Weirich was excellent as the stepmother.   It was a wonderful show. 

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2 hours ago, Josette said:

I saw two performances of Cinderella this season.  The first featured Sasha De Sola in her premiere, dancing with Luke Ingham.  I thought she looked tense in the first act. Honestly, I was underwhelmed by her  performance and felt she was making faces without her understanding who her Cinderella is, and this was not helped by the fact that Sarah Van Patten was on stage, more brilliant a presence and actress than ever.  During the intermission and upon leaving the opera house, I heard numerous people rhapsodizing about Van Patten's performance. I feel so fortunate to have seen Van Patten in this role.   De Solo was technically precise, but I found myself thinking how beautiful her feet were, which is a sure sign that nothing much is happening artistically or dramatically; there was no musical phrasing in the Act II solo; as clean and exquisite as the execution was, her dancing lacked feeling, musicality, and sweep.   Also, at her premiere, Sasha De Solo did not convincingly engage with Luke Ingham, who was fully there for her, and who gave an excellent, natural performance.  I  can assume that her third performance of the role improved, as she has always grown in artistry since the time that she was promoted to soloist.  Kudos to the four remarkable men who act as her protectors, they each danced exceptionally well and supported their Cinderella physically and emotionally. 

And it's time to let Max Cauthorn dance more leading roles. 

The following night I saw Misa Kuranaga and Angelo Greco, along with Hansuke Yamamoto  giving an absolutely wonderful performance in all ways as Benjamin.  Kuranaga's Cinderella had pathos, which is so needed as indicated both in the story and Prokofiev's score.  Her dancing is extraordinary and musical, with beautiful phrasing.  All her movements are graceful and filled with meaning.  She has warmth and a heart that goes out to the audience.  Though she is technically phenomenal, she does not display it; her execution is effortless.  Additionally, we had Isabella DeVivo as an utterly adorable stepsister. Maggie Weirich was excellent as the stepmother.   It was a wonderful show. 

Thanks for the report, Josette.

I'm in the camp that feels that Cinderella and the Prince are the most one-dimensional roles in the folk story. And there aren't that many versions of the story that improve upon this situation. Neither character has any interesting quirks to identify with - they're just nice people. But nice people aren't a blast to watch. 😉
I haven't seen Kuranaga's version, but it sounds like she's doing as much as she can to develop Cinderella's personality so the audience can give a darn.

De Sola may not be a natural actor, so it will take her some time to develop in that manner, but Chung has struggled with the Cinderella role as well, since adding subtle dimensionality to the character takes real acting chops, or at least very good instincts.

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19 hours ago, Josette said:

The first featured Sasha De Sola in her premiere, dancing with Luke Ingham.  I thought she looked tense in the first act. Honestly, I was underwhelmed by her  performance and felt she was making faces without her understanding who her Cinderella is, and this was not helped by the fact that Sarah Van Patten was on stage, more brilliant a presence and actress than ever.  During the intermission and upon leaving the opera house, I heard numerous people rhapsodizing about Van Patten's performance.

I went to one of the rehearsals that patrons can attend, and had a nice, long discussion with someone about De Sola.  Unfortunately, we were in complete agreement that she isn't much of an actor.  She seems to be a work horse and dances a lot, which I appreciate; but she just isn't someone I look forward to seeing, and I certainly wouldn't buy an extra ticket just to see her.  Knowing the amount of time and sweat dancers put into becoming dancers, not to mention the brevity of their careers, I always feels guilty about not wanting to see someone perform.

I assume you saw Van Patten as the Stepmother, and couldn't agree more about how funny she is.  Playing 'tipsy' needs impeccable timing and she's got it.  I also saw Maggie Weirich in the same role, and while she danced the comedy well enough, she just wasn't particularly funny.  And BTW, if you thought Van Patten's Stepmother was hilarious, don't miss her Juliet:  an absolutely stunning dramatic performance that left me shredded.

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I saw Van Patten dance Juliet twice and was bowled over, I also loved her in Diamonds and in Swan Lake.  I saw De Sola again last night in Etudes and found her in her element, dancing with radiance and finesse. I particularly appreciate her in the Sylphide section, which can sometimes come off as camp. De Sola danced one of the most effective Olgas I have seen in Onegin, where she and Myles Thatcher as Lensky had a deep connection.  

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