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SFB Coronavirus-related Community Outreach


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The SFB website now has some content specifically dealing with the Covid-19 era closures, and the various attempts to adjust to life at home and online:

#SFBalletCan: Social Media for Social Distancing
A Roundup of Photos and Videos to Help You Stay Connected
https://www.sfballet.org/discover/backstage/sfballetcan-love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/


San Francisco Ballet School Goes Digital!
https://www.sfballet.org/discover/backstage/san-francisco-ballet-school-goes-digital/

"It’s been an adventure to organize a dozen faculty members, eight pianists, and more than 500 students, but it all felt worth it when the first students tuned in with their own teacher and a pianist. Students of all levels joined from across the Bay Area, and advanced students joined from around the world, from places as far as Germany, Japan, and Spain. After piloting 11 classes in the first week, the School will more than double the number of classes in week two, offering 30 weekly classes for levels Pre-Ballet through Trainee, plus classes for adults and people with Parkinson’s Disease."


Backstage (general ballet article and video category that includes links to the above)
https://www.sfballet.org/discover/backstage/


EDIT: there is also a page linking directly to the live-streamed classes here:
https://www.sfballet.org/sf-ballet-company-class-live-stream/

(The SFB classes start at 1pm PST. Meanwhile, SFB-associated people have organized a World Ballet Class online that begins at 11:30am PST - so there is some competition there for eyes).

Edited by pherank
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OK, people will like this a lot - for one thing, it's FREE.  😉

SHELTER-IN-PLACE WITH SF BALLET

Watch SFB in Stanton Welch's Bespoke, streamed online:

Bespoke, RECORDED FEBRUARY 16, 2020
Available Friday, April 3–Friday, April 10

https://www.sfballet.org/sf-ballet-home/

BESPOKE

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Choreographer: Stanton Welch
Costume Design: Holly Hynes
Lighting Design: James F. Ingalls

Conductor: Martin West
Violin: Cordula Merks

CASTING

Sasha De Sola, Isabella DeVivo, Ellen Rose Hummel,
Wona Park, Jennifer Stahl, WanTing Zhao

Alexandre Cagnat, Cavan Conley, Benjamin Freemantle,
Angelo Greco, Steven Morse, Lonnie Weeks

Edited by pherank
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I've watched the Bespoke video a number of times, and it looks better to me each time I see it. Most of the ensemble now looks so comfortable and well-rehearsed that they can just fly through the proceedings. Jen Stahl was commanding, Angelo Greco, Wona Park and Sasha De Sola were all very much in their element. Lonnie Weeks was a blast to watch. My absolute favorite though was WanTing Zhao - she just looked glorious to me - even though near the beginning of her PDD with Morse, WanTing's pointe shoe drags across his thigh (the kind of thing we wouldn't likely notice from the audience). And Morse struck me as being a bit short for her, and not yet possessing the upper body strength (and experience) to really move her about "effortlessly" (as in that's the way it's supposed to look). It certainly wasn't bad, the lifts just weren't always as smooth and graceful as Welch likely intended. I'd like to see WanTing with Helimets or Birkkjaer, even Joe Walsh (he has the strength for these types of lifts). [Or Aaron Robison, when he returns.] Morse looked more comfortable with Jen Stahl, oddly enough given her height, but it may have been the particular movements that were a better fit. The trio section with Stahl, Park and De Sola was marvelous. Big smiles all around. The all male dances, and same-sex partnerings were all fun and well executed.

In the solo sections everyone was dancing well and looking fully committed. If there were issues, they tended to appear during the challenging lifts. I noticed one missed lift, but no major mishaps. The women in particular seemed to be having a grand time.

Please can Ellen Rose Hummel finally be given some more involved ballet roles? I think we've waited long enough (and I'm sure she has).

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I agree with you, pherank!  All the dancers look in absolutely top shape here.  I really like Bespoke because I think it showcases the talent and diversity of SF Ballet so well.

I absolutely loved the trio of Stahl, De Sola, and Park. I was struck that all three dancers are such different heights (especially Stahl who I think is one of SFB's taller dancers, and Park who I think is on the shorter end), yet were able to dance in such unison.  All three dancers had such command of the stage and the choreography, yet still were so synchronized.

WanTing Zhao is always so expressive and fluid and lovely to watch.

As usual, Angelo Greco was fantastic, charismatic, and technically solid.

I agree with you about Ellen Rose Hummel - I haven't seen her in enough featured ballerina roles, but she seems so deserving, from what I've seen of her!

One thing that really struck me while watching is how I've seen so many of these dancers since the time they joined the corps - I've loved how I've seen them grow and mature over the years, and in many cases rise through the ranks to the top.  Especially seeing WanTing Zhao, Jennifer Stahl, and Sasha De Sola on stage together was such a reminder to me of what a talented company SFB is and how many dancers have risen through the ranks, from corps to principal.

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Now that SFB is dipping into their company film archive to advertise their capabilities during the Covid-19 quarantine period, I'm trying to think of representative videos that would not only be enjoyable for me, but demonstrate the range of the company's dancers and repertoire. I'm guessing that SFB will be staying away from showing full-length ballets in favor of more recent short pieces (otherwise, I would suggest Giselle with Froustey and Helimets - a film I've actually seen).

(If SFB doesn't have plans to revive Yuri Possokhov's next year) I would nominate Swimmer as a must see on video - Firebird would be fun as well) Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour is an audience favorite; Peck's Rodeo and In the Countenance of Kings would be thrilling; Balanchine's Serenade (with Mathilde Froustey), and Stravinsky Violin Concerto; Robbin's Fancy Free or The Concert; Lifar's Suite en Blanc; Lander's Etudes; Ratmansky's Symphony #9; Petrouchka with Pascal Molat; Morris's Sandpaper Ballet (or whichever); Tomasson's The Fifth Season; Excerpts from Cranklo's Onegin would be great. Some Forsythe or McGregor; Marsten's Snowblind with 1st cast...

I'd be happy to hear from everyone else about ballets they would particularly like to see in this format.

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Good question!  Off the top of my head:

* Definitely In the Countenance of Kings, since I think that was choreographed specifically for SFB. (or maybe Hurry Up We're Dreaming)  
* Your Flesh Shall Be A Great Poem, to showcase some of SFB's more contemporary capabilities (and another one choreographted specifically for SFB)
* For Pixie - love Walsh and Andre in it, and would love to showcase a female choreographer
* Snowblind - Mathilde Froustey was amazing in it, would love a more dramatic work broadcasted
* Within the Golden Hour - one of my true favorites
* Etudes - I was blown away by Sasha de Sola as the lead this year
* Sandpaper Ballet - need something cheerful during these dark times
* Something Balanchine - would love Rubies or Serenade. They did Prodigal Son a few years back and I enjoyed that.
* I secretly wish they'd put up Little Mermaid.  I think it was already broadcast on PBS a while back but I think SFB is amazing in it.  Any opportunity to see YYT!

I can live without Helgi's choreography, but FIfth Season is my favorite of what he's choreographed.

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13 minutes ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

Good question!  Off the top of my head:

* Definitely In the Countenance of Kings, since I think that was choreographed specifically for SFB. (or maybe Hurry Up We're Dreaming)  
* Your Flesh Shall Be A Great Poem, to showcase some of SFB's more contemporary capabilities (and another one choreographted specifically for SFB)
* For Pixie - love Walsh and Andre in it, and would love to showcase a female choreographer
* Snowblind - Mathilde Froustey was amazing in it, would love a more dramatic work broadcasted
* Within the Golden Hour - one of my true favorites
* Etudes - I was blown away by Sasha de Sola as the lead this year
* Sandpaper Ballet - need something cheerful during these dark times
* Something Balanchine - would love Rubies or Serenade. They did Prodigal Son a few years back and I enjoyed that.
* I secretly wish they'd put up Little Mermaid.  I think it was already broadcast on PBS a while back but I think SFB is amazing in it.  Any opportunity to see YYT!

I can live without Helgi's choreography, but FIfth Season is my favorite of what he's choreographed.

For Pixie is a great suggestion.
The problem will of course be getting permissions/licensing to broadcast any of these ballets. It's likely easier to show ballets created on SFB for that reason. I would be surprised if we didn't see something by Helgi or Myles Thatcher for that reason.

Little Mermaid is great, but it's available on DVD. Same with Nutcracker. So there wouldn't be any surprise factor.

Edited by pherank
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SHELTER-IN-PLACE WITH SF BALLET

Watch SFB in David Dawson's Anima Animus, streamed online:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa0IYI8L8JA

[Video is of the original 1st Cast, which included Maria Kochetkova]

CAST
Sofiane Sylve, Maria Kochetkova
Henry Sidford, Carlo Di Lanno, Luke Ingham, Wei Wang
Elizabeth Powell, Skyla Schreter, Kamryn Baldwin, Elizabeth Mateer

'Anima Animus received its premiere performance by San Francisco Ballet during Unbound: A Festival of New Works on April 21, 2018 at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California.

The 2018 world premiere of Anima Animus was made possible by Unbound Festival Presenting Sponsor Diane B. Wilsey and Grand Benefactor Sponsor Yurie and Carl Pascarella.

Support for Anima Animus for the 2020 Repertory Season was provided by Major Sponsors Kathleen Grant, M.D. and Thomas Jackson, M.D., and Beth and Brian Grossman; and Sponsors Dr. Timothy Marten and Ms. Mary Heylin, and ENCORE!

Music: Violin Concerto #1 “Esoconcerto” by Ezio Bosso. Costumes constructed by S-Curve Apparel & Design, San Francisco, California. Scenic construction and painting by San Francisco Ballet Carpentry and Scenic Departments.

Archival Capture by Rapt Productions'

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Wow I just watched!!!  I had not seen this piece before, my loss!  My jaw was dropped the entire time, such amazing dancing, but especially from Sofiane Sylve.  She dances with such control but such abandon all at once.  She has such command of the stage.  I'm so sad she's leaving SFB.

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This Riff Magazine article puts into perspective the various ongoing SFB fund raising activities during the Covid-19 quarantine period:

SF Ballet turns to crowdfunding to keep employees paid, looks to the future

https://riffmagazine.com/news/sf-ballet-crowdfunding-covid19/


Principal dancer Mathilde Froustey said she’s proud how the ballet and many dancers are using online platforms available to reach people and ask for help, and added that Tomasson is the best man for the job of bringing SF Ballet back once the quarantine is over.

“If you would have told me a month ago that we would share a crowdfunding campaign on Facebook and Instagram, I would have laughed. But it’s great that San Francisco Ballet is adapting so fast,” Froustey said. “There is no shame in this. We need to use every tool we have to come back. … When Helgi took over 35 years ago, he made it one of the best companies in the world. So if Helgi cannot rebound from this, nobody will.”

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Joe Walsh put up his own SFB fund raising page which has a personal touch:

https://give.sfballet.org/fundraiser/2729786


My birthday is coming up at the end of this month, and by the looks of it I don’t think it will be spent outside of my apartment. I usually spend my birthday on stage with SFB, and the only way to make that happen again is with donations big and small.

The 19-20 season was shaping up to be one of the greatest of my career. From a last minute Romeo in Copenhagen, to a new take on “The Graduate” I was having the time of my life every step I took on stage. The prime of a dancer’s career is fleeting, and anytime spent off stage is detrimental to what we have spent our lives trying to perfect.

There is no way around it, we are all in this strange, harsh new reality together. In order to forge a new path that still includes SF Ballet, I am asking for your help. Unfortunately, you can’t go out for that cup of coffee you are used to anymore, so maybe just donate that $3 here instead! ($5 if you’re getting that coffee in SF)  While sheltering in place, I have seen some really beautiful evolutions of how dancers connect with each other and our audiences. I am hoping this technological revolution opens the world of our art form to a whole new generation. But to get back on stage where we truly shine, we need your support.

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Madison Keesler interviewed Misa Kuranaga for Keesler and Freemantle's new Instagram show "6 Feet Apart". If you want to know all about Misa and her journey as a dancer, this is the interview.
 

 

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Not an SFB initiative, but featuring SFB dancers...

In addition to remote Worldwide Ballet Classes, Zarely Dancewear has been presenting home workouts during the Covid-19 quarantine period.
Many of these exercises can be done by non-dancers.

Online home ballet workout with Sasha De Sola, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIek6IVwfVk


Online home ballet workout with Misa Kuranaga, Principal Dancer with the San Francisco Ballet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9c-J2GLj5M


Slow Barre Class with Diego Cruz, Dancer with San Francisco Ballet and Co-Founder at Zarely

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JxoJoiHrKc

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