Author: Aimee Tsao

Aimée Ts'ao, a San Francisco dance writer, has appeared in Dance Magazine, was dance critic for the Bay Area Reporter and was the senior ballet editor for the Dance Insider Online. She lets her previous incarnation as a professional dancer (ballet and modern) imbue her perspective and hopes you like the resulting flavour.

Under are the articles written for DanceTabs.
Taras Domitro in Possokhov’s Swimmer.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Caprice, The Four Temperaments, Swimmer – San Francisco

Swimmer is one man’s journey from being the stereotypical breadwinner… to his own self-realisation in a kind of isolated freedom.

Ommi Pipit-Suksun in Yuri Zhukov's User's Manual.© Francisco Preciado. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – This Might Be True, Eighty One, User’s Manual – San Jose

Ballet San Jose is full of surprises…

Derrick Agnoletti and Aaron Rogers in Alexander Ekman's Episode 31.© Cheryl Mann. (Click image for larger version)

Joffrey Ballet – Incantations, Son of Chamber Symphony, Bells, Episode 31 – San Francisco

As always, it’s a pleasure to see the Joffrey Ballet, especially since 2007 when artistic director Ashley Wheater assumed his post and began a terrific revival of the company…

Mathilde Froustey In Robbins' Dances at a Gathering.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Dances at a Gathering, Hummingbird – San Francisco

San Francisco Ballet’s Program 4 is a double bill coupling a welcome return of Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering with a Liam Scarlett’s Hummingbird.

Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in Possokhov's Bells.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Infinite Romance: 2015 Season Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

The SF Ballet premiere of choreographer-in-residence Yuri Possokhov’s pas de deux from Bells is my all-round favorite of the evening. Sublime dancing from Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan…

Yuan Yuan Tan and Davit Karapetyan in Tomason's Giselle.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Giselle – San Francisco

Though Tan dances with a wonderful lightness and an elegance not quite suited to a naïve peasant girl, she never really emotionally engages with the ardent Karapetyan, who possesses nuanced acting and strong technique, and deserves to have a partner who can match his level of commitment to crafting a role.

Sarah Van Patten and Anthony Spaulding in Hans van Manen's Variations for Two Couples.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 2014 Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

The best all-round piece of the evening is Hans van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples, from the exquisitely concise choreography by this still-relevant master…

Scott Wells & Dancers – Father On – San Francisco

Ah, the brilliance of brevity. Scott Wells & Dancers plunge straight into Father On with a thirty-second audio track that sums up courtship, marriage,and conception.

Ballet San Jose flyer for the 2013 Benefit Gala.© Ballet San Jose. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – 2013 Benefit Gala – San Jose

This was an evening not to be missed. Newly appointed Artistic Director, José Manuel Carreño, made sure that the quality of the eighteen guest artists for Ballet San Jose’s Gala Performance would tantalise even the most skeptical dance fan.

Christopher Bordenave in Idan Sharabi's Spider on a Mirror.© Sandy Lee. (Click image for larger version)

Zhukov Dance Theatre – Enlight, Spider on a Mirror – San Francisco

At times the choreography doesn’t seem to fit this space… Nonetheless, the dancers do a remarkable job with what they are given.

Jeffrey Van Sciver, David Harvey, Robb Beresford, Meredith Webster and Michael Montgomery in Writing Ground.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet – Concerto for Two Violins, Writing Ground – San Francisco

Quite by accident I ended up seeing LINES Ballet’s fall season twice. A good thing I did, too.

Nederlands Dans Theater – Sehnsucht, Schmetterling – San Francisco

This visit by the internationally acclaimed troupe met half of my high expectations – the dancers were as spectacular as ever.

Bill T. Jones and SITI Company – A Rite, /Time:Study 1 – San Francisco

A Rite, in the hands of Jones, Bogart, and Wong, is the most startling and insightful version I have seen…

Terez Dean and Eduardo Permuy in Jirí Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land.© Keith Sutter. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Ballet – XXtremes: Seiwert, Kylian and Smuin bill – San Francisco

Earlier this month Smuin Ballet danced their XXtremes bill in San Francisco with works by Amy Seiwert, Jiri Kylian and Michael Smuin. Aimée Tsao with thoughts on the bill and where the company might be heading…

BODYTRAFFIC in Kollide.© Christo Brock. (Click image for larger version)

BODYTRAFFIC – Barak Marshall, Kyle Abraham, Richard Siegal bill – San Francisco

This company is the definition of esprit de corps, period.

Damara Vita Ganley in Joe Goode's Hush.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

Joe Goode Performance Group – HUSH – San Francisco

Sensitive acting and nuanced dancing by the entire cast contribute immensely to the production.

Weston Krukow, Annali Rose and James Gilmer in Amy Seiwert's The Devil Ties My Tongue.© David DeSilva. (Click image for larger version)

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery – Sketch 3 – San Francisco

Amy Seiwert’s Sketch series is about dancers taking risks. Aimée Tsao caught up with Sketch 3 and works by Seiwert, Marc Brew and Val Caniparoli…

Aidan DeYoung and Post:Ballet in Robert Dekkers' field the present shifts.© Tricia Cronin. (Click image for larger version)

Post:Ballet – Four Plays: Colouring, Sixes and Seven, When in Doubt, field the present shifts – San Francisco

Dekkers has some interesting ideas for collaborations with composers, visual artists and set designers, which sound good in the program notes but, at best, they remain embryonic on stage.

Kate Weare Company in Drop Down.© Kate Weare Company. (Click image for larger version)

SF Walking Distance Dance Festival – Kate Weare, Brian Brooks and others

Kate Weare, originally from the Bay Area and now based in New York, is easily the most intriguing choreographer in the festival. It certainly helps that she also has outstanding dancers…

Eifman Ballet in Rodin.© Gene Schiavone and courtesy of Eifman Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Eifman Ballet – Rodin – San Francisco

The choreography looks like a steroid-fueled hybrid of Graham-based agony and the precision and fluidity of classical ballet. …nothing succeeds like excess…

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