"Frances Chung" tag
Dores André and Aaron Robison in Pita's Salome.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fusion, Salome (premiere), Fearful Symmetries – San Francisco

★★★★★   Pita’s Salome is pure postmodern dance-theater, and a five-star surprise on the Opera House stage.

Vitor Luiz in Scarlett's Frankenstein.© Erik Tomasson.

San Francisco Ballet – Frankenstein – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   It was a dark and stormy night – San Francisco Ballet couldn’t have designed a more apt and ominous atmosphere for the opening of Liam Scarlett’s Frankenstein.

Lorena Feijoo in Possokhov's Optimistic Tragedy.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Seven Sonatas, Optimistic Tragedy (premiere), Pas/Parts 2016 – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   The trouble with Program 2 is its centerpiece, choreographer-in-residence Yuri Possokhov’s new work ‘Optimistic Tragedy’.

Koto Ishihara, Francisco Mungamba and Wei Wang in Bubeníček's Fragile Vessels.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Haffner Symphony, Fragile Vessels (premiere), In the Countenance of Kings – San Francisco

★★★★✰   The company’s first regular-season commission from Czech choreographer Jiří Bubeníček, “Fragile Vessels”, is a 40-minute meditation on love, loss and reconciliation.

Madeline Skelly and Connor Walsh of Houston Ballet in Forsythe's Artifact Suite.© Amitava Sarkar. (Click image for larger version)

Celebrate Forsythe – Pas/Parts 2016, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Artifact Suite – Los Angeles

★★★★✰   San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet have come together in LA to celebrate William Forsythe probably the most influential ballet choreographer of his generation. Claudia Bauer reports on a fine night…

Frances Chung, Jennifer Stahl, Dores André and Joseph Walsh in Justin Peck's In The Countenance Of Kings.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Continuum, In the Countenance of Kings (premiere), Theme and Variations – San Francisco

★★★★✰   San Francisco Ballet (SFB) saved the best for its last mixed bill of the 2016 season.

Frances Chung and Vitor Luiz in Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Coppélia – San Francisco

★★★★✰ It’s a treat to be in the theater when a dancer achieves a triumphant performance…

Sofiane Sylve in Scarlett's Fearful Symmetries.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fearful Symmetries (premiere), Rubies, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ “But despite his high concept, Scarlett seemed to lose the thread halfway through, resorting to lascivious theatrics to complete the work…”

Maria Kochetkova and Francisco Mungamba in Forsythe's Pas/Parts.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 7 for Eight, Magrittomania, Pas/Parts – San Francisco

★★★★✰ “….that is what is marvelous about Forsythe’s Pas/Parts. Would that more choreographers would offer that kind of brisk and bracing slap in the face.”

San Francisco Ballet School students in the Waltz of the Hours from Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Opening Night Gala – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ By way of a défilé, the evening opened with the “Waltz of the Hours” from Balanchine and Danilova’s Coppélia …Soloist Jennifer Stahl led two dozen girls from the SFB School, adorable in cotton-candy tutus.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker – San Francisco

The first time I saw San Francisco Ballet’s current production of The Nutcracker, a little boy sitting in front of us turned to his mother and whispered, “It’s magic!” Eleven years later, to the very day, it’s still a magical experience.

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.

Frances Chung in Ratmansky's Piano Concerto #1 from Shostakovich Trilogy.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Program 6: Shostakovich Trilogy – San Francisco

It’s a disconcerting feeling when you don’t respond to a piece that nearly everyone else agrees is revelatory. That’s the situation I find myself in with Alexei Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy.

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.

Norika Matsuyama and Steven Morse in Thatcher's Manifesto.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Program 3 including Myles Thatcher premiere – San Francisco

Program 3 features Hans van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Manifesto by Myles Thatcher and “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Pascal Molat in Possokhov's RAkU.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Prog 1: Serenade, RAkU, Lambarena – San Francisco

America’s oldest ballet company, San Francisco Ballet, opened its eighty-second season with a triple bill that encapsulates the uniquely varied repertory developed by artistic director Helgi Tomasson…

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…

San Francisco Ballet in Liam Scarlett's Hummingbird.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Caprice, Hummingbird, Symphonic Dances – Paris

Audience applause during the evening recognised that Scarlett’s Hummingbird was the starry centrepiece of the three Paris premieres.

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…

Maria Kochetkova in Wheeldon's Cinderella.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Cinderella – San Francisco

If extravagant productions are the way to bring in new audiences and fill the till then they are justified for those reasons alone. However, they don’t necessarily leave a rich legacy for future generations.

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