"Helgi Tomasson" tag
Victoria Hulland, Ricardo Graziano and Ricardo Rhodes in Ashton's Monotones II.© Frank Atura. (Click image for larger version)

Sarasota Ballet – Monotones I & II, Symphony of Sorrows, There Where She Loved – New York

★★✰✰✰   After viewing Ashton on a bill with works by Ricardo Graziano and Christopher Wheeldon, I’m not worried about Ashton’s relevance nor his resonance with a future audience. …Both the Graziano and Wheeldon posed some problems from what some might consider a “female” perspective.

T.M. Rives and Alexander Ekman.© T.M. Rives & courtesy San Francisco Dance Film Festival. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Alexander Ekman & T.M. Rives on dance and film

“I think you’ve just got to dare to go there. It’s hard, it’s scary, but creation is always kind of scary in one way or the other. So I think you’ve just gotta have guts and go for it anyway.” Alexander Ekman.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa rehearsing Guernica.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Annabelle Lopez Ochoa on creating Guernica for SF Ballet’s Unbound Festival

“I don’t know if we can make the world a better place, but we can definitely have the audience think about it.”

Yuan Yuan Tan and Carlo Di Lanno in Wheeldon's Bound To.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program A: works by Alonzo King, Christopher Wheeldon, Justin Peck – San Francisco

★★★★✰   If Helgi Tomasson was hoping that Unbound: A Festival of New Works would generate heated debate on the state of ballet today, his wish has already been fulfilled just one night into the massive festival…

San Francisco Ballet in Robbins' The Cage.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Robbins: Ballet & Broadway quad bill – San Francisco

★★★★✰   There’s nothing like watching a woman crush a man’s neck with her thighs to make you go hmm, maybe that whole #MeToo thing has legs.

San Francisco Ballet in Thatcher's Ghost in the Machine.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – On a Theme of Paganini, Ibsen’s House, Ghost in the Machine – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   This mixed triple bill is made up of work created on the company by artists in the SFB family: On a Theme of Paganini by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson, Ibsen’s House by Principal Character dancer Val Caniparoli and Ghost in the Machine by Myles Thatcher, part of the corps de ballet since 2010.

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

San Francisco Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   The efforts of San Francisco Ballet’s artists are sadly misplaced in this largely joyless and wholly unsatisfying rendition of The Sleeping Beauty.

San Francisco Ballet School students in Balanchine’s Serenade.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet and School – Student Showcase, Promotions and Company Joiners

San Francisco exists in its own world, out here on the distant West Coast. The San Francisco Ballet, though, just became more global than ever, with new 2017-18 members joining from around the world. The company school, which presented its annual Student Showcase 31 May through 2 June at YBCA Theater, draws international students as well…

Kizzy Matiakis (Merteuil), Jon Axel Fransson (Valmont) and Andreas Kaas (Danceny) in Dangerous Liaisons.© Costin Radu. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Dangerous Liaisons (premiere) – Copenhagen

★★★★✰   …I was again struck by just how effortlessly a story can be communicated and emotions laid bare by ballet – it was a triumph.

Interviewed - Isabelle Brouwers, Rina Kanehara, Madison Keesler and Guilherme Menezes - 4 of the 6 Emerging Dancer 2017 finalists.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer 2017 Competition – 5 Questions to 4 Finalists

English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancer Competition is unique in British ballet in throwing the spotlight on more junior dancers or “tomorrow’s stars” as ENB put it. This year’s competition is on the 25 May and ahead of the that we talk to 4 of the 6 finalists – Isabelle Brouwers, Rina Kanehara, Madison Keesler and Guilherme Menezes…

San Francisco Ballet in Thatcher's Ghost In The Machine.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Trio, Ghost in the Machine (premiere), Within the Golden Hour – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Myles Thatcher is an inventive young talent…

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.

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.

Arianna Maldini and pianist Jonathan Higgins in Mistake Waltz.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2016 – London

★★★★✰   The Royal Ballet School in particular includes something very special in their show – the closing Grand Defile, which always brings a lump to the throat and a feeling of pride.

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.

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.

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

San Francisco Ballet – Romeo & Juliet – San Francisco

Choreographed by artistic director Helgi Tomasson in 1994, the ballet is popular with audiences here and makes a satisfying coda to his thirtieth-anniversary season…

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