"San Francisco Ballet" tag
Francesca Hayward and Matthew Ball (The Royal Ballet) in Bach Forms, choreography by Wayne McGregor.© Ravi Deepres. (Click image for larger version)

Dance@TheGrange – Curated by Wayne McGregor & Edward Watson – Grange Festival, Hampshire

★★★★✰   McGregor’s company dancers (in Bach Forms) brought a surging energy, buoying up jewel-like moments from the Royal Ballet stars…

Garrett Anderson, right, with full ensemble in James Sofranko's Homing.© Alexander Reneff-Olson. (Click image for larger version)

SFDanceworks – Season Three: Snap, Homing, The Old Child, Jardí Tancat – San Francisco

★★★★✰   SFDanceworks is going places. Formed in 2014 by longtime San Francisco Ballet soloist James Sofranko, the relatively new company already finds itself in a season of expansion.

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.”

Maria Kochetkova in Pita's Björk Ballet.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program D: works by Edwaard Liang, Dwight Rhoden, Arthur Pita – San Francisco

★★★★★   A hundred monkeys might eventually type out Hamlet, but only a herd of unicorns on Ecstasy could come anywhere near Arthur Pita’s Björk Ballet.

Mark Morris Dance Group in Pacific.© Hilary Schwab. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – Lou 100: Pacific, Numerator, Serenade, Grand Duo – New York

★★★★✰   It’s one of the most striking characteristics of the Mark Morris Dance Group. A common sense of focus, an alertness to the music and to each other.

San Francisco Ballet in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Guernica.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program C: works by Stanton Welch, Trey McIntyre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Program C’s offerings spanned the choreographic spectrum, from pure movement to narrative threads to inventive theatricality. Every work on the bill impressed with its freshness and ingenuity.

Sarah Van Patten, Mathilde Froustey and Ulrik Birkkjaer in Marston's Snowblind.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Unbound Festival Program B: works by Myles Thatcher, Cathy Marston, David Dawson – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Snowblind is a great narrative ballet – the source material is striking and Marston’s interpretation of it, equally so.

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.

Maria Alexandrova and Vladislav Lantratov in Nureyev.© Marc Haegeman. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2018 – London

★★★✰✰   This year’s Russian Ballet gala was ostensibly in honour of the 200th anniversary of Marius Petipa’s birth. Any choreography attributed to him was mostly a long way ‘after Petipa’, but it’s always fun to see excellent Russian dancers deliver pas de deux from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire.

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.

Dores André and Ulrik Birkkjaer in Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Serenade, The Chairman Dances, Rodeo – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Not all, but many pas de deuxs have a romantic subtext, whether intentional or not. But in Rodeo Peck has crafted a pas de deux celebrating introductions and the process of getting to know another person.

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.

Erica Felsch & the men of the company in Michael Smuin's Santa Baby, from The Christmas Ballet.© Keith Sutter. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Contemporary American Ballet – The Christmas Ballet – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   I’ve seen The Christmas Ballet five times over the years and it has always been and continues to be a lovely, celebratory afternoon or evening at the theatre. That said, I still struggle with the format.

Gemma Bond's Then and Again.© Rod Brayman. (Click image for larger version)

Gemma Bond Dance – Then and Again, The Giving, Impressions – New York

★★★✰✰   It’s intriguing to see pas de deux that are clearly conceived from a woman’s point of view.

Sarah Lane and Alban Lendorf in Souvenir d’un lieu cher.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Tchaikovsky Spectacular bills – New York

★★★✰✰   Ratmansky’s Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher turned out to be a mysterious little ballet, a double pas de deux that captures, …the complex history of a quartet of characters.

News – Royal Ballet Promotions, Joiners and Leavers, 2017/18 Season

Hightlight – Yasmine Nagdhi promoted to Principal dancer. Full press release with all Promotions, Joiners and Leavers

Dutch National Ballet in the Piano Concerto #1 section of Shostakovich Trilogy.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Shostakovich Trilogy (European premiere) – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   This little trip made it abundantly clear we need to see more Ratmansky in the UK and Europe…

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…

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