"San Francisco" tag
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 and Christoph Schutz in Father On.© David Papas. (Click image for larger version)

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.

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.

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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/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company in A Rite.© Paul B. Goode. (Click image for larger version)

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…

Jane Rehm and Jonathan Dummar in Petal by Helen Pickett.© Keith Sutter. (Click image for larger version)

Smuin Ballet – Chants d’Auvergne, Petal, Jazzin’ – San Francisco

The Smuin Ballet’s current season, Spring Bouquet, has one remarkable flower at its center. The ballet’s title, Petal, hardly does it justice in this metaphor since the work is far beyond the sum of its botanical parts.

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

San Francisco Ballet – Cinderella (another look with different casts) – San Francisco

Christopher Wheeldon’s new Cinderella for San Francisco Ballet is spied in 2 more casts by Aimée Tsao. Some nice dancing but still rather an OTT Broadway-style extravaganza.

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.

Christopher Wheeldon rehearsing his new Cinderella.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

Christopher Wheeldon – Choreographer

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is currently at the San Francisco Ballet preparing for the American premiere of his Cinderella. He has a rehearsal in forty-five minutes so we quickly set off to discuss his latest full-length ballet and many other things…

Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada in Possokhov's Francesca da Rimini.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Criss-Cross, Francesca da Rimini, Symphony in Three Movements – San Francisco

Program 7 made me think a lot about this tricky issue of programming because this bill is a weird sandwich made with a delectable gourmet filling between slices of bland Wonder bread.

Lorena Feijoo and Vitor Luiz in Caniparoli's Ibsen's House.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Raymonda Act III, Ibsen’s House, Symphonic Dances – San Francisco

The highlight of the program is Lorena Feijóo’s return to the stage in more than one ballet during the evening. After being out on maternity leave for a year …is dancing better than ever.

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