"San Francisco" tag
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.

Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider in Some of a Thousand Words.© Nir Arieli. (Click image for larger version)

Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider – Some of a Thousand Words – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   I very much like Brooks’ work, particularly his approach to rebound, points of contact in partnering and his nuanced use of accumulation…

RAWdance Co-Artistic Directors Wendy Rein and Ryan T. Smith.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

RAWdance presents – CONCEPT 21: Chamber & works in progress by Bay Area choreographers – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Designed, curated and hosted by RAWdance’s co-Artistic Directors Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, the CONCEPT series invites San Francisco dance enthusiasts to experience an intimate showing of local performances and choreography.

Christy Funsch and Nol Simonse in the beauty and ruin of friends, of bodies.© Robbie Sweeny. (Click image for larger version)

Nol Simonse and Christy Funsch – the beauty and ruin of friends, of bodies – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Choreographed by Nol Simonse, in collaboration with Christy Funsch, and performed by the incomparable pair, a myriad of ideas and themes were at play during the sixty-minute work. But one concept was particularly striking: time.

Byron Tittle, Michelle Dorrance and Matthew West in Three to One.© Kevin Parry. (Click image for larger version)

Dorrance Dance – Jungle Blues, Three to One, Myelination – San Francisco

★★★★★   Dorrance Dance is received with such universal enthusiasm and love that reviewing them feels like an exercise in redundancy, like piling on to a scrum that’s already 30 players deep.

Alex Carrington in Skies Calling Skies Falling.© RJ Muna. (Click image for larger version)

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company – Site Series (Inside Outside) Reimagined, Skies Calling Skies Falling – San Francisco

★★★★✰   …the line between performer and viewer hovers in a delicious state of ambiguity, steeped in porousness.

Anna Greenberg in XO.© Kaveri Seth. (Click image for larger version)

Paufve Dance – XO: eXquisite Orientation – San Francisco

★★★★✰   In XO: eXquisite Orientation, Bay Area choreographer Randee Paufve channels the fears and frustrations that distress many of us….

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…

Liane Burns and Charles Slender-White in FACT/SF's Platform.© Andrew Weeks. (Click image for larger version)

FACT/SF and The Foundry – Platform, Deep South (premieres) – San Francisco

★★★★✰   It can be fascinating to see how two artists, starting with the same media, create completely unique works.

Catherine Turocy, director New York Baroque Dance Company.© Courtesy New York Baroque Dance Company. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Catherine Turocy, artistic director of New York Baroque Dance Company

Meticulous reconstructions of Petipa, Cunningham, Graham, Taylor works are performance staples these days. Much rarer is a reconstruction like “Le Temple de la Gloire” (The Temple of Glory) a 1745 political opera-ballet with music by Jean-Philippe Rameau and a libretto by the philosopher Voltaire….

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.

Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham in Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Prodigal Son, Diamonds – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   The soloists and principals of San Francisco Ballet brought unique interpretations to George Balanchine classics for the company’s fourth program of the season, a varied survey of Balanchine’s oeuvre.

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.

Batsheva Dance Company in Last Work.© Gadi Dagon. (Click image for larger version)

Batsheva Dance Company – Last Work – San Francisco

★★✰✰✰   There is a saying in the film industry that you’re only as good as your last movie. Luckily, choreographer Ohad Naharin is better than his Last Work.

Lucinda Childs Dance Company in Available Light.© JJ Tiziou. (Click image for larger version)

Lucinda Childs Dance Company – Available Light – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Available Light is merciless, and in the best way…

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.

Nicholas Strafaccia, Gerald Casel and Samuel Wentz in Fluster.© Tim Russell. (Click image for larger version)

GERALDCASELDANCE – Cover Your Mouth When You Smile, Thirdperson, Fluster – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   Evaluating works in progress is a peculiar exercise. Without knowing what parts of a dance are complete or still conceptual, or where they fit within the context of a larger yet to be created piece a review is a guessing game.

Courtney Moreno, Chinchin Hsu and Arletta Anderson in Le grand spectacle de l'effort et de l'artifice.© Robbie Sweeney. (Click image for larger version)

Funsch Dance Experience – Le grand spectacle de l’effort et de l’artifice (premiere) – San Francisco

★★★★✰   The work reflects Funsch at her razor-sharp best: rigorous and searingly self-discilplined in design, grounded and emotionally present in performance.

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