"Sarah Van Patten" tag
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.

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.

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 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…

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.

Maria Kochetkova and Joseph Walsh in Cinderella.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Cinderella – Washington

★★★✰✰   Yet for all its narrative surprises and witty designs, this Cinderella is a curiously underwhelming work when it comes to the choreography.

Dores André.© Chris Hardy. (Click image for larger version)

Dores André – Principal, San Francisco Ballet

If it was up to me, I would pay more [salary] to the corps than to the principals. Half the ballet depends on them, and it is very hard to be in a good mood and trying your hardest every day when you are not getting the attention and the development that we get as principals and soloists.

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 and Carlos Quenedit in Tomasson/Possokhov's Don Quixote.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Don Quixote – San Francisco

Principal dancers Mathilde Froustey and Carlos Quenedit were exactly what the audience wanted on opening night.

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.

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…

Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham in Christopher Wheeldon's Within The Golden Hour.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Maelstrom, Within the Golden Hour, Glass Pieces – Paris

Great to see so many of San Francisco Ballet’s dancers enjoying themselves and enthusing their audience in a steamy summer evening in Paris.

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…

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

San Francisco Ballet – Trio, Ghosts and Borderlands – New York

San Francisco Ballet is in town for two weeks, and on the evidence of opening night, this should be an invigorating visit. The company looks to be in top form.

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.

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