"Sofiane Sylve" 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 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.

Tyler Angle and the corps in Namouna, a Grand Divertissement.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Russian Seasons and Namouna, a Grand Divertissement – New York

★★★★✰   I still remember my feelings during the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons at NYCB in 2006. There was a shock of recognition: this was the thing I had been looking for…

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.

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.

Madeline Skelly and Connor Walsh of Houston Ballet in Forsythe's Artifact Suite.© Amitava Sarkar. (Click image for larger version)

Celebrate Forsythe – Pas/Parts 2016, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Artifact Suite – Los Angeles

★★★★✰   San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet have come together in LA to celebrate William Forsythe probably the most influential ballet choreographer of his generation. Claudia Bauer reports on a fine night…

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.

Frances Chung and Vitor Luiz in Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Coppélia – San Francisco

★★★★✰ It’s a treat to be in the theater when a dancer achieves a triumphant performance…

Sofiane Sylve in Scarlett's Fearful Symmetries.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fearful Symmetries (premiere), Rubies, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ “But despite his high concept, Scarlett seemed to lose the thread halfway through, resorting to lascivious theatrics to complete the work…”

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.

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.

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