"War Memorial Opera House" tag
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.

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.

Maria Kochetkova and Vitor Luiz in Cranko's Onegin.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Onegin – San Francisco

★★★★✰   Created in 2010 for the National Ballet of Canada, this production of the late John Cranko’s 1965 ballet was a smash here in 2012; it was reprised in 2013 and it’s wonderful to have it back again so soon.

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.

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

San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker – San Francisco

The first time I saw San Francisco Ballet’s current production of The Nutcracker, a little boy sitting in front of us turned to his mother and whispered, “It’s magic!” Eleven years later, to the very day, it’s still a magical experience.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Romeo & Juliet.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Romeo & Juliet – San Francisco

Choreographed by artistic director Helgi Tomasson in 1994, the ballet is popular with audiences here and makes a satisfying coda to his thirtieth-anniversary season…

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.

Mathilde Froustey In Robbins' Dances at a Gathering.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Dances at a Gathering, Hummingbird – San Francisco

San Francisco Ballet’s Program 4 is a double bill coupling a welcome return of Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering with a Liam Scarlett’s Hummingbird.

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 in Tomasson's Giselle.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Giselle – San Francisco

…Kochetkova and Luiz told the tale beautifully…

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