"Frances Chung" tag
Yuan Yuan Tan and Pascal Molat in Possokhov's RAkU.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Prog 1: Serenade, RAkU, Lambarena – San Francisco

America’s oldest ballet company, San Francisco Ballet, opened its eighty-second season with a triple bill that encapsulates the uniquely varied repertory developed by artistic director Helgi Tomasson…

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…

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…

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.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith in Wheeldon's After The Rain.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – 80th Season Gala Opening – San Francisco

Perhaps the best pas de deux of the evening, judging by the audience reaction, is one from Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain.

Frances Chung and Davit Karapetyan in Nutcracker.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Nutcracker – San Francisco

Not to be a scrooge-ish Grinch (or is it a grinchy Scrooge?), but I don’t really like all the sentimental and consumeristic trimmings and trappings that surround the holidays.

Sarah Van Patten and Carlos Quenedit in Wheeldon's Number Nine.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Trio, RAkU, Voices of Spring, Number Nine – Washington

The mixed bill proved once again that San Francisco Ballet is a dedicated promoter of new work…

Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith in Wheeldon's Ghosts.© Dave Morgan and courtesy of San Francisco Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Programme B: Tomasson, Wheeldon, Page – London

San Francisco’s second programme was better balanced than the first, with contrasting works created for the company within the past two years.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson/Possokhov's Don Quixote. © Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Don Quixote – San Francisco

Kochetkova and Domitro, together and separately, dance extraordinarily well. They don’t have the elusive chemistry that she has with Boada, but they still are very much in tune with each other, both musically and artistically, and make a very satisfying partnership.

San Francisco Ballet in Balanchine's The Four Temperaments. © Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – All Balanchine Bill (Program 7) – San Francisco

The sixty-five-year-old The Four Temperaments is now a senior citizen, but not even close to retiring…

Frances Chung and Pascal Molat in Page's Guide To Strange Places. © Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Programs 5 and 6 (Liang/Page premieres) – San Francisco

Calling this ballet a guide (Guide To Strange Places) is not really precise because it’s more like a portal that lets you in and then leaves you on your own to figure out where you are. Whether you have absolutely no sense of direction or can find your way anywhere blindfolded could determine how you explore this terrain

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