"Joan Boada" tag
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.

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…”

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.

José Manuel Carreño.© Chris Hardy. (Click image for larger version)

José Manuel Carreño – Artistic director of Silicon Valley Ballet

José Manuel Carreño on being a great Cuban dancer, now director of Silicon Valley Ballet, and the strong relations developing between the USA and Cuba and what that means for ballet.

Cover of the Dance Open 2015 Gala programme.© Dance Open. (Click image for larger version)

International Ballet Festival 2015 Dance Open and Tsiskaridze at the Vaganova Academy – St Petersburg

Margaret Willis has just been in St. Petersburg, catching up with the Dance Open Festival and also visiting the Vaganova Academy where she had some words with director Nikolai Tsiskaridze…

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 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.

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…

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.

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

San Francisco Ballet – Onegin (3 casts) – San Francisco

I first saw Onegin with Marcia Haydée and Richard Cragun when the Stuttgart Ballett made its New York debut in 1969. So when San Francisco Ballet premiered it in the 2011-12 season I was happy to meet an old acquaintance again.

San Francisco Ballet in Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – From Foreign Lands, Scotch Symphony, Golden Hour – San Francisco

From Foreign Lands: “This amusing, yet subtle send-up of classical ballet is rewarding in its expertly-shaped choreography, and made all the more appealing by the slight wackiness of the costumes and visual jokes.”

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.

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.

Maria Kochetkova.© David Allen. (Click image for larger version)

Maria Kochetkova – San Francisco Ballet – Principal

Who are your favorite choreographers? 1. “Christopher Wheeldon. He picked me for the first ballet I had created on me .. and I have worked with him on every single work he has done since I joined SFB.”

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…

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