writers on dancing

The DanceView Times, San Francisco Bay Area edition

       Volume 2, Number 6   February9, 2004    An online supplement to DanceView magazine

The Pursuit of Happiness

Don Quixote
San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco,  California
January 28, 2004

by Paul Parish
Copyright © 2004 by Paul Parish
published 9 February 2004

San Francisco Ballet's winter season opened for real last week with the first program in rotating rep, a smash-hit opening night performance of our new-last-year version of the Petipa-Gorsky Don Quixote, starring the dancers for whom it was made, the Cubans, Lorena Feijoo and Joan Boada. To say these two are perfect for the roles is as much an understatement as saying that John Wayne was right for Stagecoach. Feijoo and Boada are sensational in the roles—in terms of virtuosity this year's performances topped anything I saw last year, Feijoo turning triple and quadruple pirouettes as the take-offs for diagonals where she hurls herself through the air into Tchai-pas dives. But their virtuosity is merely a pre-requisite for presenting mythic energy; these characters are archetypes, albeit comic archetypes—nobility in adversity, expressed not as Stoicism but as unconquerable high spirits.
read review

Seasons Change in San Francisco

Quattro Staggioni, Study in Motion, Tu Tu
San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco,  California
February 5 , 2004

by Ann Murphy
Copyright © 2004 by Ann Murphy
published 9 February 2004

It is busy around here. Full moon’s up, Venus’s gleaming in the sky and in the moonlight you can just make out the silhouette of the flowering cherry trees. By day, crocuses shoulder through the ground and magnolias are flouncy with flowers like Southern girls in pink party dresses. Into this still pale but fragrant February comes a week in which several men view the world: Helgi Tomasson, Yuri Possokhov and Stanton Welch in program II at the San Francisco Ballet, Stephen Petronio, with haunted new dances, then 84-year-old Merce Cunningham, making old work seem new and necessary.

Here are some notes about SFB.
read review

Engraved Images

Interscape and Sounddance
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
(presented by Cal Performances)
Zellerbach Hall
UC Berkeley, California
February 7, 2004

by Rita Felciano
Copyright ©2003 by Rita Felciano
published 9 February 2004

What can you say at this point about Merce Cunningham? That he is a genius? That imagination must be a powerful elixir to keep his racked body going? That his dancers look like gods sent to earth for our delection? It has all been said before by better minds with more insight. And yet, the spirit aches to hang on to the experience for even a smidgeon. Language can do that. Imperfectly to be sure, but that's all we have.

Walking away from a Cunningham performance, having seen those beautiful dancer athletes who have been formed by the same clay, been refined through the same smelting process and yet turned out looking as individually distinct, leaves the heart—as should be clear by now—overflowing.
read report

What's On This Week

February 8, 2004
Big Moves

Perfectly timed for pre-Valentine's Day fun, this sophisticated evening offers guests unlimited tastes from a chocolate buffet, stocked with the work of chocolatiers and candymakers from around the Bay Area. Meanwhile, the performance showcase offers bite-size performances in modern, family-friendly burlesque, hip hop, belly dance, and even a romantic fashion show from San Francisco's Go Figure. All proceeds from "A Taste for Dance" benefit the programs of Big Moves.
Feb. 8, 5pm, First Unitarian Church, 685 Fourteenth St. (Castro), Oakland, 415-756-5593,

February 10-14, 2004
San Francisco Ballet
February 10, 11, 13
Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons) (Tomasson/Vivaldi)
Tu Tu (Welch/Ravel)
Study in Motion (Possokhov World Premiere)
February 12, 14 (mat & eve)
Don Quixote
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco

February 11, 2004
Budapest Dance Ensembl
"Gypsy Spirit, Journey of the Roma" traces the historical route of a 2,000-year-old musical diaspora that stretched from India to the Middle East and across Europe. The legendary Budapest Dance Ensemble — led by Zoltán Zsuráfszki, one of Europe's most accomplished choreographers and the master of the cimbalom (Hungarian dulcimer) — performs a wide-ranging sampling of the Gypsy's passionate traditions, including Spanish flamenco, Bulgarian melodies, Romanian folk tunes, and improvisational Hungarian csárdás (the "tango of the East").
Feb. 11, 8pm,
Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Campus, Bancroft Way (Telegraph), 510-642-9988,

February 12-13, 2004

"Dancing Downtown"
February 12, 7 pm
Opening-night celebration for “Dancing Downtown 2004.” Brenda Way's Noir and three premieres.
February 13, 8 pm
KT Nelson's RingRoundRozi, Brenda Way's Fiendish Variations and Noir
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard St., SF, 415-978-2787,

February 13, 2004
Scott Wells & Dancers

Performing Zen, If You Don't Mind, three works including a premiere. Featuring dancers: Jessilito Bie, Christine Cali, Melecio Estrella, Gabriel Forestieri, Frieda Kipar and Gitta Sivander.
Feb. 13-14, 19-22, 8pm, 848 Community Space, 848 Divisadero St., SF, 415-931-8648,

February 14, 2004
Meredith Monk

Performers include: Meredith Monk, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, Dina Emerson, Randall Wong, Allison Sniffin, Cecilia Englehard, Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble, Mills vocalists. Programs will include: excerpts from "Atlas," "The Games," "Songs from the Hill," "Three Heavens and Hells," "Light Songs," and the world premiere of the instrumental version of "Night" from "Politics of Quiet"
Marathon in Two Parts
Part One: Saturday, February 14, 2:00 p.m.
Film Interlude: "Ellis Island" and "Book of Days"
Part Two: Saturday, February 14, 8:00 p.m
Concert Hall, 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Mills College Concert Hall, 5000 McArthur Blvd. (High), Oakland, 510-430-2296,




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This weeks' articles


Mindy  Aloff's Letter from New York

The Balanchine Celebration
New York City Ballet:
A Veteran and a Raw Recruit
by Mindy Aloff

Heart and Soul
by Mary Cargill

Kid Stuff
Cas Public's If You Go Down To the Woods Today
by Susan Reiter

San Francisco Ballet:
New Wheeldon (Rush)
by Rita Felciano

New Tomasson (7 For Eight)
by Paul Parish

Possokhov's New Firebird for OBT
by Rita Felciano

Moscow Festival Ballet and Scott Wells
by Paul Parish

Hamburg Ballet's Nijinsky:
Nijinsky—Lost in the Chaos
by Clare Croft

NijinskyMadness and Metaphor
by Alexandra Tomalonis

Nijinsky and the Ballets Russes
by George Jackson

Batsheva: Breaking Down Walls
by Lisa Traiger

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence
by Clare Croft

Choreographers Showcase
by Tehreema Mitha

Zoltan Nagy
by George Jackson







Rita Felciano
Alison Garcia
Ann Murphy
Paul Parish


The next issue of DanceView, a quarterly review of dance published since 1979, will be mailed out in mid-October.

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last updated on February 9, 2004