DanceView Times, San Francisco Bay Area edition
Volume 2, Number 9 March 1, 2004 An online supplement to DanceView magazine
Wheeldon's Rush: Fresh and Familiar
Rush, Grosse Fugue, and Valses
Poeticos, imaginal disk
Christopher Wheeldon’s Rush, the center piece of San Francisco Ballet’s third program surprised with its freshness and conventionality.
If you live in a Northern climate, you will understand the contradiction. There are days in late March or early April when Spring is just around the corner. The air has a blustery quality to it and feels fresh; breezes are almost, but not quite balmy. It’s an experience you go through year after year, and yet the experience is new every time. That’s how Rush felt.
chose for his third SFB commission a lovely little score by Bohuslav Martinu,
the Sinfonietta La Jolla for Chamber Orchestra and Piano. Even though
written relatively late in the composer’s life, it had a vernal
quality about it which no doubt contributed to Rush’s atmosphere.
Tomasson's Seven for Eight: Stainless Steel and Angelic Grace
Seven for Eight,
Carnival des Animaux
It often seems to me that we've arrived in the dance world at a stage very like that which succeeded the great age of Elizabethan drama—after Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, what follows is a generation that's hyper-aware of what's been done, and the gifted among them, the Fletchers and the Websters spend their wits making madder mad scenes, more villainous villains, elaborating self-consciously on the affective devices that made King Lear so involving, so upsetting it made grown men cry.
Similarly in the wake of the heroic generation (Balanchine, Graham, Ashton, Limon, name your favorites), we get dances that live in the suburbs of the masterpieces they created. It's nobody's fault—it's just where we are in the cycle. Today the technique has flowered to the point where the practitioners are so adept they are almost in advance of what the idea-folk can ask of them.
So you hear
that Helgi Tomasson is going to make a ballet to Bach, what do you expect?
Well, it won't have the organic, fated quality of Concerto Barocco,
the structure will not make form reveal function—but I expect that
the dancers will move o that music with a grace bordering on the angelic.
A Firebird in Portland
Oregon Ballet Theatre is in good hands. With two world premieres— Adin by new Artistic Director Christopher Stowell and Firebird by budding choreographer and San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Yuri Possokhov—and Serenade, coached by the superb Francia Russell, the twenty-two member ensemble presented an evening of refined classical dancing that promised much for the future. Six of these dancers are new this season.
In his Firebird,
which uses Stravinsky’s reduced 1945 version of the score, Possokhov
has gone back to the folk tale at the heart of the narrative. A simple
youth with a noble heart, here called Ivan, (Paul de Strooper) sets out
on a quest and encounters two magical creatures, a glittering, golden
firebird (Yuka Iino) and a beautiful girl (Tracy Taylor). After defeating
the ogre Kaschei (Kester Cotton), Ivan has to choose between enchantment
and reality. He makes the right decision, and the two live happily ever
What's On This Week
2, 3, 5, 7
Francisco Bay is shaped like a wasp; San Francisco is at the waist, facing
Berkeley and Oakland to the east (the Bay Bridge crosses that waist like
a belt). It is a large bay - San Jose lies at the tail of the wasp, some
50 miles south of the waist. Another bridge goes across the neck of the
wasp to San Rafael, county seat of Marin County, where Frank Lloyd Wright's
marvelous complex of civic buildings include a handsome blue and gold
auditorium where the weekend of February 21 the Moscow Festival Ballet
won the hearts of about a thousand prosperous suburbanites with a generous,
clear, satisfying production of Rostislav Zakharov's venerable Cinderella.
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