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Subject: "SFB at Paris - 1st Programm" Archived thread - Read only
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1657
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13-05-01, 12:27 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Catherine Click to send private message to Catherine Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
"SFB at Paris - 1st Programm"
   Yesterday night was the Opening night of the series of representations that San Francisco Ballet gives in Paris from the 12 to May 19. Moreover the public for the first of this program 1 was made up primarily of American. Very strange the lack of interest of french audience for one of the best companies of American dance of the moment, is it true that its name is not so prestigious and famous as ABT or NYCB, but this company is certainly much better especially than ABT. Level seems more homogeneous even if the principals of the company are like in ABT, from different origin.
This first evening wanted to be a kind of panorama of the actual dance in the USA, neo-classic and most contemporary. Here no works of Robbins or Balanchine, but two works by Helgi Thomasson, director of the company, one of Julie Adam (principal of the SFB) and to finish a Mark Morris work.

The evening opened on "Prism", creation 2000 of Thomasson for the NYCB on Beethoven' concerto n°1 for piano and orchestra. This work is very inspired by the choreographies of Mister B : trio, pdd and solo interrupted with corps de ballet ensemble.
In the first movement one could notice the insurance of Kristin Long at the sides of Guennadi Nedviguine and Gonzalo Garcia, both competing of virtuosity. One could note a whole of three excellent boys technically (Michael Eaton, Moses Martin and Jason Davis). In an atmosphere of half-light, the second movement is centered on a length pdd taken again by several couples between this evening Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre. Which splendid ballerina, hurled legs, rising of legs as Sylvie Guillem, but with more grace and lyricism, which beautiful arabesques. The third movement is devoted more to the solo of Joan Boada. Which disappointment, in spite of a certain virtuosity, he seems heavy and clashes somewhat with the other dancers.
The second part opened on a work of most original. Choreography of Julia Adam, "Night" on a music of Matthew Pierce brother of Benjamin Pierce (principal). This ballet wants to be the history of a woman haunted by her dreams. It is interesting to note that Julia Adam was inspired in particular by Martha Graham and the his movements in fabric stringcourses for the arrival of the three women hair up also evoking the hairstyles of the interprets famous choreographes. It looks at Lamentation (solo of Martha Graham) interpreted by Catherine Baker, Julie Diana and Leslie Young.
The ballet begin with a length pdd between Tina LeBlanc, interprets splendid by its brittleness and its sensitivity and Benjamin Pierce. The ballet is a succession of tables, pdd, together, sometimes evoking the sea with dancers evoking either the sea, or of the dolphins, or more nightmarish images. Music of last movement looks at Steve Reich or Philip Glass works . The ballet is full with strong pictures until final where the héroine is carried by all the men who haunt his night.
Work is strong and seems much more interessant that all French creations, is saying contemporary. But it should not
be forgotten that almost of contemporary and neo-classic dance comes from the USA and biggest choreographers of XXe century are American as Balanchine, Robbins, Neumeier, Graham or Forsythe.
Julia Adam should present the next season his new creation. A talent to be followed.
"Chaconne for a piano and two dancers "on a music of Haendel, is a choreography of Thomasson which evokes Robbins pdd, with their alternated solos, Joanna Berman showed the excellence of the technique of this company, speed, style and a certain "chic" in her manner of dancing. At its sides Yuri Possokhov was sublime, solo with the manner of Diane and Actéon, but dress in tee-shirt and Jean. A small jewel.
Evening finished on "Sandpaper ballet", Mark Morris'work on Leroy Anderson musics such "sleigh hide" or "Typewrite". This ballet for 25 dancers is danced by pretty much of the principals and the soloists of the company. Choreography is rather original in its construction, the dancers brought together in phalange of 25, interprets, duets, solos, trios, separates to remake in phalange. All are dressed unisex green and white costumes, except the girls have little skirts. One could note in particular Christopher Stowell' solo(who has just make his official farewell with the SFB), Kristin Long, or Julie Diana with perhaps Damian Smith, or pas de trois with Muriel Maffre, solo of Lorena Feijoo.
This typically American cute Ballet encloses by a note of cheerfulness this evening and shows really good level of this company that it is on the level of the corps de ballet or the soloists and an original repertory. The greeting of the public however cordial to the first three works, was more reserved for this small ballet without claim but interpreted very well and pleasant to see. To note also, excellence of the orchestre Colonne, directed by Emile de Cou, SFB Orchestra Chief.
It's a pity that French is not more curious to discover such a good Company.

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm Viviane 13-05-01 1
     RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm Catherine 13-05-01 2
  RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 13/05/2001 Catherine 14-05-01 3
     RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 13/05/2001 Kevin Ng 14-05-01 4
         RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 13/05/2001 Catherine 14-05-01 5
  RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm Terry 14-05-01 6
     RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm Renee Renouf 14-05-01 7
  RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 14/05/2001 Catherine 14-05-01 8

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13-05-01, 01:12 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Viviane Click to send private message to Viviane Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm"
In response to message #0
You're a darling ! Thank you for taking the effort to let the Ballet.co readers enjoy your thoughts about SFB 1st.program in English too !

I'm glad to hear that you liked the Morris-piece.
I like Mark Morris, although he had -initialy- a difficult time in Belgium to fill the gap after Béjart has left.
The audience at that time was very reticent about Morris' choreography.
But I think he has the power to move dancers to become MUSIC

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13-05-01, 03:55 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Catherine Click to send private message to Catherine Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm"
In response to message #1
   I don't understand why people don't like Morris choreography, they are music illustration and full of dance enjoyement. I know I always like his choreography even I saw especially then by american companies, the only one for the POB was Ein Hertz and was never gift again.
Sandpaper ballet is so full of life, perhaps it's also because I love particularly the traditionnal american music that I loved the ballet and I don't understand why audience doesn't love it. It's not a modern choreography but I believe that french audience don't like really a ballet as Who Cares from Balanchine. It's for me a little masterwork, and I know that POB dancers should want to dance it. It's so real that Legris in his own company dance the Who Cares suite.
I think french audience doesn't like really jazzy music !

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14-05-01, 00:10 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Catherine Click to send private message to Catherine Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 13/05/2001"
In response to message #0
   The SFB had the good idea to make multiple distributions which make it possible to discover all "Principals" and "soloists" in
varied roles.
In PRISM, the first movement was danced this evening by Vanessa Zahorian, she is good technically especially in pirouettes, but she missed of something She is also surrounded of Guennadi Nedviguine and Gonzalo Garcia. This last dances wonderfully well and can undoubtedly hope to pass principal soon. In the second movement at the sides of Yuan Yuan Tan, we found our POB defector, Pierre-François Vilanoba. If Lacarra were splendid, I do not know which word to use for Miss Tan, it as has long legs and an extraordinary foot and seems even more lyric as Lucia Lacarra who however was really beautiful. Pierre-François Vilanoba was a splendid partner, with famous "Chic" of French school and a superb musical quality. In the third movement, we found Joan Boada always equal to itself.
Night is really a small master work and to re-examine it, lets
possiblities to discover multiple ignored details the first time. In particular the introducing music which evokes them limp with music which deadens and must suggest the diving in the sleep. The nightmare coming in the person from Benjamin Pierce, "imposing " dancer with lightely exemplary and unquestionable charisma. Always also splendid Tina LeBlanc who created the role leaves intensely the role. The tables are splendid as that where I had evoked dolphins yesterday or vaguenesses it seems also y to have a sail. Carried completely reversed seem to also evoke some sleepwalking. One has also the impression that regularly the héroine awakes to fall asleep again until the famous final jump.
The evening finished on Sandpaper ballet, always so merry, some
changes there still enabled us to discover Yuri Possokhov, dancer
extraordinary by his sense of movement, force which it
releases from his dance and relaxation related to the style of the ballet, it replaced Damian Smith in the famous pdd at the sides, this evening, of Kristin Long who replaced it Julie Diana (sumptuous it also in Night). The first pdd when with him was interpreted by Tina LeBlanc who replaced Joanna Berman and Christopher Stowell, small dancer with the impeccable battery. In pas de trois as tango, Lorena Feijoo, Muriel Maffre and Julia Adam were magnificents. Each one in their style, more lyric Maffre, Feijoo more jazzy. The evening in the unit was accomodated better than yesterday evening in particular this last ballet.
It is happy to note that the SFB is really a splendid company and that it has so many and various talents. For me the day's discovery remains Yuri Possokhov, very good yesterday in Chaconne but which evolved/moved in a traditional style whereas this evening in this typically American ballet, it burst the scene literally.
As a critical from Boston Global wrote, I think that SFB is the best company in the world with the POB. She has a various repertory able to dance classical or modern dance and has so many talents as principals or soloists.

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Kevin Ng

14-05-01, 08:36 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Kevin%20Ng Click to send private message to Kevin%20Ng Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 13/05/2001"
In response to message #3
   LAST EDITED ON 14-05-01 AT 08:53 AM (GMT)

>wrote, I think that SFB
>is the best company in
>the world with the POB.

Interesting opinion, Catherine. Aren't you lucky to be living in Paris to see both companies?

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14-05-01, 12:23 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Catherine Click to send private message to Catherine Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 13/05/2001"
In response to message #4
   Just one last remark, it's a true company despite all the various origin countries of the principals. they all dance in an american way with the speed and the decontraction. They have technic more. It's really a company and not just principals side by side.

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14-05-01, 01:39 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Terry Click to send private message to Terry Click to add this user to your buddy list  
6. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm"
In response to message #0
   Catherine -- I'm glad somebody agrees with me. I think what makes SFB really distinct from ABT and other major American companies is that their dancers, and the principles notably, are trained to dance (I think Tomasson just happens to pick these kinds of dancers) a variety of works, so that not any one of them is simply a "Balanchine" dancer or a "classical" dancer, and this makes them extremely special -- because I personally believe that in this age as a principal dancer, you have to be able to dance both contemporary and classical roles.

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Renee Renouf

14-05-01, 05:09 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Renee%20Renouf Click to send private message to Renee%20Renouf Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm"
In response to message #6
   Your comments about Yuan Yuan Tan are well taken. She does a
surpassing Second Movement in Symphony in C, which I believe
will be danced in London in August. I've been told in class that
she seems not to strain or "sweat it out". A friend of mine who
is a long-time practitioner of Ta'i Ch'i, who doesn't know all that much about ballet, remarked on seeing her, "Oh, she has the
breath, the ch'i," which, as a short-time practictioner of the
form, makes sense to me. It's a way not only of moving, but of
utilizing energy which makes for extraordinary fluidity.

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14-05-01, 11:30 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Catherine Click to send private message to Catherine Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
8. "RE: SFB at Paris - 1st Programm - 14/05/2001"
In response to message #0
   Last night for the first programm and again new cast in each ballet. It's great to have a company able to show so many differents dancers in four ballets.
In Prism, Tina LeBlanc suceeded to Kristin Long and Vanessa Zahorian, if she was perhaps more lyrical than their but a few less technical but perhaps was it the racke effect. Beside her, always Garcia and Nedviguine always perfect as well M. Eaton in the three soloist. The second movement allows to see Muriel Maffre and Benjamin Pierce. She dances not at all as Lacarra and Tan, she was not lyrical, she dance with more strongh. Pierce was a perfect partner. In the third movement Rykine replaced Boada, and was more elegant. I particularly love the movement for the boys.
Night saw the first performance in Paris of Vanessa Zahorian and her second appearance in the ballet. She doesn't look at Tina LeBlanc, she looks less brittle. Her night isn't a nightmare but a serial of dreams. Perhaps is it also the fact that Damian Smith who replaced Benjamin Pierce is less tall and wide. The dancers are particularly good in this work.
Chaconne for a piano and two dancers was performed by the same cast than at the first evening Joanna Berman and Yuri Possokhov. They are a wonderful couple, musical, bright, technical.
In Sandpaper ballet, Pïerre-François Vilanoba for his debuts in the role of Benjamin Pierce was absolutely wonderful. To the french elegance, he added the american decontracted style. He's really good and it's sad that POB lets him go back but fortunately someone has known discover his true talents. Always in Sandpaper Stowell and Berman, Julie Diana was asbolutely perfect in Balladette. I particularly enjoyed Jazz Pizzicato danced by all the girl and Jazz legato danced by all the boys. And it's great to see the joy of the dancer in Fiddle Faddle. Damian Smith was great tonight.
It's strange that french ballet lovers don't go really to see this wonderful company. Now it will be Othello.

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