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Subject: "San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..." Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #329
Reading Topic #329
Bruce Madmin

26-10-99, 08:37 AM (GMT)
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"San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
 
   Well I hope we can get some collective and rapid thoughts up about San Francisco Ballet who opened at Sadler's last night. I have no time this morning other than to say I was mightily impressed by the strong showing they put on and got wait to see the other two programmes. I also got to meet Sara Sessions - our 'Cover girl' - so charming and... so statuesque!


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Lynette 26-10-99 1
     RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Jane S 26-10-99 2
         RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... eugene merrett 26-10-99 3
  RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Sachiko 26-10-99 4
     RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Ann Williams 27-10-99 5
         RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Stuart Sweeney 28-10-99 6
             RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Eugene 28-10-99 7
                 RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... alison 28-10-99 8
                     RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Bruce Wall 29-10-99 9
                         RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's... Jane S 29-10-99 10
  RE: Muriel Maffree, Sandpaper pic Bruce Madmin 31-10-99 11

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Lynette

26-10-99, 09:29 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #0
 
   Some very brief thoughts about San Francisco Balletís Gala at Sadlerís Wells last night. Ballet Galas arenít a regular occurrence in Britain, compared to elsewhere: interesting to see this one in the context of Irekís collection of items the week before and the impending Covent Garden reopening event. It was a nicely varied selection, including some standard classic pas de deux (Corsaire, Esmerelda), nuggets of Balanchine (Tarantella, Tchaikovsky pas de deux), some more contemporary pieces (van Manen, Forsythe) and some of the ADís own choreography. All very crisply timed, professionally presented and displaying the depth of talent in the company - it went down a storm.

Audience favourites (though the reception was very warm throughout) seemed to be Yuan Yuan Tan, partnered by Solomakha in Esmerelda, Tina Leblanc and Roman Rykine in the Corsaire pas de deux, Muriel Maffre and Vilanoba in In the Middle Somewhat Elevated. (I certainly admired Maffre - killer legs.).

Only a handful of the twelve items they included were familar to me: it was interesting to see van Manenís Solo (made for NDT2) on another company. They were very proficient and made a great impression, but looked to be concentrating so hard (it is fiendishly fast and complex) that they never quite got round to enjoying themselves: on NDT2 it looked somehow jauntier and more fun. The Tchaikovsky pas de deux was probably the only item which didnít quite catch fire: somehow there seemed to be no chemistry there, and the dancers looked better apart than together.

Thereís lots more one could add: they really made a very positive impression. The men looked in very fine form. But this was just a taster to introduce the company: Iím looking forward to their other programmes where we can see some of these dancers in greater depth.


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Jane S

26-10-99, 09:45 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #1
 
   I too enjoyed almost all of the opening programme - the only serious mistake seemed the Vestris solo. Thought the women were technically very impressive, I thought in this context the men came over better, with stronger personalities. In addition to the dancers Lynette mentioned, I also liked Joanna Berman, Christopher Stowell, and - most of all - Lorena Feijoo in the Tchaikowsky pd2: so musical!


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eugene merrett

26-10-99, 01:07 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #2
 
   Great evening of ballets. The dancers were more physical then refined. I have never seen so much dancing in one evening!

I thought the best was Lucia Lacarra in Barber Adagio for Strings. Her striking dark looks seems just perfect for the mood of the ballet. I always thought that Barber's Adagio was too long for a pdd - but it was succesfully pulled off here!

Great ending with Handel - a Tribute. There should be more of these composer focused dance works!

I will be at the Triple Bill on Wednesday and Swan Lake on Thursday and Friday! Apparently my brother's girlfriend is dragging him to the ballet that night and I have to go to provide moral support. If you know my brother then you will believe that people will anything for love - even men!


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Sachiko

26-10-99, 05:55 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #0
 
   Well thought programme (I agree with Jane on Vestris solo, though), young talented dancers with beautiful legs, great great music & orchestra, especially after listening to poor quality tape at Mukhamdeov's. It was the best value ever at as little as £10 (but there were quite a few vacant seats). My favorite were also Adagio - such a beautifully visualised piece of music, and the breathtaking In the middle, somewhat elevated. I'd be happy to see it all over again. I wish someone had recorded the whole night, even just for music...


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Ann Williams

27-10-99, 00:12 AM (GMT)
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5. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #4
 
   Well, I'm just in from the first performance of their mixed bill and I'm bubbling over. It was a delight from start to finish and I urge London-based Ballet-coers to try and see the final performance tomorrow night. It opened with Balanchine's sparkling 'Theme & Variations' to Tchaikovsky music. Tina Le Blanc and Roman Rykine danced the lovely pas de deux with the dignity and authority that this piece somehow demands, but I think it was the corps work that gripped me - endless lines of regally costumed dancers sweeping onto the stage as if for some magical royal pageant.

Jerome Robbins 'The Cage' to Stravinsky music followed. It was my first sight of a Robbins ballet and I was utterly gripped by the angularity and invention of the choreorgraphy. It seemes to be about a lot of female spiders trapping a male fly into their web and one little spider falling in love with the fly (I think). The 'little'spider was danced by Lucia Lacarra and the Queen by Muriel Maffre, and they were both brilliant. Maffre's long, elegant legs bring Guillem to mind and Lacarra seems equally pliable, if on a smaller scale. Of note was Robbins extraordinary inventive use of hand and arm movements - they were like nothing I have seen in ballet before, yet they were simple, obvious and effective.

The evening ended with Mark Morris's riotously entertaining 'Sandpaper Ballet'. If anything proves his choreographic genious, oddly, I think this ballet does. It is completely original, beautifully faithful to the Leroy Anderson music ('Hello, it's lovely weather for a sleigh-ride together..' etc) and enormous, cheeky fun. The point to note, however, is the disciplined excellence of the whole company of dancers, who perform alternately like Broadway hoofers and classical corps de ballet members without missing a beat. Their silly green costumes, complete with long gloves, made us love them all the more.

A memorable evening, though perhaps sad because you can't help thinking wistfully 'When will they come again?'


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Stuart Sweeney

28-10-99, 00:02 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #5
 
   Anne, I agree entirely having just seen the Mixed programme. What a knock-out!

Maybe if we're really nice to them, they won't go away. If they became the Sidcup and Farnborough Ballet Company, they could even keep their initials.


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Eugene

28-10-99, 11:46 AM (GMT)
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7. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #6
 
   Terrific night of ballet on Wednesday. but I was not so keen on Theme and Variation. I found it a bit stiff and regimented. Maybe it was the ballet or where I was sitting!

The RB should look very closely at Tina LaBlanc.
She is a very light footed dancer who can do Ashton. She made her reputation on La Fille Mal Gardee with the Joffrey. She was a wonderful Giselle as well.

The Times critic aptly describes as the SFB answer to Lesley Collier!!


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alison

28-10-99, 05:28 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #7
 
   I have to agree with Eugene here - I rather think I saw BRB do Theme and Variations better a few years ago. Also, one thing I have noticed about the company in the first 2 programmes (and it may simply be due to an unfamiliar theatre) is that they don't seem to stand in neat lines very well, which doesn't do much for the look of T&V. Perhaps they'll make me revise my opinion in Swan Lake tonight.

I liked Tina LeBlanc in both the Corsaire and T&V - very un-flashy but a very attractive dancer. And as she made her entrance in Corsaire, I thought "Doesn't she look like Lesley Collier ..."


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Bruce Wall

29-10-99, 03:51 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #8
 
   Well, I remember Tina le Blanc in Fille and other Ashton (Wedding Invitation, etc.) some of which has long been away from the RB rep.

Does anyone know what's happened to her sister -- a wonderful dancer -- Sherri LeBlanc who was so brilliant in many soloist roles at NYCB?

I'd be curious to know.


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Jane S

29-10-99, 04:05 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: San Francisco Ballet at Sadler's..."
In response to message #9
 
   Bruce, she's listed as a soloist with SFB - my programme says she was on as one of the 4 women in T&V on Tuesday.


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Bruce Madmin

31-10-99, 02:33 AM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Muriel Maffree, Sandpaper pic"
In response to message #0
 
   LAST EDITED ON 31-Oct-99 AT 09:30 AM (GMT)

Having scanned it in I just had to post this up asap - the glorious Muriel Maffre and Christopher Stowell in Mark Morris's Sandpaper Ballet for SFB.

http://www.ballet.co.uk/images/normal/sandpaper_ballet_sfb_maffre_stowell.jpg";>

But while I'm here I will also give you a harder sell on the Friends of Ballet.co (and associated T-shirts). All is revealed at:

So visit it!


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