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jolene

It sounds like it was fun! sigh I wish they were back here in SF, I have to wait until January to see them!! Maybe earlier for the Nutcracker if I my checking account can handle it.

Philip

I can see why you're so attached to these dancers. You will have to break into your piggy bank and see them in NUTCRACKER because I don't see how you can wait til January.

What is SFB NUTCRACKER like, anyway?

Deborah

This sounds wonderful! Thank you for another wonderful, thoughtful review. I can't wait to see this on Saturday -- especially "Ibsen's House" (Ibsen is one of my favorite playwrights.

Philip

Deborah, I have not read any Ibsen since high-school (!) so I will value your views of this ballet in a literary context. Visually, it is extraordinary.

jolene

I did feel like I was at a disadvantage because I wasn't familiar with Ibsen plays - I believe one of the couples onstage actually represents a mother and son, although I horrifyingly assumed that they were a couple. But the overall mood and the subject matter is extraordinary.

The SFB Nutcracker is delightful - it underwent a renovation a few years to ago, and the result was perfection. They set it in SF, which is a lovely local touch. The only minor quibble I have is that Clara actually turns into the Sugar Plum Fairy in the second act, and in the instance that I saw it, actually switched ethnicities (from a blonde little girl to Frances Chung). It's a stretch, but lots of lovely dancing. And the best part is, SFB's Nutcracker is going to be aired on PBS this year! So be sure to check it out.

Philip

I wish they'd make a DVD of the IBSEN!

tonya

I can't wait to see this -- specifically Ibsen's House and the Elo. I'm happy to see the pointe shoes -- I don't remember that he used them in Brake The Eyes, my favorite of all of his ballets, if only they'd have been on pointe :) That one picture looks like a break-dancing flare! And Ibsen's House sounds excellent!

Stitches212

Though I rarely read or agree with reviews on ballet—despite being a 25+ year attendee to the ballet in NYC—I must say that I really enjoy reading yours because unlike most others, you never try to sound superior by over-analyzing what you saw... You seem to just enjoy the experience and let it grab hold of you... I so completely agreed with your review on the Divertimento/Golden Hour/Fusion program (saw it last night) that I just bought a ticket to the Paganini/Ibsen/Elo performance for Saturday convinced that it will blow me away... Thanks in advance!!!

Philip

Stitches, this is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my blog. Thank you!

Sometimes people say I should cast a more critical eye on performances but I just love watching the dancers doing these impossible things. I know every ballet cannot be a masterpiece, and that dancers are only human despite doing super-human things most of the time.

It's best to always go looking for positive things in a performance.

Thank you again, and let me know how you like the Saturday programme.

Naomi

What a wonderful treat to
see this Company - I was so
taken with Kochetkova - check out her website
http://www.mariakochetkova.com/ Lots of videos.

Philip

Kochetkova is really such a beautiful dancer; she has a very special presence...unlike any other ballerina, really. Thank you for the link to her site, Naomi.

Sandi

I loved all three pieces tonight but I was thrown by the extremely classical tutus in Double Evil- I was really distracted by the choreography clashing with the costumes. I would have enjoyed it more if the women were wearing something more streamlined. I'm sure this was on purpose- I just couldn't figure out what the purpose was!

Philip

My impression of the tutus in DOUBLE EVIL was that this was a classical ballet that had been 'broken'. When the Martinov music is used the ballet feels vaguely romantic and quite stable and the tutus look appropriate. But when the Glass music starts things go askew, and the formality starts breaking up. I'm going to watch for these aspects when I see it again this afternoon.

Stitches212

You are quite welcome!

WOW… As predicted, I was totally blown away by the IBSEN … I am in total agreement with you that it is one ballet I will never forget… I don't think I took a breath from the moment the curtain went up… I really would love to see more from Val Caniparoli… Do I hear, "Diamond Project" anybody?!?!

I did enjoy the PAGANINI as well but wished that I had been sitting further back because there seemed to be so much going on with both the choreography and Rachmaninov's music that it was a bit overwhelming up close.

I am a huge fan of Jorma Elo and I am still reviewing DOUBLE EVIL in my head… I really loved all the elements, but like everyone else I am still trying to piece them all together… Though I love your statement above about "a classical ballet being broken"... His style is so edgy and intriguing and always makes me think, which only adds to the experience… An added, though amusing emotion for me personally (coming from the costume world) was terror!… I kept thinking, "How often do they have to replace those tutus?"

Anyway, thanks again for the positive review or I probably would have missed it… This was probably the 6th or 7th time I've seen SFB and between IBSEN'S HOUSE and WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR it was by far the most enjoyable.

Philip

Stitches: It's great to read that you enjoyed it...I wonder if you were sitting near me: we were in Row K, on the aisle.

Stitches212

Not far, I was in row D in the center... Normally I love "watching them sweat" but this time I think it worked a bit against me since I wasn't familiar with those particular ballets and probably needed to see the big picture the first time.

Also, I am definitely going to check out THREE MOVEMENTS this week... I had not heard about this an being so familiar with the whole Balanchine/Farrell history it sounds really intriguing… Thanks again for the "Heads Up!"

Philip

The play is performed in a very intimate venue...get there early for a good seat! It is simply full of insider references to the Balanchine/Farrell/LeClerc situation and on that basis is very enjoyable.

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