Light and dark: San Francisco Ballet Program 7

War Memorial Opera House — April 21, 2013

Here are my collected tweets from last Sunday’s performance of San Francisco Ballet Program 7, which included Criss-Cross (Helgi Tomasson), Francesca da Rimini (Yuri Possokhov), and Symphony in Three Movements (George Balanchine).

It was principal dancer Pierre-François Vilanoba’s retirement performance; my San Francisco Ballet season subscription is regularly on Fridays, but for Program 7 I changed to this performance especially to see him dance and bid him farewell. Before the performance he did the Meet the Artist interview with Cheryl Ossola:

We had an excellent view for the performance:

In a casting change for Criss-Cross, Maria Kochetkova and Taras Domitro subbed in for Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan:

I had seen Francesca da Rimini once before, but to be honest I had forgotten some of the details. I was seeing it again with fresh eyes, and by the end I was taken with the drama and bombast. Frances Chung was up to this passionate, demanding role:

It seems I have the least to say about Symphony in Three Movements, but actually it was a welcome bright, stark piece following the shadowy, ornate Francesca. One of my ballet teachers, Carla, had seen this program the week before [see her tweets on Storify], and taught the tuck jump to us in men’s class. So in finally watching it I saw it everywhere. Talk about a vicarious experience!

One of our favorites, principal dancer Vito Mazzeo, is moving on from the company, but his final San Francisco Ballet performance, which turned out to be the previous Friday, was not announced ahead of time. I was disappointed to have missed it, but at Sunday’s performance his name was announced in the casting changes:

Pierre-François received a long standing ovation with many fellow dancers and others from the San Francisco Ballet community, including of course Helgi Tomasson, greeting him onstage:

By the way outside I couldn’t help roping Thom into my ballet poster meme:

My prince is after Cinderella!
My prince is after Cinderella!

San Francisco Ballet’s U.S. premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella opens next Friday, May 3, and we will be there!

6 Replies to “Light and dark: San Francisco Ballet Program 7”

  1. Yay for the tuck jump! Actually I prefer to call it the hip-check jump… though, thinking about it, the most accurate name would probably be an Italian assemblé in 6th position. 🙂 (Those Italians, always wanting to show off their virtuoso jumps and gorgeous feet.)

  2. Enjoyed chancing upon this blog and your review! I’m an SFB fan and a blogger as well, and just posted a review about Program 6 at The Classical Girl. Having wavered between which program to see (6 vs 7), it was a lot of fun to read your review of 7. Didn’t know Vito Mazzeo was leaving – that’s too bad. A wonderful dancer. Will be interesting to see who the SFB promotes (or hires) to replace these two male principals.

    Thanks for this “peek” at Program 7!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I will visit your blog as well. I’m definitely eager to see what next season’s SFB roster looks like given these (and other) departures (wah!).

  3. What an interesting concept, live-Tweeting a performance and then coming back to expand on the review. You’re super lucky to be able to see so many of the SF Ballet’s performances (and then blog them so we can live vicariously through you, haha).

    Also, I just wanted to let you know I nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award – check out the details here: It’s a fun little 20-questions type activity that’s been going around the blogosphere lately. You’re welcome to participate or just accept the “award” and leave it at that. Thanks for your great posts! 🙂

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