San Francisco Ballet
At David H. Koch Theater
From Foreign Lands
Helgi Tomasson, Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer
Glenn McCoy, Executive Director
Debra Bernard, General Manager
Kyra Jablonsky, Assoc. Director, Communications
Martin West, Music Director and Principal Conductor
Guest Orchestra, New York City Ballet Orchestra
Ricardo Bustamente, Ballet Master and Asst. to Artistic Director
New York Tour Publicity: Keith Sherman and Associates
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 17, 2013
From Foreign Lands (2013): Composer: Moritz Moszkowski, Choreographer: Alexei Ratmansky, Costume Design: Colleen Atwood, Lighting Design: Mark Stanley, Conductor: Martin West, Performed by the Company.
Alexei Ratmansky, one of the world’s busiest choreographers, created From Foreign Lands just this year, for San Francisco Ballet, and tonight it was premiered for New York balletomanes. With international motifs showcasing Russian, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, and Hungarian styles, this eclectic ballet maximizes the Company’s versatility and virtuosity. Ethnic motifs abound, with fluffy tutus, suave sophistication, rapid scissors kicks, jumping jacks, dervish spins, folkloric rhythms, vibrant toreador poses, fanciful footwork, and spring motion as if by electric pulse. Colleen Atwood’s costumes range from tulle tutus like bird feathers to red-black ruffles and toreador finery. Sofiane Sylve, in the German and Polish segments, was especially riveting, and Vanessa Zahorian and Gennadi Nedvigin added verve and vivacity to the Russian introductory dance. Kudos to Ratmansky and to composer, Moszkowski.
Beaux (2012): Composer: Bohuslav Martinu, Choreographer: Mark Morris, Scenic and Costume Design: Isaac Mizrahi, Lighting Design: Michael Chybowski, Asst. to Mr. Morris: Megan Williams, Conductor: Martin West, Harpsichord Soloist: Bradley Moore, Performed by Sean Bennett, Ruben Martin Cintas, Pascal Molat, Gennadi Nedgivin, Jeremy Rucker, Henry Sidford, Dustin Spero, Benjamin Stewart, Luke Willis. Mark Morris always surprises and rarely disappoints, and tonight his unique recent ballet, Beaux, did not disappoint. With a harpsichord included in the Martinu score, the music was refined and resilient. The ensemble of nine men wore Isaac Mizrahi’s skin-tight leotards in splashes of candy cane pink, orange, and yellow. The lighting by Michael Chybowski shifted the costume shades into deeper or ethereal shadings, morphing with the connected backdrop.
The men move in circular, hand touching fashion, like fauns in springtime, to the resonant classical score. Synchronized and symmetrical images contrast with solo leads that propel the ensemble in similar motion. The work has a pulse, at once understated and undulating. This ballet brought out a diverse choreographic challenge for the male performers in the Company.
Classical Symphony (2010): Composer: Sergei Prokofiev, Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov, Costume Design: Sandra Woodall, Lighting Design: David Finn, Conductor: Martin West, Performed by Maria Kotchetkova, Hansuke Yamamoto, Frances Chung, Carlos Quenedit, Dores Andre, Jaime Garcia Castilla, and the Company.
The Prokofiev “Classical” Symphony No. 1 is the score for Possokhov’s 2010 Classical Symphony. Sandra Woodall’s stiff, yellow tutus were exciting to the eye, and the work’s rousing momentum with fouettés, leaps, and spins, drew vocal audience accolades. The star of this oeuvre was Hansuke Yamamoto, of taut and diminutive physique, who tore through the air like a firecracker, with effortless skill. Maria Kotchetkova and Jaime Garcia Castilla also danced with brisk bravura.
Symphonic Dances (2012): Composer: Sergei Rachmaninov, Choreographer: Edwaard Liang, Costume Design: Mark Zappone, Lighting: Jack Mehler, Conductor: Martin West, Performed by Yuan Yuan Tan, Sofiane Sylve, Maria Kotchetkova, Luke Ingham, Tiit Helimets, Vitor Luiz.
No composer moves the emotions like Rachmaninov, and Edwaard Liang’s 2012 Symphonic Dances was entrancing. Bright sunny costumes by Mark Zappone added a luminous finale to tonight’s mixed bill program, with the Company in still splendid form, in this fourth ballet of the evening. Tiit Helimets, Luke Ingham, and Vitor Luiz partnered Yuan Yuan Tan, Sofiane Sylve, and Maria Kotchetkova, for a glimpse into San Francisco Ballet’s crème de la crème performers, glowing in the spotlight. Each dancer was illumined in stately, sublime allure. Mr. Liang’s new work is both beguiling and enchanting. Yuan Yuan Tan was particularly courtly and charismatic.
Kudos to Martin West and the New York City Ballet Orchestra.
San Francisco Ballet
in Ratmansky's "From Foreign Lands"
Courtesy of Erik Tomasson