San Francisco Ballet, choreography by George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Liam Scarlett
Back to the SF Opera House.
I saw two San Francisco Ballet programs last season – both full length pieces (Giselle and Schokovitch Trilogy). I didn’t write much about the dancing in either ballet. This year started I with a mixed repertory program: Rubies (Balanchine), Drink to me with Thine Eyes (Morris), and Fearless Creatures (Scarlett). I rather enjoyed “the whole” of the evening; it was nicely curated. The pieces were abstractly similar even if they come out of different times and represent different aesthetics. I got a little nostalgic with Rubies (1967) – some Balanchine choreography can do that to me. Learning and performing Concerto Barocoo back in 1987/1988 was an incredible experience, and sometimes when I watch Balanchine’s choreography I enjoy (and appreciate) the work happening on stage. I got a little dreamy watching Drink to me with Thine Eyes (1987). There was buzz about Fearless Creatures (2015); I heard a rumor about standing ovations. I watched a lot of creature in this piece but wanted more fearless. A quick read through the program notes confirmed this observation: “anti-venom to the fairies;” “synergy within them (the dancers) as a pack;” “something prowling.” I think our world needs more fearless right now, but I also understand and appreciate time spent in the beauty and wonder of a dance. “Program 2” was a pleasant surprise, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the next SF Ballet program will be just as tight and maybe a little more fearless.