February 4th, “Program 2”

San Francisco Ballet, choreography by George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Liam Scarlett

Back to the SF Opera House.

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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.

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