SF BALLET’S PROGRAM 7 – Petrouchka, Underskin, and Number Nine

sean-martinfield-2-2.jpg
By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

Choreographer Michael Fokine’s Petrouchka premiered in Paris in 1911. It was presented by Sergei Diaghlev’s Ballets Russes and featured the scandalous Vaslav Nijinsky in the title role. The score by 29-year-old Igor Stravinsky was provocative with its occasional flourish of two keys suddenly running at once. And then there was the agenda of the choreographer. Fokine wanted better stories and better storytelling along with stronger projection of character and motivation from each of his dancers – including the ensemble. Stravinsky’s complex and enchanting score served the story – a tale of the beloved Russian puppet “Petrouchka” who was created with a human soul. In this episode, Petrouchka is in love with the dainty ballerina puppet. It’s what goes on in the second and third scenes – after the puppeteer (“The Charlatan”) has closed the show, thrown each of the rag puppets into their separate rooms, and seemingly has no clue about the shenanigans of this lively late night trio – that brings Fokine’s story-telling abilities and theatrical savvy into focus and thus maintains Petrouchka alongside his other enduring classics, including The Firebird, The Specter of the Rose, and Daphnis and Chloé. Fast-forward a hundred years, his granddaughter Isabelle Fokine comes to San Francisco Ballet to stage the work – which she describes as a “great piece of theatre”. In the title role, one of the Company’s most sensational stars – Pascal Molat.

pascal-molat-e28093-as-petrouchka
PASCAL MOLAT
Photos, Erik Tomasson

clara-blanco-daniel-deivison-and-pascal-molat
CLARA BLANCO, DANIEL DEIVISON, and PASCAL MOLAT

The production is an encore presentation from 2010. It has become crisper, tighter, the ensemble members are better defined, everyone is in the same story. And Principal Dancer Pascal Molat has ascended to being one of the greatest actors in the ballet world. He is uncommonly versatile, fiery and daring. As “Petrouchka”, Pascal Molat once again owns the stage. His characterization appeals to the very depths of longing and to the last and brightest ounce of hope. He is the ultimate artist for choreographer Michael Fokine – who was not all that enamored of the young Nijinksy. Pascal Molat is a complete Artist. He is at one with the score, the choreography, the character, and the design – “the look”. While it helps to peruse the synopsis, Pascal Molat delivers a performance that is ultimately readable and heartrending.

pascal-molat-e28093-fokines-petrouchka
PASCAL MOLAT – as “Petrouchka”, the puppet with a soul

Renato Zanella’s Underskin is a head-trip, a journey into the woods – where things get worked out. Sometimes the going gets very rough. Composer Arnold Schönberg’s music for string orchestra, Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), provides the eeriness and tension. Enter the very alluring Sofiane Sylve. First glance at her chic and sparkling black/rough trade costume by designer Anne Marie Legenstein – you know that what has gotten under the dreamer’s skin has something to do with desire and control, sex and power. There’s a lot of skin in Underskin. It gives us a clear view of the incredible strength of the dancers of SF Ballet and the finely sculpted beauty that comes with Classical Ballet training. Zanella’s choreography moves between voluptuous and hard-driving. The opening night duet of Lorena Feijóo and Pascal Molat was layered with raw sensuality, muscled aggression, and daunting artistic perfection.

sofiane-sylve-in-zanellas-underskin
SOFIANE SYLVEZanella’s Underskin
Photos, Erik Tomasson

lorena-feijoo-and-pascal-molat-e28093-zanellas-underskin
LORENA FEIJÓO and PASCAL MOLAT Zanella’s Underskin

lorena-feijoo-and-pascal-molat-3
LORENA FEIJÓO and PASCAL MOLAT Zanella’s Underskin

Number Nine by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is a 16-minute whirlwind of pure dance. The formations and patterns of the twenty-four dancers are fantastically mathematical and with the explosion of color provided in the costuming of Holly Hynes and lighting designs by Mary Louise Geiger – the visual effects are virtually kaleidoscopic. The score is by Michael Torke, Ash, a work that Wheeldon danced to when it was choreographed for New York City Ballet by Peter Martins. Wheeldon believes the score has a great energy to it and a great drive. “It makes you think of waves of movement moving across the stage. It’s uplifting; it has a charge to it that I think is quite appealing. And I suppose choreographically I’m looking to find a similar sort of movement dynamic that reflects that onstage.” He has succeeded. Number Nine is Wheeldon’s seventh work for San Francisco Ballet and it’s likely to stay.

maria-kochetkova-and-gennadi-nedvigin
MARIA KOCHETKOVA and GENNADI NEDVIGINWheeldon’s Number Nine
Photos, Erik Tomasson

yuan-yuan-and-ruben-martin-cintas-2
YUAN YUAN and RUBEN MARTIN CINTASWheeldon’s Number Nine

Additional performances will be held on:
Wednesday, 4/13, 7:30 pm
Thursday, 4/14, 8:00 pm
Saturday, 4/16, 2:00 pm
Saturday, 4/16, 8:00 pm
Click here to order tickets on-line: PROGRAM 7

» Don’t miss a thing. Get Sentinel breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox.

See related material:

THIS GUN FOR HIRE, 1942 – Looking at “Now you see it, now you don’t” sung by Veronica Lake
Seán Martinfield YouTube with Janet Roitz – ‘Marked Woman’ (1937) and the song that gave it pizzazz – ‘My Silver Dollar Man’
“Would You Like A Souvenir?” – Sean Martinfield and Janet Roitz explore a song from Film Noir classic NORA PRENTISS (1947)
COMING TO SAN FRANCISCO — THE MAGNA CARTA
LORENA FEIJÓO – SF Ballet Star To Appear on “Dancing with the Stars”, 4/12
SF BALLET – Program 6, A Power-Packed Triple Feature
CD: DAVID RUSSELL — Isaac Albéniz: Spanish Music on Guitar
PROGRAM 6 at SF Ballet – Opens Thursday, April 7th
NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER – Announces 2011-12 Pride Season
NEW PUBLICATIONS: PUBLIC TRUST BETRAYED. An Interview with author and real estate appraiser, James E. Manning
MARVELOUS MENAGERIE: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel – At the Legion of Honor
CHARLOTTE SALOMON: Life? or Theatre? – Opens today at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
THE ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE – At the Aurora Theatre, 4/1—5/8
PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA & CHORALE – Announces 2011-2012 Season
AUDITIONS – SF OPERA Needs In-Shape Men and 40 Kids For WAGNER’S RING
VICE PALACE: The Last Cockettes Musical – Opens April 29th
ARMISTEAD MAUPIN – At the Julia Morgan Theatre, Thursday, 4/14
JOAN and SANFORD I. WEILL – Contribute $12 Million Dollars to Sonoma State University for Green Music Center
HUGH JACKMAN – Exclusive Engagement at the Curran Theatre, May 3–15
BALENCIAGA AND SPAIN – At the de Young, 3/26–7/4
COPPÉLIA – A Gorgeous New Production at San Francisco Ballet
DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES – At Fort Mason, 3/31—4/3
NEW ON CD – Icicle Creek Piano Trio: Haydn, Turina, Shostakovich
NATALIE DESSAY – Is “Lucia di Lammermoor” in HD at Sundance Kabuki Cinema
NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA – Presents “Mastery of Schubert”, Featuring Soprano Melody Moore, 3/24–27
SF CONCERT CHORALE – Presents Herbert Howells’ Requiem and Arthur Honegger’s King David
“COPPÉLIA” – A SF Ballet Premiere, Cast Announced for Opening Night, 3/19
“THE HOMECOMING” – A Home Run at A.C.T.
BACH B-MINOR MASS – This week at San Francisco Symphony
KILLER QUEEN – The Story of “Paco the Pink Pounder”
ARE WE THERE YET? — At the Contemporary Jewish Museum, March 31st – July 31st
“PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI” – Final Performance, April 9th
“CALIENTE” – Opens Tonight, 3/10, at Teatro ZinZanni
RAGAZZI BOYS CHORUS – Celebrates the Extended American Family, “Made In America”
KURT MASUR – Conducts the SF Symphony in All–Mendelssohn Concert, 3/10–12
FLORAL DESIGNER NATASHA LISITSA – Creating the Fantastical in the Wilsey Court for “Bouquets To Art 2011″
EDITOR’S CHOICE — HÉLÈNE RENAUT, Vinyl Release Celebration at Cafe du Nord, 3/9
ZHENG CAO – A Conversation with A Miracle Artist
MELODY MOORE – Soprano shines in SF Ballet’s “Nanna’s Lied”
MARNIE BRECKENRIDGE – An Interview with “La Princesse” of Philip Glass’ Orphée
SF BALLET –Program 4, All Tchaikovsky
ODC THEATER – Presents Sarah Michelson and Richard Maxwell’s “Devotion”
AVENUE Q – A Totally Fabulous Place To Be
SCHWABACHER DEBUT RECITALS – Begins February 20th at Temple Emanu-El
CONSTANTINE MAROULIS – Comes to the Curran Theatre in “Rock of Ages”
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT – Best Picture Nominee Cast Donates To On-line Charity Auction
DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY – This Sunday at Davies Symphony Hall
MARC HUESTIS PRESENTS – Lesley Ann Warren, Valentine’s Day At The Castro Theatre
EDITORIAL – A confession about ballerina Lorena Feijóo
PULP FASHION: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Legion of Honor
YURI POSSOKHOV’S RAkU — Stunning World Premiere At San Francisco Ballet
CLYBOURNE PARK – A Bright Debut for Director Jonathan Moscone at A.C.T.
THE RITE – Right into the trash
“NUREMBURG: It’s Lesson For Today” – Rare Documentary Restored
COMPANY C CONTEMPORARY BALLET – Opens 9th Season
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA – Opens September 9th with with Iréne Theorin as “Turandot”
PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI – Thrillpeddlers Extends Hit Show Through April 9th
BUDRUS – A Documentary on uniting Palestinians and Israelis
AVNER DORMAN, Composer – SF Symphony Presents World Premiere of “Uriah: The Man the King Wanted Dead”
CAMERON CARPENTER – Organist signs with CAMI Music and Konzertdirektion Schmid
FILM NOIR FESTIVAL – At the Castro Theatre, 1/21–30
THE PALACE OF FINE ARTS – Opening Celebration, January 14th
GISELLE – Opens SF Ballet’s 78th Season, 1/29/11
A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
THE BLACK SWAN – Don’t Save The Drippings
HEART OF A SOLDIER – SF Opera Commissions New Work
ARTHUR SZYK: Miniature Paintings and Modern Illuminations
SF SYMPHONY – Announces 2011/12 Centennial Celebration
SHREK THE MUSICAL – Ogres and Freaks and Spells, “Oh, my!”
CD: MAHLER’S “Songs With Orchestra” – SF Symphony Completes Mahler Recording Project
GENIUS WITHIN: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould
KARITA MATTILA – “Viva To The Diva!”
CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA – A Conversation with Richard Marriot
WEST SIDE STORY – Most of it, anyway
Dr. ELISA STEPHENS – My Visit with the President
PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA – 30th Anniversary Gala, 9/24
TENOR RAMÓN VARGAS – A Worthy “Werther” At San Francisco Opera
AÏDA – Spectacular Opening Night At San Francisco Opera
OPENING NIGHT AT SF SYMPHONY – A Mixed Bag
CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
A Look At “Giselle” with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
DOLORA ZAJICK – Internationally Acclaimed Mezzo To Receive Merola Distinguished Alumni Award
BACH & FRIENDS – West Coast Premiere At The Kabuki, 7/14
FROM BEGINNING TO END – At the Castro Theatre, FRAMELINE34
DEBORAH VOIGT – A Captivating “Fanciulla del West”
JEANETTE MacDONALD – Hollywood Diva Remembered at the War Memorial Opera House
SABINA ALLEMANN – Former SF Ballet Ballerina Returns In A.C.T.’s “The Tosca Project
CD/DVD Release: CAMERON LIVE! – Organist Cameron Carpenter
THE RUFFATTI ORGAN & CAMERON CARPENTER at DAVIES HALL
AMANDA McBROOM – A rose for new CD, “CHANSON”
CAMERON CARPENTER – Stellar Organist Returns to San Francisco May 2nd
THE LITTLE MERMAID – “This Girl’s Got Everything!”
PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI – An Interview with Russell Blackwood
PIANIST MISHA DICHTER – A Conversation
ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
DAVID PERRY – On the “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”
CAMINOS FLAMENCOS – A Conversation with Yaelisa
A CONVERSATION WITH LUCIE ARNAZ
JANE MONHEIT – At The Empire Ballroom
CAMERON CARPENTER – Up Close and Very Personal
RUBÉN MARTIN CINTAS – Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
CHRISTINE ANDREAS – A Conversation with Beautiful Broadway and Cabaret Star
CD Review – REVOLUTIONARY, Cameron Carpenter, Organist
seans-new-photo
Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

» Don’t miss a thing. Get Sentinel breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox

SENTINEL FOUNDER PAT MURPHY
pat-murphy-wood-wall-nov-101
Photo By Luke Thomas FogCityJournal.com


Telephone: 415-846-2475
Email: SanFranciscoSentinel@yahoo.com

fidf

Comments are closed.