SAN FRANCISCO BALLET OPENS TONIGHT – Casting Announced For Programs 1

Spectacular Gala Opening showcases the Company to perfection

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET kicked off its 2009 Season last week with a dazzling presentation of its artistic wealth and versatility. The Company ranks among the best in the world and boasts a roster of magnificently trained artists whose styles stretch from time-honored traditions to the very latest from hot contemporary choreographers. The music as well spans across the centuries, frequently borrowing from works never intended for dance – such as Helgi Tomasson’s Prism, which employs Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Music Director and Principal Conductor Martin West is as equally at home with the concert and symphonic repertoire as with enduring classics, such as the Act II excerpt from Giselle featuring Yuan Yuan Tan, Rachel Viselli, and Ivan Popov. Mr. West will conduct the world premiere of Tomasson’s Swan Lake opening February 21st. His fabulous new recording for Telarc, RUSSIAN MASTERPIECES FOR CELLO, featuring the amazing cellist Zuill Bailey and the SF Ballet Orchestra is released today.

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Frances Chung & Daniel Deivision-Oliveira – Katita Waldo & Ivan Popov.
Photos, Erik Tomasson

The Company utilizes fine recordings as well, such as Dave Brubeck’s 1959 “Time Out” for choreographer Lar Lubovitch’s Elemental Brubeck. At the Gala, the recording of Thom Willems’ In the Middle Somewhat Elevated brought out a passionate display of balance and physics in the Pas de Deux featuring Pierre-François Vilanoba and Sofiane Sylve. The work will be featured in PROGRAM 2, opening Thursday night, January 29th.

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Pierre-François Vilanoba,. Sofiane Sylve – Yuan Yuan Tan, Rachel Viselli.
Photos, Erik Tomasson

The Gala Opening was a clever display of unusual pairings, solos, and ensembles. The evening began with pianist Michael McGraw accompanying Frances Chung and Daniel Deivision-Oliveira in Balanchine’s Tarantella by composer Louis Gottschalk. Mr. McGraw again demonstrated his magnificent touch with composer Györgi Ligeti’s Polyphonia. Entitled Pas de Deux and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, the dance featured dazzlingly limber Katita Waldo and the striking Ivan Popov. Memorable solo spots coming in the form of separate moments from the various pas de deux were offered by Tina LeBlanc and Isaac Hernandez in Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada in Raymonda. But it was the combination of the much anticipated debut of young Taras Domitro and veteran diva Vanessz Zahorian in Le Corsaire which sparked curious wonderment and then an explosion of applause.

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Joan Boada, Maria Kochetkova – Taras Domitro, Vanessz Zahorian.
Photos, Erik Tomasson

Lorena Feijóo was beautifully lighted by designer David K.H. Elliott in the one solo piece of the evening, Confidencias (Secrets) choreographed by Helgi Tomasson. Pianist Roy Bogas distinguished himself with the composition by Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth. In an exquisite fashion by designer Beni Montressor, Lorena Feijóo fascinates the eye and seduces the heart. The Cuban-born beauty blossomed under the discipline of the National Ballet School of Cuba and throughout her early years with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. An internationally cherished prima ballerina – Lorena Feijóo, the artist, draws the soul into reverie.

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LORENA FEIJÓO – Confidencias. Choreography by Helgi Tomasson.
Photos, Erik Tomasson

Casting for PROGRAM 1:
Click here to order tickets on-line: TUESDAY, January 27th, 8:00 PM

PRISM
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Movement: Kristin Long, Ruben Martin, Hansuke Yamamoto
2nd Movement: Sofiane Sylve, Ivan Popov
3rd Movement: Taras Domitro

DIVING INTO THE LILACS – World Premiere
Conductor: Martin West

1st Movement: Ensemble
2nd Movement: Maria Kochetkova, Pascal Molat
3rd Movement: Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding
4th Movement: Lorena Feijoo, Joan Boada*

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas
1st Theme: Lily Rogers, Daniel Deivison
2nd Theme: Elana Altman, Brett Bauer
3rd Theme: Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun, Anthony Spaulding

Melancholic: Pascal Molat
Sanguinic: Sarah Van Patten, Ruben Martin
Phlegmatic: Davit Karapetyan*
Choleric: Sofiane Sylve

Casting for PROGRAM 1:
Click here to order tickets on-line: WEDNESDAY, January 28th, 7:30 PM

PRISM
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Movement: Tina LeBlanc, Ruben Martin, Hansuke Yamamoto
2nd Movement: Sarah Van Patten, Brett Bauer*
3rd Movement: Taras Domitro

DIVING INTO THE LILACS
Conductor: Martin West

1st Movement: Ensemble
2nd Movement: Maria Kochetkova, Pascal Molat
3rd Movement: Yuan Yuan Tan, Anthony Spaulding
4th Movement: Lorena Feijoo, Joan Boada

THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS
Conductor: Martin West
Piano: Roy Bogas

1st Theme: Charlene Cohen*, Daniel Deivison
2nd Theme: Jennifer Stahl, Brett Bauer
3rd Theme: Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun, Anthony Spaulding

Melancholic: Pascal Molat
Sanguinic: Vanessa Zahorian, Joan Boada
Phlegmatic: Davit Karapetyan
Choleric: Elana Altman

Lorena Feijóo – A Look at “Giselle” with Seán Martinfield
SAMSON & DELILAH – Meet Seán Martinfield
CA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES – A Preview Look with Seán Martinfield

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See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

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Seán Martinfield 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”, which is being prepared for publication. 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.

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