Archive | July, 2012

Enter Luciana July 22

29 Jul

Thanks to Teri McCollum, whom I consider San Francisco’s  Hedda Hopper and particularly of San Francisco Ballet, I have been kept apprised of the impending motherhood of Lorena Feijoo, San Francisco Ballet’s principal dancer, and Cuban native.  Lorena’s sister, Lorna, is a principal at Boston Ballet and is herself a young mother.

July 22, Lorena gave birth to the expected daughter whose father is Vitor Luiz, another principal dancer for SFB, and a native of Brazil.

It seems that the young woman has been named Luciana, so the official name will read Luciana Luiz y Feijoo, if the Spanish custom is followed of recognizing the name of the mother after a “y”.

I’m sure the McCollum’s blog/website Odette’s Ordeal will shortly have an image of mother and daughter.  Her visual coverage is nothing short of spectacular.

Someday Luciana will know about her Mother’s wit and humor.  At the Isadora Duncan Dance Award Ceremony March 26 at ODC’s Theatre, Lorena was one of five SFB principal dancers to enjoy a special award for the remarkable interpretations they danced in the ballet Giselle. Earlier, Enrico Labayen, awarded a choreographic Izzie for his pas de deux Cloth some seasons previous, informed the audience he was “a virgin” to the Izzie award category of stage design. When Lorena came to acknowledge her award, she faced the audience  in profile and announced with a slight smile and her enormous eyes, “I’m not a virgin,”  It elicited howls of delighted laughter.  Feijoo also was not a virgin to the Izzies. She and Joan Boada received an ensemble award for dancing Kitri and Basilio in the  premiere of the Tomasson-Possokhov production of Don Quixote.

When it comes to father Vitor Luiz, he  was deemed “impossibly handsome” by critic Rita Felciano in the title role of Eugene Onegin, all  portending a lively future for the new dancing heiress.

Congratulations to all three!

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Deja Vu – The New Dance Stamp

28 Jul

July 28, 2012 The United States Postal Service issues a new series of dance stamps, featuring an artist’s rendition of Isadora Duncan, Jose Limon, Katherine Dunham and Bob Fosse.  The four deceased dancers represent four diverse expressions of dance artistry.

The images have been promoted by the Dizzy Feet Foundation, [DFF] whose prime mover is Noel Lythgoe, executive producer and judge for television’s So You Think You Can Dance.  With the enabling of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a National Dance Day resolution was introduced in Congress, specifying the last Saturday in July as National Dance Day.  The emphasis is to promote dance education and physical fitness across the United States.

This year’s National Dance Day is Saturday, July 28, which will be observed, in part, by a Gala at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles.  The Website for DFF gives no particulars about who will dance beyond the date and an invitation to purchase tickets, including the $400 VIP category.

DFF lists three goals.  One: To provide scholarships to talented students studying at accredited dance schools,  institutions or studios.  Its  Angelina Ballerina scholarship has been awarded to a student at the American Ballet Theatre in 2012 and San Francisco Ballet Schools 2011.

There is nothing  posted regarding the criteria which qualifies said instruction.  With such a diversity of styles requiring expertise in instruction and training to achieve a professional level, the standards and those qualified to pass judgment may provide a major challenge towards those admirable goals.

Two: To establish national standards for dance education and an accreditation program to dance schools in all of the major styles of dance. It poses the question of  whether the instruction in non-Western dance forms will be included, and who are the proper evaluators of these forms. Will the styles be limited to  those which promise livelihoods for the student?

Three: To develop, provide, and/or support dance education programs for disadvantaged children through and with local community organizations.

A dazzling list of television connections follows the listing of the executive board: all appear to be  Southern California based.  Among the advisors I recognized the names of Kate Lydon and Rachel Moore, both with strong American Ballet Theatre  connections.

Puzzling, however, is the apparent lack of recognition of National Dance Week or International Dance Day, April 29, celebrating the birth of Jean Georges Noverre, considered the father of modern classical ballet. Is this another manifestation of the proliferation of dance events like the growth of ballets competitions, nationally and internationally.  Certainly, if funding is available, any number can and does play.

I use the term deja vu because of the late Ben Sommers, President of Capezio-BalletMakers, 1940-1976, and President of the Capezio Foundation until his death in 1985. Back in the days of the Regional Ballet Association, Ben promoted the idea of a dance stamp.  His was pretty nearly a two decade campaign before his idea materialized in four idealized images which included modern, ballet, tap and what looked like early hip-hop. While admiring his tenacity, the then small dance community was amused by Ben’s efforts.  Ben persisted, and the dance stamps became a reality.  E-Bay advertises the four,  first class stamps at $.13.

In the late ‘Thirties and early ‘Forties, Ben also was discussing physical fitness through dance with the American Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

On reflection, I think Ben would be pleased that his vision is being re-energized.  Ben would also be assiduous in giving credit to  forerunners in dance organizing.  Let’s see if DFF will emulate Ben’s
admirable quality of crediting predecessors and influences.

MPD and Muriel Maffre

26 Jul

When Dance USA met in San Francisco the end of June, the Museum of  Performance and Design [MPD] provided an afternoon open house on the fourth floor of the Veterans’ Building.

I’m hazy whether the display had been assembled particularly for the presence of this national dance professional organization or if it had been up for some time. At any rate, I trotted down to Civic Center June 30 to take a look about an hour before closing.

Not only was I curious about the contents, but I wanted to see Muriel Maffre in her new setting as Executive Director of MPD. I’ve been one of her avid fans since she danced Odette/Odile opposite Yuri Zhukov during her initial season with San Francisco Ballet.  She has given not only rare pleasure in her dancing, but she also has given the Bay Area a rare intelligence in her capacity to bridge disciplines effectively.

MPD is lucky to have Maffre’s abilities as it faces a move from the Veterans’ Building as that edifice starts seismic retrofitting in 2013.  MPD not only faces displacement, but the fact it cannot return once the repairs have been made: San Francisco Opera is slated to occupy the space.  Maffre therefore is working to secure space sufficient to house its bulging, disparate collection as well as to imprint the organization’s importance in the life of the Bay Area’s performing arts.

Funds, of course, are a problem.  New York City’s performing arts won city and state support. While MPD receives annual fees from a  number of organizations paying for their archival   maintenance, it also  relies on membership, private donors, and, presumably, funding for specific projects, for its support. I was told by a former president of the organization, then known as San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum [SF PALM] that it very nearly became a part of the San Francisco Public Library system.  Preventing the merger was the fact San Francisco’s library system would not guarantee incorporating SF PALM’s  existing staff into its personnel.

Lord, but my preambles can get involved!  Anyway, the exhibit seen June 30 was sheer delight; bits of everything: costumes, memorabilia, posters, books, generous with, but not limited to, dance.  The nucleus of MPD’s collection started with Russell Hartley, tall, blonde, very artistic and warmly gregarious, the first Mother Ginger in Willam Christensen’s 1944 Nutcracker, also the creator of the costumes – not only the sketches, but the garments themselves.  It was largely his nucleus that was on display.

Russell had blown up opera and theatrical posters, colored them. (He had been a painting conservator until the fumes required his shifting activities) Enrico Caruso stared out at you, head cocked slightly, eyes piercing.  I think I remember seeing Mary Garden near Caruso.
Octavian’s elaborate white satin costume, breeches and jacket from Der Rosencavalier occupied the entry niche and nearby was a poster celebrating La Estralita.  Angels in America was duly recognized.

Under glass was the sumptuous collection of the Stowitts’ costume  (Hubert Julian) sketches for Fay Yen Fah, the opera with libretto by Templeton  Cocker and music by Joseph Redding, premiered at the Bohemian Grove in 1917  before being mounted at the tiny Monte Carlo Opera created by Charles  Garnier.  Ninette de Valois and Alexandra Danilova danced in the opera, the ballet divertissement created by George Balanchine, his eleventh work under Diaghilev’s aegis in Western Europe.  The Stowitts’ designs never made it to the stage because Stowitts spent too much time on his oeuvre, subsidized two years by Crocker to study the objects from the Dun Huang caves brought to London and Paris by Sir Aurel Stein and Paul Peliot. I remember being told by Anne Holliday, Stowitts’ biographer, that he ordered handmade paper from China for the sketches. Little wonder patron and artist parted collaboration.

Totally new to me was a colorful, highly-decorated costume exhumed from a trunk belonging to the short-lived Pavel-Oukrainsky troupe, organized in Chicago in the early ‘Twenties.  Andreas Pavel died in 1931, believed as a suicide.  How long the ensemble survived is not clear, but it  actually  predated San Francisco Ballet.

Serge Oukrainsky followed Adolph Bolm as ballet master for the San Francisco Opera, lasting one season, 1927-38, when his post was assumed by Willam Christensen.  Oukrainsky is credited as having created dances for the SF Opera productions of  Aida, La Traviata, Lakme, Un Ballo en Maschera. The explanatory notes stated a friend told Harlety the Oukrainsky trunks were headed for the garbage and he rescued them.  Maffre exhumed the contents from storage in preparation for this exhibit.

These objects were memory lane for me.  Russell Hartley had been a part of my San Francisco dance going, first when he gossiped while sitting beside me as I watched San Francisco Ballet rehearse  Sylphides at 236 Van Ness the winter of 1947.  For years his conservation studio was on Market Street about a block west of the Academy of Ballet at 2121 Market Street;  dancers were always welcome and parties frequent.  Before starting the Museum, then known at the Archives for the Performing Arts, in the basement of the Sacramento Street branch of San Francisco’s Public Library, Russell operated an art gallery just north of Broadway on the west side of Columbus Avenue.  There, among other artists, he showed Kyra Nijinsky’s paintings of her father.

Russell’s creation of the Archives, now the Museum of Performance and Design, got its major active impetus from two sources. First,  John Kreidler was able to take a U.S. Department of Labor apprentice ruling and make a case for applying the CETA funds to the arts.  It not only
enabled Stephen Goldstine, directing the Neighborhood Arts Program, to employ artists, but it provided personnel to San Francisco Ballet. CETA Funds paid the salaries for Russell Hartley, enabling him to concentrate on organizing the  Archives but hiring Judith Solomon as his assistant. Russell usually spent most of his stipend at flea markets, picking up discarded theatrical memorabilia.

Second, the space at the Sacramento branch came to Russell through the initiative of Kevin Starr during his brief tenure as Librarian for the San Francisco Public Libraries. I think the CETA salaries came through the Library system.  CETA funding went down the drain when Ronald Reagan became President.

Those energetic years came flooding across my memory screen as I regarded what Muriel Maffre had accomplished in this exhibit.  Russell Hartley would feel MPD is in not only competent, but imaginative hands.

Robert Dekkers’ Triads, Herbst Theatre, July 21

23 Jul

Triads must refer to Robert Dekkers’ third season as artistic director for Post:Ballet, because the program itself only sporadically demonstrated relationships of three in the four dances performed at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, July 21.

A scheduled fifth was eliminated due to the destruction of a sculpture in the final work, a pas de deux.  Actually, that was good providing you hold the opinion that final  program numbers should be ensemble ones.

Dekkers comes across the footlights as articulate, very earnest. given to using  “and” frequently.  The program itself displayed a consistent “look” in its  photographs, high black and white contrast;  a ‘Twenties look – Clara Bow lips for the women, marcelled hair, single line eyebrows.  For the men there were Valentino-like side burns, brooding postures, careful hairlines; for both genders clear suggestions of nudity. The dancers themselves were ten; during the rest of the year they are claimed by Smuin Ballet (Jonathan Mangosing, Susan Roemer, Christian Squires); Ballet Arizona (Beau Campbell; Myles Lavallee) Diablo Ballet (Hiromi Yamazaki); Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre (Domenico Luciano) plus three with no obvious company affiliation.  Dekkers himself is currently a dancer with Diablo Ballet; Happy Ending, the evening’s  second work, was premiered  by Diablo  May 4.

Dekkers clearly knows how to package his work; the financial credits and  program testifies to skills so necessary for an artistic director.  Based on the program notes, he also  provides explanations/inspirations for his works, expressing them in contemporary style, which is to say lyricism and conventional romance [read chivalry] between the genders is somewhere waiting in the wings,  scarcely welcomed by musical choices, movement or  spoken opinions uttered as part of the accompanying sound.

Mine is Yours, premiered May 19 during the San Francisco International Arts Festival, here was interpreted by Domenico Luciano with Ashley Flaner, Raychel Weiner and Hiromi Yamazaki as the three women.  Described as “exploring the individual’s physical mental and spiritual relationship with the external world it was initially inspired by the book Sex at Dawn,” it touched on sexual sharing.  The three women walked on demi-pointe throughout, mostly with flexed knees, arms held  upwards in the stick ‘em up position, minus fright.  Torsos rotated from side to side, the head moved as if manipulated by a puppeteer.  In a diaphanous skirt and bare torso Luciano was prone downstage right. The trio moved downstage left before splintering.  Progressively, the trio made contact with Luciano in various ways individually and collectively, contacting him with their heads in his chest, being lifted on his shoulders, slithering through his legs, dragging him upstage.

Three is common in many cultures; I found myself thinking of the mythic Grecian Three Fates; spinning, measuring and cutting of human life; man moving from inertness to active involvement though remaining almost as uncomprehending as the trio’s  detachment.

Happy Ending, initially premiered by Diablo Ballet, is a pas de six with three girls in short skirts and tees, the fellows with suspender-held trousers, the use of the back wall to frame the six starting against it, almost climbing it. Dekkers had his dancers execute melt-down ronde de jambes, wiggling  calves and feet.  Girls were carried, or supported from the knees, heads
near the floor; the men gathered in a trio with spiral body movements, faces expressionless; the girls congregated, comparing notes body style; one moved back to the whitened back wall to execute a six o’clock developpe a la seconde.  “The piece suggests that we can find happiness and fulfillment in all of life’s “little” moments.”  The definition of “little” moments seems to have experienced a generational shift.

Following intermission Jonathan Mangosing and Christian Squires danced an excerpt from “Interference Pattern,’ abetted  by Amir Jaffer’s minimalist film and David Robertson’s lighting recreated by Jack Carpenter.  Both men danced in trunks, bare chested, Squires starting upstage and Mangosing downstage right.  In front of a brick wall, Squires’ head very gradually emerged on film while the two excellent dancers meandered their way towards each other and began to engage, a movement-dominated replica of fully dressed men, off-handed, studiously casual,  cruising for a male sexual partner. Ultimately, after many body rolls, contact was accomplished; as Squires’ face became more prominent, there was a sudden blackout.  Program notes read  “ The work is an intimate exploration of observation and its influence on our  subconscious behavior.”

When in Doubt with seven dancers  got its premiere this season, again with Dekkers’ lengthy explanation, and a fair amount of scattered speech by various voices “when we need to speak out and express our beliefs outweighs any reasons we may otherwise find to keep our thoughts to ourselves.”

At the ballet’s beginning this entailed an accented voice of someone obviously older making a generalized statement about being civilized.  For some time after that, youthful voices gave us monosyllables, and a few double directives, enough to make me cringe at current linguistic skills, gradually becoming phrases, comments, thoughtful reflections.

Dekkers used his seven dancers in a line on stage right, entering, progressing, retreating from the same.  In her single appearance Susan Roemer appeared to be carrying something small, important; later it was imitated by Beau Campbell, if my visual memory is accurate. Throughout  the ballet, this advance, retreat was emphasized against an original score by Jacob Wolkenhauser.

On this second evening Herbst Theater was almost filled.  Dekkers  must be touching a current cord, engaging a different generation of audience goers.

Juncal Street, La Pena Cultural Center, June 26

20 Jul

My exposure to flamenco in San Francisco came when there was a Cansino instructing in a Geary Street studio not far from what is now American Conservatory Theater.  It also was a time when Vadja del Oro was continuing to dance after she and Guillermo del Oro parted marital ways.  While there was doubtless other Spanish exponents, del Oro had the distinction of having studied with Otero in addition to Enrico Cechetti, and knowing all the coplas of the traditional Sevillanas.  From various sources I heard there was someone by the name of Jose Ramon, but I am personally ignorant regarding this exponent.

The Geary Street theatres saw performances by Carmen Amaya, Teresa and Luisillo, Jose Greco, Pilar Lopez, Jimenez and Vargas.  Argentinita, and, at one point, an aging Escudero and his partner appeared on the S.F. Opera stage.  That may well have been the occasion when Roberto Iglesias and his company appeared at the Van Ness location; Iglesias proudly acknowledged having danced with San Francisco Ballet. In the early ‘Sixties the Old Spaghetti Factory flamenco sessions were in session. Spanish dancing could be seen at the outskirts of Chinatown at the Sinaloa, a Mexican-flavored nightclub operated by Luz Garcia, her life history unfortunately remains shadowy.   Maclovia, who had danced under Adolph Bolm in early San Francisco Ballet days, appeared there and later with Antonio, touring with a different troupe from his days as one half of the Rosario and Antonio billing.

While she resided in San Francisco, Rosa Montoya reigned supreme in San Francisco’s flamenco world, starting first with Ciro in a nightclub on Broadway.  She performed and taught a number of exponents active today, with perhaps the most noted being Melissa Cruz.  Unlike Theatre Flamenco’s continued ensemble existence, when Rosa retired to Spain following the loss of her husband and only son, gypsy-originated flamenco and larger-than-ensemble artists vanished.  Concurrently with Rosa, Cruz Luna had also danced along that strip once called the Barbary Coast, a tall, elegant individual.

I’m hazy on the sequence, but soon Yaelisa, her  mother  an Old Spaghetti Factory stalwart of flamenco  ensemble performances, emerged with her ensemble, and several promising dancers began to appear in her ensemble, and she appeared monthly at ODC’s Theatre before it was remodeled.

Into her group came Fanny Ara;  with the presence of La Tania, and later Carola Zertuche, the level of flamenco artistry has risen appreciably.  I have been told  the San Francisco area is one of genuine homes away from homes for flamenco. With this roster of artists and their ability to acquire guesting dancers and musicians, San Francisco enjoys not only frequent performances, but real confidence in the caliber of what we are invited to watch.

I missed Fanny Ara’s early spring concert, but seeing what she arranged June 26 at La Pena Cultural Center more than made up for that absence. She assembled three musicians in addition to Manuel Gutierrez, the dancer seen locally under several auspices.  Jason McGuire, “El  Rubio”, was responsible for the principal guitar, backed by Tommy Dades, who plays an electrified guitar.  Instead of the increasing use of the cajon, Joey Heredia brought his percussion skills while Jose Cortes provided the singing.

La Pena is a stark setting for any performance, an elevated platform at the end of a room of seats without rake or curtain.  When artists can carry an audience’s intensive response as these six were able in this setting, it’s really something.  No wonder that Juncal is roughly translated as “insider.”

As  Ara and Gutierrez started out with Tangos, Heredia emerged from the right stage exit, walked in front of the stage where he struck  his sticks on the edge of the platform close to the dancers’ feet.  This  set a tone, Gutierrez and Ara dancing side by side, Ara in black, Gutierrez, suited, like a slightly fatigued paper pusher in San Francisco’s financial district. Throughout the program, little of the traditional costumes were even hinted at – the heavily braided jacket and tight trousers of the male, combs, spit curls and artificial flowers for the woman’s hair,  a myriad of ruffles on the sleeves and neckline or the swirling yardage in the skirt.

Jose Cortes, a tall, handsome man, rendered a Fandango with extraordinary fervor, the melismatic preliminary as prolonged and varied as one hears from a traditional Indian singer .  Cortes’ undulations, produced with the aid of one hand weaving the rise and fall of sound, pulled the extended  phrase from deep in his solar plexus, his  intensity verging on a blood vessel rupture.

When Gutierrez returned for the Zapateado, head covered by a school boy cap, knee-length socks and short trousers with school boy jacket and tie, he looked like a school boy – a nod to his French birth. His expression, totally deadpan, drilled itself into the audience, as his feet wove the traditional sequences.  My friend remarked, “He possesses an ego the size of Berkeley.”

Ara’s costumes included diaphanous black over minimal bra with a straight street skirt, later a black  over blouse with rose-applique above a floor length skirt of minimalist ruffles.  She is adept in cork- curled turns, both back and forward;  she continues to reach sideways with a strong thrust of the arm, softened by manipulation of palms and fingers, which accompany equal  side stretches of the torso and the legs. The latter almost verges on the grotesque but is redeemed by the arms, body twist and her remarkable musical phrasing.  These juxtapositions seemed to work best in the solo Romance, but  I hope it doesn’t become a movement cliche.   Ara’s handsome features appeared more chiseled,  perhaps heightened with the presence of Guiterrez; certainly her body responded in a telling response to Heredia’s percussive instruments.

Gutierrez danced in the mussy business suit style with the usual forward intent gaze and deliberation; in due course off  came the jacket flung at a strategic juncture.  There’s no denying
his skill or focus.

Two thoughts linger as I write this.  Spanish dance no longer is totally defined by its costume, particularly with the men.  Ara, Gutierrez and Cortes all born in France; the latter two claim gypsy heritage.  Was the culture beyond the immediate family and gypsy circle an influence?  The incisiveness somehow makes me wonder.  Like ballet’s roots, Spanish dance and flamenco is
obviously an international language.

Isaac Hernandez

19 Jul

A Spanish-language exchange carried the news July 19 that Isaac Hernandez,  a soloist with San Francisco Ballet, post apprenticeship with American Ballet Theatre II which followed his winning  the Junior Gold Medal at the USA Ballet International Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, is now a first soloist with the Het National Ballet in Amsterdam.  It’s lucky and San Francisco’s loss.

Hopefully, CAL Performances might be on a US tour roster for the Dutch-based company.  I don’t think it has ever toured this country.

Masha, A Preview at San Francisco’s Vogue Theatre, July 10

13 Jul

On July 10, for the second time, Vogue Theatre, a movie house near Presidio on Sacramento, became a venue for a dance documentary centering on one of San Francisco Ballet’s  principal dancers. This time it was Bolshoi Academy-trained Maria Kochetkova.

This time, Deborah Du Buowy, head of Words on Dance, was more directly involved in the production. A facilitator for the Tiit Helimets footage by Quinn Wharton,   “Masha”  seemed to be benefiting from Du Buowy in its editing process.  Du Bouwy also was able to provide a teaser for a work created by Luke Willis with music by Shannon Roberts, both S.F. Ballet dancers,  to be seen in Octber.

Du Buowy preceded “Masha” with glimpses of the dancers she had recorded in her nearly twenty years of making Words on Dance. It was interesting to hear the audience response as dancers were shown in  snippets; loudly applauded were Joanna Berman in a section of Dance House; Evelyn Cisneros in Lambarena; Muriel Maffre; Yuri Possokhov in Othello; glimpses of  VioletteVerdy; Edward Villella; Michael Smuin dancing in Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free; Cynthia Gregory; Martine Van Hamel; Helgi Tomasson, and a number more testified to the years Du Bouwy has devoted to recording dancers’ careers.

Masha is a Russian nick-name for Maria. Because there was no program and  credits were so swiftly shown, film-making details flashed by, leaving  one  nearly in the dark, except for Kochetkova’s comments in the Q and A following the close of the documentary. In particular, the details of the setting were omitted, although one ultimately could guess that her appearance was part of a quintet of Bolshoi-trained dancers appearing in an  attempt to be the equivalent of the Kings of Dance; both production were organized by the Ardani Managemen,tspecializing in presenting Russian companies and artists.

Visually it was quite a treat, though the venue remained unnamed and the choreographer uncredited, except perhaps at the end in the rapid run through of credits in rather blurry type face.

Still, the camera provided us with some wonderful moments where Masha prepared her toe shoes in the idiosyncratic method utilized by individual dancers. Masha used special pliers to extract part of the shank; she stepped on them and pounded them on the arm of a chair; when finally seen, there were five slippers, one apparently intended for use in supported toe work. The construction of and fitting for costumes was included, including Masha’s being sewn into one between stage appearances. A line up of two pairs of false eyelashes added to the atmosphere. There clearly was self-absorption;  nothing seemed staged for the camera. Kochetkova later remarked she never felt the presence of the camera or the photographer intruding in her performance preparation.

Working with a choreographer and rehearsing certain parts of a solo gave the observer a clear portrait how much repetition, correction and adjustment are involved in the creation of a solo, long or short. In Masha’s instance, a goodly amount of daring was also involved, heightened when she was required to pitch herself off stage to be caught by a waiting pair of arms.

Since the film was a  preview and the viewing intended to fuel further editing of 50 hours of footage, it would be helpful to know, by voice over or via caption, the venue where Kochetkova was recorded, as well as the title of the work(s) rehearsed , choreographic as well as personnel credits. Kochetkova herself during the Q and A following the preview mentioned she would like to see more of a plot.

With a viewing scheduled for October, perhaps these missing components will be on view. But even in this unfinished condition, “Masha” provides an excellent glimpse into the labor intensive preparation for those brief moments when a gifted artist transports her audience.