2017 and SFB at Stern Grove July 30

31 Jul

The next step San Francisco Recreation and Parks needs to accomplish are new
benches and tables at Stern Grove. The quantity of same has been reduced to make way for more non-paying pinickers, but none the less Leonard Halprin’s design, full or devoid of bodies, is wonderfully impressive; the overcast was not so chill as to prevent San Francisco Ballet dancing the same program it performed July 21 for the Napa Valley Festival. The roster included Tomasson’s Haffner Symphony, the Balanchine-Stravinsky Agon pas de deux, Tomasson’s Concerto Grosso, Paul Taylor’s Company B’s Boogie-Woogie Boy, Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour.

Casting proved to repeat earlier assignments, particularly with the Haffner and the Wheeldon works. The former included Sasha de Solo and Angelo Greco in the principal roles; while both are musical, the former is given to a legato contrasted to the dynamic attention Greco pays to partnering and to the pirouettes and double tours he accomplishes so nimbly. When I first saw him dance the role I wrote that Greco loves dancing, a truism repeated under the eucalyptus.

Intermission was followed by Sofiane Sylve and Carlo de Lanno in the pas de deux made famous by Diana Adams and Arthur Mitchell. Both skilled collaborators, de Lanno’s lengthy limbs contrasted with Sylve’s more compact physique; they carried the piece with admirable focus.

Tomasson’s Concerto Grosso, the all-male quintet, has been memorable to me for introducing a red-clad Pascal Molat to San Francisco’s audience. Here that assignment was given to Esteban Hernandez, whose jumps and pleasure were
evident. As a skilled soloist himself, Tomasson has an innate sensibility when it comes to male variations, and Concerto Grosso displayed his felicity for the remaining four soloists: Max Cauthorn, Jaime Garcia Castilla , Wei Wang, Lonnie Weeks. It’s good to have that memory periodically.

Joseph Walsh possesses just about the right amount of sass for Paul Taylor’s incredibly energetic solo from Company B: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. It’s non stop, one of Taylor’s amazing creations; Walsh conveyed all its elements.

Following the second intermission, the program closed with Christopher Wheeldon’s Within The Golden Hour where Martin Packledinaz garbed the women in muted chiffon skirts over tights with headbands, the men in harmonious colors, dancing to the combined score of Edo Bosso and Antonio Vivaldi. The principals, Mathilde Froustey and Myles Thatcher, Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham, Maria Kotchetkova and Victor Luiz, all well-matched and harmonious in this lyric, twilight infused work, carrying a very pleasant afternoon to a close. It made the preparation, the logistics and ultimate packing for the on-lookers well worth the trek out Sloat Boulevard and Nineteenth Avenue.

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