San Francisco Ballet: “Next @ 90” Curtain Call

San Francisco Ballet
April 2, 2034 7:30pm
“Next @ 90” Curtain Call

Delightful Retrospective

“Next@90” is a program presenting three works seen previously at the San Francisco Ballet. Each is delightful, worth seeing over and over, and especially the last ballet on the program entitled “Madcap”. If dancers and the audience need laughter in these times, “Madcap” provides it.

The program opened with “Gateway to the Sun,” choreography by Nicolas Blanc to music by Anna Clyne. The work is pleasant but its effort to create “diversity” and a sense of “visceral” (that Blanc suggests will ‘move ballet forward’) is not achieved. The twelve dancers, starring Sasha De Sola, Wei Wang, Jennifer Stahl and Stephen Morse were lead by a ‘poet’ Isaac Hernandez. Costumes for all were short skirts, providing fine leg work…but there was no other strong impact in this work.

Violin Concerto,” Stravinsky’s music played by Cordial Marks (on a 1703 Stradivarius!) is led by Sasha Mukhamedov (Muse) who inspires three principal couples and four ensemble couples to dance Yuri Possokhov’s work. The dancers are in shorts and other comfortable costumes and, though formal in ballet vocabulary, it “has an improvisational spirit that was present throughout its creation” says Possokhov.

But it is “Madcap” by choreographer Danielle Rowe that brings down the house and sends the audience into the windy night, delighted and cheerful. The ballet is an imaginary circus featuring clowns, jugglers, a red nose, ‘oom pa-pa’s’ and others unique to Rowe’s imaginative plot wherein events have an improvisational feel, as if the dancers decide when to enter the activities, to just be entertained as we the audience are. Besides the clown, Myles Thatcher, and the ‘oracle’, Jennifer Stahl, all the dancers appear to be having much fun, as we the audience delight in their activities and our surprised joyous response to ballet as sheer pleasure.

The SF Ballet season continues April 4-14 with “Dos Mujeres”, (choreographed by two women) and the return of “Mere Mortals” and “Swan Lake” encore. It has been a very impressive season under the direction of Tamara Rojo. The dancers are wonderful! The choreography often new and different than other seasons. SF Ballet is a gift to the Bay Area community. Go! Whether you have never seen ballet or have seen it all, it is a pleasure.