Wednesday, February 01, 2023

SF Ballet's next@90 Program 3

Last Friday was a Gay Night Out at the San Francisco Ballet and the Opera House was lit up accordingly.
The third of three programs in the next@90 Festival of new ballets began with Kin by choreographer Claudia Schreier and a commissioned score by the young California composer Tanner Potter. I liked all the contemporary music on the evening's program, including Kin with its succession of swelling fanfares.
All three of the ballets were abstract but seemed to be based on private narratives, including Kin with its two couples and attendant tribes mixing and matching and struggling with each other. Pictured are principal dancers Isaac Hernández and Aaron Robison...
...who partnered Dores André and WanTing Zhao respectively (pictured above). It's possible the ballet was about a same-sex longing between the two women and their partners' and community's vehement disapproval, but that could be totally wrong. In any case, the impossibly tall and elegant WanTing Zhao was worthy of worship by everyone, and casting her as the Austere Queen of Program 1's Resurrection would be fun to see.
The second ballet was Gateway to the Sun, choreographed by Nicholas Blanc to a 2019 score for cello and orchestra by Anna Clyne entitled Dance. Max Cauthorn played a poet, based on Rumi, who watches and occasionally interacts with scenes from his poems, none of which was particularly clear. Sasha de Sola and Jennifer Stahl are flanking the blue poet in the photo above.
The choreography was not as interesting as Clyne's music, and the unisex costumes were unflattering for all genders, but the dancing ensemble was superb, and Jennifer Stahl (above, partnered by Luke Ingham) was entrancing.
The final ballet was Yuri Possokhov's take on Stravinsky's 1931 neoclassical Violin Concerto, set in a ballet studio.
This was another abstract ballet that seemed to have an underlying narrative that boiled down to Everybody Loves Joseph Walsh (above right), including a Muse in pink danced by Sasha Mukhamedov, and Wona Park as his original girlfriend. It was a gay, lovely evening.

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