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San Francisco Ballet
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The city’s ballet aficionados were out in full force Tuesday night for the premiere of San Francisco Ballet’s Program 4, a mixed, and contemporary, bill chockfull of imagery and appeal.
The hit of the night proved to be the US premiere of Wayne McGregor’s “Eden/Eden,” which was originally choreographed for Stuttgart Ballet. A beautifully disturbing look at human cloning, nine dancers, dressed in striking attire by Ursula Bombshell and led by the stunning Muriel Maffre, explore the world of carbon copies and the slight nuances that make us human. Drawing on aspects of Adam and Eve (here, Eve came first!), the dancers delve into the deep issues of immortality, choice, and individuality. Dana Genshaft showed amazing flexibility and line during her sections with Pascal Molat, and Hayley Farr stretched and cavorted like a pixie. In fact, the entire cast astonished me with their ability to move very rhythmically in a very non-traditional way, and if I hadn’t known better, I would have thought we were in Germany. Charles Balfour’s stark lighting initially covered the stage with a silvery-white newness a baby might experience in its early stages, and later the lights transcended to a rich, dewy orange, similar to a sunny evening at Baker Beach. Minimalist Steve Reich’s rich and ear thrilling score combines text, vocals, techno, and classical music in a way that made me bop along in my seat while wishing I could grand battement up the aisle, down Van Ness, and towards the bus stop. Intellectual yet intricately choreographed, “Eden/Eden” builds to a satisfying yet still disturbing climax, which had many jumping to their feet in applause at the end...
© Erik Tomasson