SF Ballet, Program 2

How Sweet It Is
San Francisco Ballet, Program 2
January 31, 2008

Thursday a few colleagues and I went to celebrate the last day of “Dine About Town” with a prix fixe lunch at Fringale, a lovely little French restaurant just a few blocks from work. Our appetizers and entrees hit the spot (I savored the couscous with mushroom and chestnut ragout and white truffle oil- how divine!), but by the time we were faced with dessert, we stood perplexed. Should we each order what our hearts desired, or do we agree to order one of each of the three choices and share amongst each other? We went with the latter, and boy, were we happy. Our mixed bill of a warm chocolate gourmand, hazelnut and roasted almond mousse cake, and apple tart tatin pleased all of the senses, and we came away with an appreciation for how each dessert complemented the other. The same could be said for Program 2 of San Francisco Ballet’s current season. Featuring works by Balanchine, Morris, and Possokhov, there was something for everyone, and while each work could hold their own on the expansive Opera House stage, the evening closed with a sense of well-deserved completeness.

The evening opened with George Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15,” set to music by Mozart. Balanchine has become synonymous with American ballet, so perhaps this was the program’s equivalent to my lunch’s apple tart. Showcasing musicality and pure, codified ballet, the work followed a theme of crisp 5th positions, deep pliés, pure balanced attitudes, and long, sweeping penchés. Kristin Long energized the stage with her feet of fury, and Gennadi Nedvigin is a man who knows how to maximize his plié, showing off luscious jumps, beats, and pirouettes that all seemed to melt and then spring upward from his ankles to the rafters.

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