SFB, Program 2, February 3, 2009

San Francisco Ballet
Program 2
Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 8PM

San Francisco Ballet’s initial program may show off its dancers’ liquid limbs, but Program 2 displays their steely attack and strength.

William Forsythe’s “in the middle, somewhat elevated” uses stark shadows and a cavernous stage to display wham-bam dance paired with Thom Willems’ synthesized romp full of wrps and zings. Dressed in teal with additional black hip-slung cropped tights for the women, the dancers, below a suspended duo of gold cherries (hence, the work’s title), whizzed about in contortions and jagged angles while enunciating the in-betweens. This rollercoaster of a ballet featured 10 incredibly strong dancers who complemented each other so well that they delivered one of the most high quality events I’ve ever seen on the Opera House Stage. Vanessa Zahorian, the ever-dependable technician, showed muscle and power as she plowed through some intense pirouettes and partnering, and Sofiane Sylve, with her tight ringlet curls, proved that she’s “on” even when hip-jutting off balance. The dark haired and He-Man-like Simon Ball, joining the cast as a guest artist (thank you, Houston Ballet!), matched up with Katita Waldo and later Sylve, in two dynamic duets based on trust, guts, and impeccable timing. The cast also included Elana Altman, Frances Chung, Lorena Feijoo, Pascal Molat, Joan Boada, and Ivan Popov. Without much grandeur, Forsythe has showcased raw, abstract ballet at its best. And to think “in the middle” premiered in 1987!

For more, go here.
Vanessa Zahorian and Joan Boada in Forsythe's
"in the middle, somewhat elevated."
All photos © Erik Tomasson

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