San Francisco Ballet
Thursday, March 12, 2009, 8PM
With “Swan Lake” packed up, San Francisco Ballet is churning out several mixed bills, and last night’s opening of Program 4 presented timeless works and a more recent, yet questionable, addition.
Antony Tudor’s “Jardin Aux Lilas” melds intricate emotion and circular, unrestrained movement into a compact spin through love, lust, and gutrenchingly difficult life choices, all at a moonlit garden party. “Jardin” moves through streams of consciousness, throttling forward as Caroline, danced with raw emotion by Lorena Feijoo, wrestlesbetween her future and her heart. Sofiane Sylve played coy and jealous, showing added dimension as the strong yet possessive mistress of Caroline’s stoic husband-to-be, Pierre François-Villanoba. This marriage of convenience doesn’t seem convenient to anyone, really, but before Caroline and The Man She Must Marry walk down the aisle, she and her lover, Ruben Martin, share a passionate but unresolved goodbye. Tudor’s movement still rings fresh, some 70 years later, and violinist Roy Malan’s tearful and discontented final note rang true, reminding me that not all choices are for love and happiness, but sometimes for some other grand purpose.
Balancing “Jardin’s” sorrowful tone was Jerome Robbins’ “The Concert,” set to the music of Frederic Chopin, and staged by Jean-Pierre Frohlich. Sarah Van Patten’s hammy Ballerina immediately caused the audience to break out into boisterous, unapologetic snorts with her adoration and forceful slap-turned-bear-hug of Michael McGraw’s grand piano, and the good times just kept rolling with Erin McNulty’s prissy wife and Pascal Molat’s uncommitted but hysterical husband...
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San Francisco Ballet in Robbins' The Concert.
© Erik Tomasson