Critical Dance

The following is an article from our special section, San Francisco Ballet in London.

A Diary: Monday, Day 1 of San Francisco Ballet's Season in London, Summer 2001
by Stuart Sweeney

A warm, sticky day in London and I suspect that we'll all be cursing the inadequacy of the less than two-year old ROH air conditioning system this evening. Later we did!

The Company took class on the Auditorium stage today and from 2pm to 5pm, there was a Dress Rehearsal there, which was also the opportunity for a photo shoot. It was the first time that the dancers had performed with The Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet, but the press people told me that it all went well. The problem with the size of studios available now has also been solved.

There is an interesting rumour from outside the Company that they may be back for a third visit before too many more years have passed. Jolly good, say I.

There is one change of casting for this evening, Joan Boada is not fully fit and will dance only in Fanfare, but not in Magrittomania nor Symphony in Three Movements.

At the performance, there was a good audience not full, but maybe 80% at a guess. A few famous faces around, including Wayne Sleep and Bruce Samson back in his old theatre with his new Company. Good news for present day ballet choreographers as the recent works by Mark Morris and Yuri Possokhov came out well ahead of two off-day pieces from the Greats, Balanchine and Robbins, with Magrittomania getting the warmest applause. The applause was muted for the understated A Garden, but it is an elegant, high quality work in my book.

If I had to pick two dancers from the many fine ones on display this evening, I'd have to go with Yuan Yuan Tan in Magrittomania and Roman Rykine in the same piece as well as in Symphony in Three Movements.

All in all, the first night lived up to our high expectations. Welcome back SFB!

Go to the previous day's diary.

Go to the next day's diary.

Please visit our special section, San Francisco Ballet in London, for reviews, interviews and more previews related to San Francisco's Summer 2001 tour to London.

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Edited by Azlan Ezaddin.

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