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  San Francisco Ballet at the Royal Opera House, 8/13-18/01

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Author Topic:   San Francisco Ballet at the Royal Opera House, 8/13-18/01
posted August 06, 2001 21:14     Click Here to See the Profile for Press   Click Here to Email Press     Edit/Delete Message


"Handsome, crisply drilled, bursting with American pizzazz, these dancers could persuade you that classical style had just been invented…I've rarely been made to feel so happy and replete by a mixed bill"
(Jenny Gilbert, Independent on Sunday)

San Francisco Ballet is bringing three mixed-bill programmes to London for its week-long season at the Royal Opera House, and that means no less than twelve ballets, seven of them UK premieres!

Hailed as a truly innovative ballet company, San Francisco Ballet presents a showcase of American and international creative talent: George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Mark Morris, three of America's most renowned twentieth century choreographers, are represented in the season's repertoire by several works which have never before been performed in the UK.

Such bold programming is typical of artistic director Helgi Tomasson who has been at the helm of America's oldest ballet troupe since 1985. As well as works by the American greats, Tomasson brings ballets by Julia Adam and Yuri Possokhov, two new young choreographers from within the company, and his own highly acclaimed 'Prism'. In addition, the repertoire will include a piece by Christopher Wheeldon, ex-Royal Ballet star turned darling of the New York City ballet firmament.

As if this were not enough to showcase the company, Tomasson has added to the season two more short ballets (both UK premieres) from his own choreographic repertoire: the lyrical and wistful Chaconne for Piano and Two Dancers, dedicated to Jerome Robbins (the man who enabled Tomasson to begin his dancing career in the United States) and created a few months after his death in July 1998; and Quartette, danced to piano music by Antonín Dvorák, featuring four contrasting ballerina solos.

(* UK premiere)

PROGRAMME 1 August 13 and 17
FANFARE, a glorious British/American opening to the season, choreographed in 1953 by Jerome Robbins to music by Benjamin Britten in honour of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. *A GARDEN, the latest work specially created for SFB by the celebrated American choreographer Mark Morris. *MAGRITTOMANIA, a humorous and haunting work from SFB award-winning principal dancer Yuri Possokhov, inspired by surrealist painter Rene Magritte. SYMPHONY IN THREE MOVEMENTS, one of Balanchine's most audacious and novel works, originally created in 1972 with a key role for New York City Ballet dancer (as he then was), Helgi Tomasson

PROGRAMME II (August 14 and 15)
*QUARTETTE, classical showcase for four ballerinas by Helgi Tomasson set to various Dvorak works for piano. *SEA PICTURES, a narrative and lyrical work themed on the irresistible lure of the sea, specially commissioned for SFB, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. BUGAKU, a Balanchine work whose blatant sexuality and eroticism caused quite a stir when it was premiered in 1963 and signalled a watershed for the great neo-classical choreographer. GLASS PIECES, a 'big' ballet choreographed by Jerome Robbins with an urban pulse and mesmerising score by Philip Glass.

PROGRAMME III (August 16 and 18, matinee and evening)
*PRISM, Helgi Tomasson's latest work, set to Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.1, a neo-classical masterpiece, originally choreographed for New York City Ballet. *NIGHT, a dreamscape which moves in mood from light to dark, full of arresting shapes and images choreographed by SFB principal dancer Julia Adam. *CHACONNE FOR PIANO AND TWO DANCERS, Tomasson's tribute to mentor Jerome Robbins, a theatrical and lively pas de deux with unusual role reversal, set to Handel's Chaconne (chaconne & 21 variations) in G Major for Harpsichord (1733). SANDPAPER BALLET, a huge Mark Morris hit with London audiences and critics in 1999 with its sassy, showbiz style and quirky, jazzy score by Leroy Anderson.

Debra Boraston - European PR representative
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7483 1950 Email: debra@henrymoorestudio.co.uk

Box Office Tel. 020 7304 4000 Tickets £6.50 to £63.00

San Francisco Ballet's London tour is made possible by major underwriting from an anonymous donor. San Francisco Ballet touring is made possible by the Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund.

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