Thursday, January 29, 2009

San Francisco Ballet

The Ballet sent me a pass for a dress rehearsal in the Opera House at mid-day. I arranged not to go to work.

More of our pseudo-summer, intensely blue.

The invited Ballet "Friends" dutifully started lining up an hour early outside the North Carriage Entrance.

And the quick and spry at the front of the line (including me) took center front seats in the Grand Tier. We saw the Dress Rehearsal of Program Two, three contemporary pieces by Stanton Welch, Val Caniparoli, and William Forsythe. To my great joy Yuan Yuan Tan was in today's cast, even though I find it difficult to breathe whenever she is on stage.

The Welch (pretty and tender) and the Forsythe (stark and strong) easily canceled out the pretentious awfulness of the middle piece, apparently conceived by Caniparoli as the love child of Martha Graham and Bob Fosse.

People left happy, and the sun was still shining. My last thought was of Muriel Maffre, the company's figurehead in William Forsythe, and how much she is missed since her retirement two seasons ago. Katita Waldo and Elana Altman did surely battle valiantly to occupy the Forsythe space as it was defined and inhabited by Maffre. Before she left there were two genius dancers in the company and now there is one.