Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yuan Yuan Tan

Attended the opening night of San Francisco Ballet, rainy and cold and marvelous in every way – because Yuan Yuan Tan (above) danced Giselle.

This is her fifteenth season as a Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet. It must have been about 1997 when I first had the unearned luck to witness the Giselle of Yuan Yuan Tan. After many subsequent viewings it remains my favorite of her roles – the tender weightlessness of every step and gesture, as if she were dancing on the moon in thinner air than ours, with gravity absent. At any given time in the history of the world there can of course only by a few truly great performing artists. It would be reason enough all by itself to live in San Francisco, knowing that one of the present few is living and working here.

Other people will write long & learned reviews about this particular cast in this simple little fable of undying love as it is told without words and solely through movement (starkly, romantically, surrealistically). Other people are good at that kind of writing, but it doesn't suit me. I'll finish more simply – especially since it's already long past my bedtime – with a few additional images of YYT from other ballets, pictures I discovered fairly recently and have not posted before.