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July 07, 2015


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It looks like the other three are San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Ballet Hispanico:


If you click on the Fathom events calendar, they have SF Ballet's Romeo and Juliet, a mixed Ailey bill and Ballet Hispanico as the other three companies under the Lincoln Center at the Movies heading. Good news, I'm especially excited about R&J.

CMM and Kristen:

Excellent sleuthing. I will update the post.

Looks like a major US ballet company is missing from this program...

Taken from SFB news letter: " SF Ballet Principal Dancers Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan perform the title roles of Juliet and Romeo, with Company Principal Dancers Pascal Molat, Joseph Walsh, and Luke Ingham performing the roles of Mercutio, Benvolio, and Tybalt, respectively"
NOOOO, not Kochetkova, I can't stand her. She has pretty feet but it stops there, in my book she is not an artist. I don't understand what is all the hype about her anyway. Tomasson's R&J, IMO there is nothing to rave about, a lot of running around doing nothing. The last act in the tomb, there is barely any time for acting. I can't wait to read your blog about SFB R&J. Davit is an excellent dancer, only SFB would give us Sara Van Patten as J, or Yuan Yuan Tan...sigh..not a dreadful Kochetkova.


Yes, indeed, America's national ballet company is missing from the inaugural season of Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, which begs the question: Not great enough or not American enough?


I feel much the same as you. I don't plan on seeing this particular cinemacast. I could tolerate underwhelming choreography, but I can't tolerate Kochetkova. I would sit through Helgi's choreography any day in order to see a remarkable artist just like I would sit through Peter Martins' works. While both are frequently underwhelming, neither ever offends the audience or ballet or the dancers. For that, in this day and age, we can be grateful and should be more appreciative.

justanotherdancer, I think the hype is the one created through social media. It seems to be the thing to do these days. Making a "name" for yourself, not necessarily making a name for yourself through dance. Also, I think that in a very general sense, the public that follows these dancers on social media have no idea what a remarkable dancer looks like or dances like. They see a leg wacked up high and think "oh, you are so amazing". Most of the amazing dancers are usually too busy honing their craft to be posting all the time or at all.

I'm disappointed that it's Kochetkova in the performance as well. We have too much exposure to Kochetkova in the NY area, but I have only seen rare video footage of Yuan Yuan Tan and find her utterly stunning. Also, isn't it a bit weird that the series is titled "Lincoln Center at the Movies" but they are showing something filmed in SF?

Regarding time spent on social media and other such popular endeavors, I've heard it said (and admittedly, this may be apocryphal), that when the Beatles were all the rage, someone asked Suzanne Farrell whether she liked the Beatles and her response was, "Who are the Beatles?"

SM, I completely agree with you. There are those who are in service of their art and then there are those who are in service to themselves. The former cultivate their artistry; the latter cultivate celebrity.

SM, I agree with you completely. Nowadays the majority of audience would rate dancers based on how high the legs go. You have no idea how many times patrons who sit next to me at SF Opera House ask for my opinion on certain dancers: " oh look at her leg, her knee almost touches her ear, she is so amazing, should have been principal ... What do you think?" Not wanting to spoil their excitement, often I reply : would you want me to be honest or be nice? Remember when that dreadful Somova bursts into the scene, her solo in Queen of the Dryads was all about acrobatic moves without any substance, she hopped all over the place ( I am sure you can find it on YouTube). I am a huge Sylvie Guillem's fan, IMO Sylvie is one intelligent artist who always pushes boundary.

Haglund, I love your comment about about " certain dancers who are in service for their art, and others in service for themselves. The former cultivate their artistry, the later cultivate celebrity". When I mention this to some dancers, their excuse is the dance career is short, might as well make the best of it (more money) while it lasts. However, when artists are too busy making money, often they don't spend time honning their crafts, they are just too busy global hopping, doing galas after galas... And turn Ballet into a circus act. The same holds true to musician, Sarah Chang is such an example . Last time I heard her play, she made many mistakes, thus I decided I had enough of her. I know you might hate me for saying this, I hope Kochetkova relocates in NY so I don't see her in SFB anymore ( too bad her husband works in the Bay Area, unless he moves too)

Kristen, Yuan Yuan Tan's J is amazing. Last season, she performed it with Vito Mazzeo, former SFB principal/current DNB. Helgi Tomasson's R&J leaves much to be desired. The last act is supposed to showcase SFB dancers' acting skill, to let us see who is the true artist and who is not. However, Helgi brutally cuts the last act so short, there is barely any music left. If you can, watch Yuan Yuan Tan in Little Mermaid Ballet (Available on Amazon), she is quite good there.

Oh my . . . . For three years I've been hoping Kochetkova would leave SFB and go to ABT. As long as she is with SFB, I cannot purchase tickets to full-length ballets because I adamantly don't want to see her and SFB waits until one week before performances to give the casting. I love Pascal Molat as Mercutio and have decided that I will see Romeo and Juliet in September in the local cinema and leave after the second act to avoid Act III, which is pretty much Juliet's act. I would have been happy with any of the other SFB Juliets. And yes, I have sat through Kochetkova's performance as Juliet live. Sigh.

J, it may be that Kochetkova's much-less-than-100% popularity in the S.F. area was a factor in driving her toward ABT, although she's been making the effort to move here ever since Simkin arrived. She would show up for every gala, City Center Fall for Dance, every little pickup group that she could belong to - all just to get her face in front of New Yorkers. Well, we've had enough of her, too.

However, there are total idiots who will squeal like little ballet piglets when she does a set of fouettes with a rotating spot, completely oblivious to the fact that our own Yuriko Kajiya was doing that for a decade. She appeals to the teenybopper YAGP-bound competition dancer who wants so badly to do a 220 degree developpe to the side. There is a reason that she was not hired by the Bolshoi after school and why she was let go by the Royal Ballet: she lacks artistry, she lacks classical aesthetic, she lacks charm, she lacks classical sensibilities. Ugh, it just makes me sick to think that she's coming here and will most likely show up in every one of Herman Cornejo's performances which means that I will continue to avoid them.

"it just makes me sick to think that she's coming here and will most likely show up in every one of Herman Cornejo's performances which means that I will continue to avoid them."

Oh, please don't say that or let it be true. Because watching the rapport between Lane and Cornejo in SB was one of the few things I enjoyed about that ballet.

Truthfully I have a bad feeling about it all. As in they will use Kochetkova as a road block to Sarah Lane. Lane should totally take precedence over her in casting. She rightly deserves to be part of the Monotones I & II production in the fall. But I doubt she will get it. So frustrating.

I stopped going to see SFB due to seeing Kochetkova so much. I now go to see their new French principal Mathilde Froustey and also Vanessa Zahorian is wonderful too. Sorry we had to give you NYC ballet fans Kochetkova because while technically impressive, she never progressed beyond competition dancer when it comes to artistry. Funny thing is after her time in England ended, she tried to lobby to join the Marinsky, she even mentioned it in an old interview prior to joining SFB. But why would the Marinsky take her in when Bolshoi bypassed her in the first place, not to mention Marinsky is notoriously anti-petite ballerinas to the point where their shortest ballerina dancing principal roles then, Obraztsova (a good 3 inches taller than Kochetkova) was constantly discriminated against there. They did not let 5'4" Vishneva dance Odette/ Odile until ten years into her career there. No wonder Kochetkova had no luck getting into Marinsky, why would they want her? They're not gullible like ABT.

Cornejo would look better IMO with ballerinas in the 5'2" height range like Sarah Lane, not 4'11" Kochetkova who likes to tout herself as 5 feet tall. I have stood next to her and no way she is 5 feet tall, she is less than 5 feet with Olympic gymnast proportions, aptly so since she dances like a gymnast as opposed to ballerina.

Thanks, Genna, for saying that Vanessa Zahorian is wonderful. She is one of my favorites.

We (former) ABT fans are paying a huge price for Stella's promotion.

Hopefully all of the offshore work that Herman Cornejo and Luciana Paris have done together over the years will finally convince McKenzie that despite a small height difference, they are a compatible duo and that we don't need the freakin' Kochetkova. Julio Bocca recognized Luciana's talent early on and gave her fabulous experience. McKenzie just let her rot in the corps for over a dozen years. Hopefully, we will now finally get to see her dance.

Herman & Luciana in Black Swan PdD

Herman & Luciana in La Bayadere
(the guys taping don't shut up in this clip)

Herman & Luciana in Ratmansky's Seven Sonatas

Julio Bocca & A Fearless Baby Luciana in Don Q PdD

Damn, I miss Julio....

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