Sunday, February 26, 2012

San Francisco Ballet: Chroma, Beaux, Number Nine©

Saturday night I saw this mixed program of modern dances at the San Francisco Ballet. Wayne McGregor's Chroma has a nervous, explosive energy. Its music is correspondingly wild & urgent, with lots of percussion & brass. At times it sounds like a score to a Hitchcock film. The 10 dancers move sharply & constantly extend their bodies as far as they can reach. They looked like they were breaking their spines doing an undulating movement. The performance had precision & snap, & it sustained an aggressive tension for the whole 25 minutes.

Mark Morris's Beaux was a world premiere, choreographed for the SF Ballet. When the curtain went up on the 9 male dancers in fuchsia body suits, a lady behind us uttered, "What, are they all naked?" I liked the accompanying harpsichord music by Martinů, which partly parodies Bach. Every movement of the dance felt motivated by the music. The choreography was graceful. It was as if the all-male cast were performing moves originally designed for ballerinas, though they did not look effeminate. Harpsichord soloist Bradley Moore took a curtain call with the dancers, & the lady behind us mistook him for the conductor.

Christopher Wheeldon's lively Number Nine© requires 4 couples plus a corps of 16. Both the movements & costumes were florid & pretty. It was a cheerful way to end the evening. I am not a habitué of the ballet, but my companion, more experienced than me, exemplified proper procedure by treating to me a glass of champagne before the curtain & then pre-ordering another round for the 1st intermission.

§ San Francisco Ballet 
Program 2

Composer: Joby Talbot, Jack White III
Choreographer: Wayne McGregor

Beaux (World Premiere)
Composer: Bohuslav Martinů
Choreographer: Mark Morris

Number Nine©
Composer: Michael Torke

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon 

§ Photo credit: Maria Kochetkova in McGregor's Chroma. © Erik Tomasson

No comments: