Happy new year, and happy SFB’s 80th season opening night tonight! (If you don’t count the gala, that is) There’s a lot to offer our audience this year, and there are a couple programs I’m particularly excited about! While every program and every ballet deserves mention, I will limit this post to just a few that are highlights in my opinion…so you can plan accordingly of course! I will do my best to write more posts about the other ballets as well as go more in depth with these few as they approach.
Program 1 opens the season with a bang, with the world premiere of Wayne Macgregor’s Borderlands. If you liked either of his other pieces seen at SFB, Chroma, or Eden Eden, you won’t want to miss this one. His extreme movement style and keen architectural eye always create arresting visuals.
Program 2 is a highlight because it has Hamburg Ballet performing John Neumeier’s full length Nijinsky. To have a guest company is unusual, and I for one have never seen this company perform live. Audiences will remember Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid and I have no doubt that he will match the high quality of that production with his own company in Nijinsky.
Program 3 with Yuri Possokhov’s new Rite of Spring. 100 years ago Rite of Spring was written by Stravinsky and choreographed by Nijinsky. The score is as much a masterpiece today as it was a revolution then. I will write more about working with Yuri on this ballet in the near future – I am a dancer in the ballet as well as Yuri’s rehearsal assistant, but I will say this is the one of the ballets I am most excited about dancing in this whole season! It will be big (large cast), bold (sets and costumes), and raw (primal, earthy movement). I predict it will be the talk of the town the week it opens!
Program 6‘s Ibsen’s House by Val Caniparoli is a beautiful ballet set to the strains of Dvorak, inspired by the characters of Henrik Ibsen’s plays. My character is Johannes Rosmer from the play Rosmersholm, and although we are not portraying the plot details, it is always fun to have a character to play on stage. The Victorian era dresses by Sandra Woodall (who also is designing Rite of Spring) are absolutely gorgeous and the women wear them well!
Finally, Program 8 is Christopher Wheeldon’s brand new Cinderella. A collaboration between SFB and Dutch National Ballet (who premiered the work last year), I have only heard good things about the production. It is always fun to get a new story ballet in the repertory, and amazing that we have such a talented choreographer to give us his version. After his success with Alice in Wonderland at the Royal Ballet, I’m sure Cinderella will be not to miss!
See you at the Opera House…