San Francisco dancers have extraordinary attack and versatility. To quote the Washington Post critic, Sarah L Kaufman, ‘… the company stands apart in being so consistently forward-looking (and -thinking), from the unified technical finesse and sporty ease of its dancers throughout the ranks, to the sleek modernism they bring to the stage.’
Last seen at Sadler’s Wells in 2012, San Francisco Ballet is not a frequent visitor to these shores; so ballet enthusiasts – and indeed newbies – should grab this opportunity to see them.
There are four programmes to choose from, all equally enticing, so you may well be tempted to go for all four.
Programme A (29, 30 May, 2 June) is choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s homage to Shostakovich (pictured up top). One of the most highly-rated choreographers working today, Ratmansky pays homage to his fellow Russian composer’s life and work with a triptych of ballets choreographed on Symphony #9, Chamber Symphony and Piano Concerto #1.
Programme B (31 May, 1 June) brings together three very different works for an evening of many moods. The British choreographer Cathy Marston’s narrative piece Snowblind is based on Edith Wharton’s haunting tale of adultery, Ethan Fromme. Edwaard Liang’s The Infinite Ocean, on a score by the British composer Oliver Davis, was likened to “a living prayer” by the Washington Post. And the maverick Arthur Pita chose the music of Björk for his eponymous Björk Ballet.
Programme C (5,8 June) features a “love letter to ballet” by Stanton Welch on a score by Bach, alongside Justin Peck’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and Liam Scarlett’s Hummingbird on music by Philip Glass.
San Francisco Ballet in Liam Scarlett's Hummingbird, (c) Erik Tomasson
Peck is one of America’s most assured and promising young choreographers; the Royal Ballet’s Liam Scarlett has created some unforgettable one act pure dance works for this home company, and the sheer energy of his Hummingbird absolutely suits the zest of San Francisco Ballet’s dancers.
Programme D (6,7 June) features Bound to, a work by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist, Christopher Wheeldon (in great demand on both sides of the Atlantic), veteran David Dawson’s Anima Animus, and Trey McIntyre’s Your Flesh Shall Be a Great Poem, which is billed as inhabiting the eccentric world of his grandfather.
Pick one, or pick all four - but don’t miss San Francisco Ballet at Sadler’s Wells.
|What||San Francisco Ballet, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
29 May 19 – 08 Jun 19, 19:30 mats Sun 2 June 16:00, Sat 8 June 14:00 Dur.: varies according to programme
|Website||Click here to book via Sadler's Wells website|