Slow Dancing at the gym
Pascal Rioult’s company opened its Saturday evening performance at Cal Performances with a contemporary interpretation of the Nijinska–Stravinsky ballet, Les Noces. Meant to portray a peasant village wedding, the ballet early manifests that it is both sexual and political. The marriage, according to Nijinska, was “an act of immolation”—neither bride nor groom chose the other but was simply part of a ritualized drive for procreation....
Imaginings in mauve
Lilacs with their heavy, mothlike blossoms, lavender colors and thick sweet fragrance. Lilacs, a cold weather flower: if you leave Moscow for San Francisco, you leave them behind.
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
So Tennyson opens his long poem on the hazards of immortality, placed in the words of the Trojan hero, Tithonos, a man doomed to immortality by his lover Eos, the goddess of Dawn. Doomed, because Eos in her request for unending life forgets to include never-ending youth. Each morning, the goddess awakes...
Mozart on the intimate stage
This past weekend the San Francisco Lyric Opera opened its 2009 season with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The singing was excellent, ringing through the resonant acoustics of Cowell Theater; the fine cast was led by the formidable talents of Romanian-born baritone Eugene Branconeauvu.
Branconeauvu first appeared on Bay Area stages while an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera in 2005–2006, and he has continued appearing on those stages...