SFB Programs 4 and 5

A lesson I learned is to never attend the ballet when sleep deprived. Or maybe it’s that I shouldn’t go during finals week. I pretty much had no idea what was going on in Program 5 (Wed, 3/18). “Joyride” made less sense this second viewing than the first. Oh well.

Program 4 (Wed, 3/25) was pretty amazing, at least in part due to the fact that I actually got enough sleep. “On a Theme of Paganini” (Tomasson) I enjoyed a lot more this time around. Its simplicity and beauty resonated more this season than it did last, at least partly due to Maria Kochetkova’s stunning performance. She pretty much tore shit up on the stage. It was a little incongruous to see paired with Frances Chung, who while technically adept never seems to me to be very graceful. And also the height difference between Kochetkova and Tiit Helimets (also fantastic) was a bit disconcerting. Maybe that’s what made the pas de deux seem that much more emotional. Somehow it all worked out.

“Jardin aux Lilas” (Anthony Tudor) was an emotional masterpiece. It sent shivers down my spine. Sarah van Patten (or “SVP” as I like to call her; I need to stop thinking so much about matrix decompositions) and Elana Altman both have great stage presences and are among the better actresses in the company. The tension on stage was palpable. It was a treat to see them in their roles for “Jardin.”

“The Concert” (Jerome Robbins) was actually quite hilarious. Very blatant and also nuanced in its humor. I can see why it has stood the test of time. I now wish I had gone to see this program again.