My review of SF Ballet’s program one for the Chronicle is now online:

“Ah, maturity. San Francisco Ballet opened its 75th anniversary season Tuesday with the dance equivalent of a gloriously grown-up dinner party. There’s nothing cutting edge or challenging to interfere with the digestion on Program 1, only great dancing that flows with the ease and civility of fine conversation. If you’re looking for innovative choreography, this is not the evening for you. But if you like walking out of the opera house gently glowing from the pleasure of two hours in charmed company, you could hardly do better.

There was no shortage of exceptional dancers a guest would want to spend more time with – Rory Hohenstein in Lew Christensen’s “Filling Station,” Tina LeBlanc and a freshly confident Elizabeth Miner in Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s “7 for Eight.” But the heart of the evening was Yuan Yuan Tan presiding like a generous hostess over George Balanchine’s “Diamonds.”

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Yuan Yuan Tan and Ruben Martin in “Diamonds,” photo credit Erik Tomasson.

That Tan could make “Diamonds” an event speaks to her position as the Ballet’s most glamorous star principal, a bird-boned wonder of fluidity from her impossibly long fingers to her sweetly puppyish big feet. “Diamonds” is only as good as the ballerina dancing it – despite its huge corps arrayed in baubles and its enchanted Tchaikovsky score, this is the weakest panel of Balanchine’s evening-length 1967 triptych “Jewels,” lacking the deeper poetry of “Emeralds,” the naughty verve of “Rubies.” But with Balanchine’s muse Suzanne Farrell performing the role created on her, “Diamonds” had drama. And with Farrell coaching these latest performances, Tan gave it drama, too, though it was a drama all her own.”

Click here for the full review.

More photos:

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Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun and Tiit Helimets in “7 for Eight,” photo credit Erik Tomasson.

roryfillingstation.jpgRory Hohenstein in “Filling Station,” photo credit Erik Tomasson.

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