The real San Francisco Ballet season is underway. I review the company?s first rep program in today?s Chronicle:

?The War Memorial Opera House belonged to Yuan Yuan Tan on Tuesday night as the San Francisco Ballet got back to business with its first program of the 2005 season. Great dancing from an inarguably great company followed the Chinese-born ballerina’s star turn in Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s “7 for Eight.” But nothing eclipsed the image of her delicate arms wavering like water under gentle moonlight. Not even the ostensibly big news of the evening, the company premiere of Lar Lubovitch’s “… smile with my heart,” a ballet that looks better in excerpt than in full.

Perhaps “smile” would have looked better juxtaposed with something other than “7 for Eight.” Though entirely different in its technique and its classical values, Tomasson’s 2004 work also offers a string of shadowy, intimate pairings — and it set a high bar for the evening.?

In other SFB news, the company has announced an exciting summer return trip to Paris, offering three programs. The first stacks world premieres by Lar Lubovitch, Paul Taylor, and Christopher Wheeldon. David Wiegand announces the news in the Chron and basks in the gala?s afterglow.

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