Allan Ulrich’s take on the San Francisco Ballet gala offers an incisive portrait of Tomasson’s newest work:

“For major news Wednesday, there was the premiere of Tomasson?s absorbing “Bagatelles,” another of his occasional pieces, made for specific dancers, and one that we?re likely to see again. Jerome Robbins is the dominating influence in this moody chamber trio set to five of B?la Bart?k?s Bagatelles for piano (handsomely dispatched by Roy Bogas). In various shades of blue, the performers, Moises Martin, Sarah Van Patten and Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun (the Ballet?s newest soloist – plucked from London?s Royal Ballet School) – are entrusted with solos, then duets and a passing trio that ache with submerged passion. Martin?s rangy technique serves him well for the back bends and sweeping arm trajectories. Van Patten digs valiantly into the music – rhapsodic lyricism fractured with almost barbaric rhythmic riffs – with an odd manipulation of limbs and Pipit-Suksun displayed her considerable understanding of legato phrasing. The ending – Pipit-Suksun?s rejection of the now febrile Martin -reassures us there?s no such thing as a true abstract ballet.

For other perspectives on the gala, check out Anita Amirrezvani, Stephanie von Buchau, and Mary Ellen Hunt.

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