The next generation. My report in the Chronicle:
“George Balanchine’s “Allegro Brillante” can make even veteran ballerinas quake in their pointe shoes. Everyone must move fast and cleanly – especially the principal woman, whose task is to channel the intricate clarity of Tchaikovsky’s unfinished Third Piano Concerto with seeming ease in her relentlessly demanding solos. Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Novellus Theater, the San Francisco Ballet School’s advanced students took this decidedly ambitious fare and made it sparkle. This was an exceptional showing at a graduation ritual that – given the teenagers’ high stakes and high sacrifices – is never an ordinary recital.
Sylvie Volosov, already named a San Francisco Ballet apprentice for next season, was strong and stylish in the lead, lowering her leg extensions with a wonderfully musical delay and a slight Balanchine-style tilt of the hip, never blurring her positions. Her partner, Myles Thatcher, also a newly named company apprentice, has a big jump and a natural exuberance that brings to mind a young former San Francisco Ballet star, Gonzalo Garcia. The eight-member ensemble was sharp and well rehearsed. But more exciting than this rendition of “Allegro Brillante” was the apparent growth through all levels of the school.
Yes, the younger children in the opening class demonstrations are adorable. But as a whole, they suggest that the San Francisco Ballet School – which, after all, aspires to be among the leading ballet academies in the country – is strengthening under Associate Director Lola de Avila and her current faculty. ”
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The last paragraph got cut. Here it is:
“Other students who have already landed jobs are Stephen Jacobsen with Cincinnati Ballet, Brandon Ramey with Ballet Memphis, Megumi Takeda with Houston Ballet, Eline Malegue with Victor Ullate Ballet, Jordan Leeper with North Carolina Dance Theatre, Lexi Howerton and Stephanie Eagle with North Carolina Dance Theatre, Austin Bodek with Boston Ballet II, and Kimberly Braylock and Kristina Lind, both named SF Ballet apprentices. Congratulations, all.”