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Is it insanity to see six performances of “Swan Lake” in eight days? My review of all six casts in the Chronicle:

“San Francisco Ballet’s “Swan Lake” is a runaway box-office hit. Helgi Tomasson’s new production, which closed Sunday, filled 99 percent of the War Memorial Opera House over nine performances, playing to more than 28,000 people and taking in $2 million. That’s a record for a full-evening ballet at the company.

Apparently a recession-beleaguered public is hungry for transcendent romance, and despite a less-than-stellar staging, they got it. All six Swan Queens did justice to the timeless coupling of Tchaikovsky’s score and Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa’s choreography, updated by Tomasson. For a troupe whose international reputation tends to rest on stylish male dancing, the past week displayed a dazzling range of fully artistic ballerinas.

The double role of tragic Odette and the evil black swan Odile is a revelation of essential inner temperament. Lorena Feijoo is a powerful woman, and she delivered what a friend of mine dubbed “a full-on rock-star ballerina performance.”

. . .

Then there are those dancers whose essential temperament is unbridled emotional honesty, who put their technique in constant service to dramatic depth. By far the most scintillating Odette/Odile was Sarah Van Patten.”

Click here to read the full review.
San Francisco Ballet's corps in "Swan Lake," photo by Erik Tomasson.
Photo by Erik Tomasson.

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