Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, auld lang syne, and here’s to 2006. The Chronicle’s Pink section will run my list of 10 dance events to look forward to next Sunday. First, the paper looks back at 2005, asking each critic to pony up a high, a low, a “most improved,” and a “most vaulable player,” plus a Top 10. Here’s the run-down on my picks:

High: Oakland Ballet’s return
Low: Lar Lubovitch’s “smile with my heart” at San Francisco Ballet
Most Improved: San Francisco Ballet’s Sarah Van Patten, though this is a cheat–I don’t think she’s improved so much as gradually revealed immense talent
MVP: Kara Davis, who dances with Janice Garrett & Dancers, Kunst-Stoff, and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company

Top 10:

–Chitresh Das and Jason Samuels Smith in “India Jazz Suites”
–Compagnie Jant-Bi
–SFB’s Tina LeBlanc and Gonzalo Garcia
–Compagnie Marie Chouinard
–Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
–Kunst-Stoff’s “Les Sylphides”
–Choreographers in Action “24+ Views”
–The Kirov Ballet’s Diana Vishneva
–Bay Area Rhythm Exchange
–David Dorfman Dance

For the rationale behind my choices, click here, and feel free to chime in with your personal highlights by leaving a comment.

1 Comment

  • lauren Posted December 25, 2005 10:06 pm

    i’m glad to hear tina was more than satisfactory in Giselle. her technique really is flawless. the first time i saw her that i can recall was in swan lake, i couldn’t have been more than ten. i almost walked out of the performance. i remember rigid shoulders, lack of depth, and an unparalleled frigidity. at the time she reminded me of someone on my sister’s swimming team. all muscles and no flow. all i’d seen at that point was amanda mckerrow and makarova, and that’s what i expected to see every time. over the years i’ve definitely warmed to her, although i remember her best for her balanchine.

    gonzalo! he’s stuck out like a little star since his naive corps days…great to hear he’s tackling a vulnerable role well.

    TAP! hooray! i missed Savion by just a few days on my new york visit. most distressing:(

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