The summer 16 issue of Ballet Review is out. The editors have kindly allowed me to republish my report on San Francisco Ballet in William Forsythe’s “Pas/Parts 2016,” which the company will perform again next spring. Here’s a snippet:
“How dramatically this new incarnation of Pas/Parts differs from the Paris Opera Ballet revival reviewed by the New York Times’s Roslyn Sulcas in 2012 I cannot say. Forsythe’s cool, white lighting against a white-walls design, resembling and apparently pre-figuring Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, remains less assaultive than typical, as does Thom Willems’ twenty-section electronic score. Four years ago, Sulcas described the former version of Pas/Parts as driven by a “playful insouciance.” That remains the case in SFB’s version, which in its most engaging moments evokes an almost MGM-movie flavor of innocent physical comedy.
Two highlights of this forty-minute marathon were a trio for Julia Rowe, Carlo di Lanno, and Joseph Walsh in which they caper through twisted-up daisy chains, Rowe whacking her legs around DiLanno’s neck with her falling battement, like a member of the Three Stooges; and a climactic duet for Rowe and Walsh that uses her bouncing releve like a pogo stick. Rowe is just a second-year corps member, while Walsh is a principal. This gives you an idea of the democratic swirl of Forsythe’s casting kaleidoscope, which uses the four stage corners to shoot dancers center stage, where they react with the duet or trio already in progress like protons and electrons sorting out their orbits. New dancers (sixteen total) then enter on the diagonals to mess with the chemistry. In most of the ensemble sections, the focus is on subtleties of torsion in the epaulement.”
And here’s the full review on Medium.
I whole-heartedly recommend the whole Ballet Review issue, of course. Such a joy to be in conversation with the critics in its pages.