Paul Parish reviews San Francisco Ballet?s Stern Grove performance for the DanceView Times. Like so much that Paul writes, the whole review is so lively that I?m tempted to quote it in its entirety, but I?ll offer just this slice:

?Last year, or was it the year before, they actually cancelled one of the trickier ballets because it was so cold. The dancers agreed to go on anyway, even though it was several degrees below what it said in their contracts they didn’t have to do, and they did everything else instead.

I love going to Stern Grove. You see what the dancers are made of out there.

This year’s concert yielded several more occasions to see grace under pressure . The funniest, probably was watching Vanessa Zahorian checking out the situation in front of her as she executed her variation from Makarova’s “Paquita Pas de Trois” while a horizontal lady in distress was being carried directly across the sight lines on the shoulders of paramedics like the dead Sylphide. Ms. Zahorian seemed to yield pride of place to the lady?who was not by any means unconscious, but was overseeing the proceedings and trying, it seemed, to direct traffic with very expressive use of her eyes and chin?without neglecting her duty to her dance, giving each step its little life. I found myself admiring Ms. Zahorian greatly, and remembering her performance in San Jose when the Kirov Academy’s “Nutcracker” came through and the lights went out all over San Jose right at the beginning of her big solo. (We watched her by the ghostly radiance of emergency illumination till an oafish stagehand came out and told us we were just going to have to wait and see if the power came back on. She was gracious on that occasion also.)?

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