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Friday night at the War Memorial Opera House this collaborative “Frankenstein” hit the stage in the company’s third program of the season before a packed house. The questions: Is it new? Different? Daring? The answer: sometimes. The first image of the production is arresting. On the drop curtain there’s a giant skull viewed from the side, a spinal cord and what appears to be a trachea at a disturbing remove from the spine. When that curtain rises, a three-act, nearly three-hour, visually compelling but choreographically flawed ballet starts unfolding.
It offers luscious performances, relentless drama and spectacular set design (John Macfarlane) and lighting (David Finn), Replete with delicious steampunk pyrotechnics, the design alone creates enough imaginative spectacle to become a leading character in its own right, A tempestuous, mostly traditional score by Lowell Liebermann takes viewers on a vertiginous ride, while Scarlett breaks ground on a new genre: the elegant monster ballet, Elegance is now a cornerstone of San Francisco Ballet principals and soloists, and its polish isn’t just physical, but emotional and psychological, Frances Chung and Joseph Walsh – two deeply nuanced, beautifully paired dancers – took the opening-night leads as lovers Elizabeth Lavenza and scientist Victor Frankenstein, Individually and together, they bring depth to steps that are essentially a steady stream of repeat pirouettes along with wide circlings of the legs and sharp leaps ballet shoes walmart in arabesque that, as language, say little more than, “We’re swept up.“ But the couple’s expressive clarity, the physical and emotional restraint and breadth possessed by each transformed choreographic banality into dances of love and longing..
Sasha De Sola – playing the sweet, slightly envious Justine Moritz, daughter of the household’s housekeeper – made her phrases telegraph a luscious sort of kindness. In fact, the whole central cast was spot on, with special kudos to young Max Behrman-Rosenberg. By contrast, the corps’ ensemble assignments got to the heart of Scarlett’s problem: His dance language is monosyllabic, leading the dancing of the corps to look perfunctory, as though he had said, “OK, now some crowd action.”.
And what of longing and love?, For those brought up on the pop versions of the tale, or who ballet shoes walmart read Shelley’s novel many years ago, it’s worth remembering that Victor Frankenstein is repulsed by the creature he creates, With some misplaced humor, Walsh pulls out a leg from the medical theater’s stock and sticks it on the cadaver, then an arm, Finally a lightening strike into the scar-ridden flesh brings it back to life, And the young doctor is magnetically haunted, even maddened, by his creation..
In Scarlett’s hands the monster – danced with sensual, lonely fury by Vitor Luiz – seems to narrow into a hidden, homoerotic aspect of Frankenstein’s self. And loneliness sends it on a rampage of revenge. Scarlett is adept at lacing the production with echoes throughout. Yet in the end, the story never transcends that of a rejected loner whose isolation turns him mad and homicidal. For young Mary Shelley – whose own renowned mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, died soon after giving birth – loss and the callous consequences of genius were woven into her own family drama. What’s more, the devastating wars of Napoleon had only just ended, and an industrial revolution was transforming life. Additionally, the explosion of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora in 1815 caused the summer of 1816 to become winter.
The other, more urgent tale Scarlett might have told in this lavish production is a far more critical one: that of our blind pursuit of technology and power, and our hubristic belief that we can control nature, even though we all know nature bats last, ‘Frankenstein’, Choreographed by Liam Scarlett; score by Lowell Liebermann; presented by San Francisco Ballet, Through: ballet shoes walmart Feb, 26, Where: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, Running time: 2 hours, 50 minutes, with two intermissions..
A new exhibition at De Anza College’s Euphrat Museum of Art tackles the topic of social justice — or the lack thereof — with a variety of thought-provoking pieces. It’s called “Justice For All?,” and it’s centerpiece is “Liberty Weeps,” a compelling cardboard sculpture by Joseph Delappe that depicts the Statue of Liberty crying with her face in her hands. It perfectly captures the tone of the show, which is on display through March 23. It’s far from the only powerful piece, with others taking on the injustice of Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, limits on freedom of speech and police brutality.
Several of the culturally diverse group of artists — including Rodney Ewing, Judy Shintani, Emiko Omori, Yolanda Guerra, David Izu and Taro Hattori — were at an opening reception held Wednesday ballet shoes walmart night which also featured a reading by Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Arlene Biala, “Right now, the issues of inclusion or exclusion, the issues of social justice are really at the forefront of our consciousness,” said Christina Espinosa-Pieb, De Anza College’s vice president of instruction, noting that the theme was picked before last year’s presidential election, “The timing could not have been better, and I think it makes it even more powerful.”..