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• The County of San Mateo, the City/County Association of Governments and 20 incorporated cities and towns have received a 2017 Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their countywide collaboration on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, the county announced March 3. The county and its partners were one of 15 recipients nationwide honored by the EPA and nonprofits The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry. The county and its jurisdictions aim to reduce emissions 15 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030, from a 2005 baseline.

• The boards of directors for SamTrans and Caltrain have voted to expand their use of renewable electricity service options for their agencies, they pointe shoe wreath announced March 2, In San Mateo County, SamTrans plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use by 40 percent and Caltrain by 20 percent by working with Peninsula Clean Energy to achieve 100 percent renewable sources such as solar, wind and small hydroelectric, at costs just 2 to 3 percent higher than what they currently pay, In other counties where Caltrain operates, it is utilizing other renewable energy programs..

San Francisco Ballet took audiences on a vertiginous ride this week as the company traveled from the crystalline dances of George Balanchine on Tuesday (Program 4) to the exaggerated narratives of choreographers Arthur Pita, Yuri Possokhov and Liam Scarlett on Thursday (Program 5). It was a week of surprise and disappointment in nearly equal measure. It was also a case study in San Francisco Ballet’s methods — to honor the best of the ballet tradition and to dive into sensual, propulsive dance aimed at a young audience. Given the look of the crowd Thursday night, though, a demographic shift to younger has yet to happen.

What pointe shoe wreath did happen was that the three-Balanchine-ballet program Tuesday unfolded with an air of organic inevitability, and showcased the extraordinary range of the genre-bending 20th-century choreographer, from his 1929 expressionist “Prodigal Son” to the pristine abstract classicism of the 1967 “Diamonds” to the wry, jazz- and Broadway-inflected “Stravinsky Violin Concerto” (1972), Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham found breathtaking new nuances in “Concerto,” heightening the work’s smart and cheeky wit, while the company as a whole demonstrated its shape-shifting ability to make an 88-year-old dance look newly minted..

Then on Thursday, a trio of male choreographers (no woman choreographer in sight, yet again), in a program entitled “Contemporary Voices,” offered three expressive works that put the artists’ strengths and weaknesses, not to mention the many pitfalls of contemporary ballet, on full display. It also highlighted the fact that this company is made up of supreme artists who can surpass and even elevate a dance that misses the mark. Appealing to younger audiences is nothing new. What is different now is that television can take artistic risks that were all but impossible 40 years ago and produce series with the addictive draw of soaps and the heft of film. The one world premiere this week — “Salome” by South Africa-born Arthur Pita — was nothing if not indebted to TV and film.

Pita nods to the director of “Mulholland Drive” with this new work, and the London Guardian goes so far as to call the choreographer the “David Lynch of pointe shoe wreath dance.” Running toward the sizzle of contemporary melodrama, his “Salome” promises volumes, It opens, with tule fog slithering across the stage, as a hearselike limousine rolls on, carrying a contemporary incarnation of the Bible’s murderous King Herod, his wife Herodias and the latter’s daughter, whom we know as Salome, Aaron Robison’s John (the Baptist) is soon “chosen” for seduction and execution..

Adapted from the Biblical story and echoing our own world events, “Salome” is a spiritual morass that has been personified. Val Caniparoli’s Herod is a dangerous 21st-century strong man; Anita Paciotti, as the wife, is a manipulative 5th Avenue spider in diamonds; and Dores André’s Salome is an innocent forced to drink spiked wine by her lecherous stepfather in order to undergo a rite of passage. By the dance’s end, Salome is a co-conspirator. For about the first third of the dance, the political signs are loud, from the indicators of wealth and power to the unholy sport of the “dance of the seven veils.” This was not a strip tease by Salome for her new dad, as in some versions, but a forced dance by seven men in burka-like attire, propelled on stage by the king’s bodyguards. Rendition, anyone?.

But these tropes quickly turned muddy, and no matter how many times butterfly-shaped confetti got blown on stage, “Salome” failed to deliver on its promise, The heat of melodrama melted the ethical quandaries laid out by Pita, And a drugged Salome becomes the prototypical femme fatale in red, rather than a woman who is herself a victim of menacing forces, If she were dressed in army camouflage and fulfilling orders given by her military bosses at Abu Ghraib, pointe shoe wreath like Lynndie England, it would be one thing, But in this incarnation, “Salome” is trite..

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