On Friday evening Assen, Ganka and I went to the San Francisco Ballet for the mixed program consisting of three independent parts. I tried to find a common theme between them, but I think there was none. If there was any idea behind putting these three pieces together, then it was to show three very different styles of the ballet.
The first piece was Elemental Brubeck and as the name suggests it was performed to the music composed by Dave Brubeck. Actually, it was even performed to the original recording of The Dace Brubeck Quartet (songs "Iberia", "Theme from Elementals" and "Elementals"). This was my favorite among the three parts. As you can imagine it was very jazzy (Assen complained that there was no rhythm...) and very sensual. Somehow blend of jazz and ballet talks to me a lot. I definitely liked the softness of the moves of the dancers and I loved the music.
The second piece was called Concordia and was performed to the music of a young Australian composer Mathew Hindson. Two of his pieces were used: "Technologic 1" for string orchestra and "The Rave and the Nightingale" for string quartet and string orchestra. If you click on the links above you can hear samples of this music. Apparently, "The Rave and the Nightingale" is based upon Schubert’s last string quartet (Quartet No. 15 in G Major) and Hindson wanted to make it sound as Schubert would have written it if he lived in the contemporary times. Well, we can be only grateful that Schubert does not live now and hasn't written this terrible piece. I hated it. Listening to it caused strong discomfort to my ears. Likewise I did not like the dancing that was accompanied by it: it looked like a dance of robots, very mechanistic, chaotic and with many artificial pauses. Surprisingly, both Assen and Ganka liked it more than the first piece.
The third piece was performed to the Symphony No 1 in C Major composed by Georges Bizet. This was the only "classical" ballet among the three pieces we saw. It was visually stunning (imagine 100 of white angels flying over the stage) with breathtaking ending, but I guess it was too classical for me. I mean to say that I like it a lot and would not mind seeing it again, but I think I prefer more modern interpretations of ballet.
Anyway, we were all pleased with the level of the performance and for sure we will revisit this place.