The 2016 Repertory Season celebrates the 40th anniversary of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson recognizes that “the finest dance can only happen with the support of an equally world-class orchestra.” Music Librarian Matthew Naughtin notes, “The mission of the Orchestra, which it has succeeded in fulfilling so well over the years, is not only to provide the dancers with the musical pulse they need, but to engage the audience with a vibrant performance that enhances and completes the aesthetic impact of the ballet. In doing so, the Orchestra validates Balanchine’s belief that the purpose of choreography is to allow viewers ‘to see the music and hear the dance.'” To celebrate our world-class musicians, throughout the season we will introduce you to various members of the Orchestra. Today, meet Principal Percussionist David Rosenthal.
Before select performances throughout the season, SF Ballet invites Company artists, choreographers, and conductors to discuss a current repertory program. These 30-minute Meet the Artist interviews (MTA’s), located in the War Memorial Opera House, are free and open to all ticket holders—ballet fans of all levels are welcome!
Here’s an excerpt from a recent MTA with Choreographer Liam Scarlett who discusses his recent world premiere, Fearful Symmetries, which debuted on Program 2 of the 2016 Season.
Host/Dance Educator Mary Wood: What has intrigued me in watching your work for the last two years is that you chose early on to make dances and that is now your focus. That’s where I’d like to start: Talk about why you love making dances.
Liam Scarlett: I started choreographing when I was at The Royal Ballet School. We had an annual choreographic competition which I participated in every year. My first year, when I was 11-years-old, I think I got 3rd prize, which I thought was amazing. Norman Morrice, ex-director of The Royal Ballet, came up to me afterwards and being young and naive I didn’t know who he was at that point. He said, “I think you’ve got something here. Continue.”
It was something that I enjoyed, and when you’re a child you don’t think about what’s going to be a career. You do what you enjoy. I think every dancer on this stage tonight will tell you that it was never a conscious decision to become a classical dancer. It’s just something we enjoy doing so much, and we’re very lucky to be on stage and do something that we love—and I mean, passionately love—as a job. So, when I started to choreograph, I felt that same passion.
Monique Loudiéres, former etoile with Paris Opéra Ballet and artistic director of l’Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes, is a much sought-after guest teacher around the world. She recently taught for two weeks at SF Ballet School, focusing on technique and repertoire classes for Level 4-8 women and Level 7-8 men.
In between classes, School Assistant Administrative Director Christina Rutter talked to Loudiéres about what inspires her to teach dance.
Christina Rutter: How were you first introduced to San Francisco Ballet School?
Monique Loudiéres: I first met [SF Ballet School Associate Director] Patrick Armand in 1986 when we danced together in Giselle. We had a natural connection and have reconnected over the years at the Prix de Lausanne, Studio Ballet Colette Armand in Marseilles, and at the l’Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes. Patrick invited me to guest teach at SF Ballet School three years ago, and this is my second time teaching here.
Mark Morris, “the most successful and influential choreographer alive and, indisputably, the most musical,” (New York Times) was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson. He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980, and has since created more than 150 works for the company. From 1988–1991, he was director of dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov.