I’m still alive and kicking, despite having caught ‘the sick’ that seems to be going around everywhere these days. You would think that I would be taking things relatively easy considering, but no- I find myself just as busy, if not more than usual!
On the topic of being busier than usual, last week I worked all three jobs that I’m currently juggling, and had the pleasure of attending San Francisco Ballet’s opening night gala performance (you can find my review from last year’s here)! My father thoughtfully bought the whole family tickets for the evening as a Christmas gift back in December.
We kicked off the evening with the sold-out performance at the War Memorial Opera House. I found this year to be quite different from past performances as it primarily consisted of duets including only the principal artists of the company, as well as student showcase. While the student piece was choreographed by Helgi Tomasson himself, I was disappointed at how little dancing the students and trainees actually did. Quite honestly, it was five minutes of technically perfect walking, bowing, and standing in formation. The following piece, an excerpt from “Alles Walzer,” was a reprise from the year before, and a rather lighthearted way to begin the program. The majority of the pieces performed were highly romanticized duets, perhaps as a nod to the evening’s theme. From Act II from “A Cinderella Story,” to “Borealis” accompanied by a cellist onstage, we saw a number of tumultuous relationships unfold onstage. Albeit some of them, as with the pas de deux from “Onegin,” seemed melodramtic whe performed entirely out of context. Unfortunately, as Alan Ulrich pointed out in his review for SF Gate, because the program itself was shuffled around and performed out of order, I had a hard time figuring out who was performing what. I echo his sentiments that the two group pieces were the highlight of evening- I especially enjoyed the excerpt from “The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.” The program concluded with the classic pas de deux from “Le Corsaire,” which less-than-subtly showed off Tara Domitro and Vanessa Zahorian’s dancing.
Now, for the fun part: After-Party in city hall!
Behold! The crowd:
(Just in case you forgot you were at a ballet gala’s afterparty: pointe shoes/ballerinas everywhere!)
I asked my parents to take a few photos of me, which quickly turned into an amusing photoshoot in the corner by the bar. They were both pointing their smartphones at me, while I stood around and attempted to look nonchalant holding two glasses of prosecco. The above was the most flattering of the bunch. My mother and I then ended up taking selfies while I attempted to drink my ticket’s value in prosecco. I was determined to get my money’s worth, what can I say? With food, drinks, a great band, and multiple dance floors to keep you entertained, I think it would be impossible to attend this event and not have a good time. There’s always the possibility of running into very well-know figures in the ballet world, as well. My mother finally got to speak to one of her favorite dancers from the company, Yuan Yuan Tan, and I managed to meet some rather intriguing people myself! In case you were wondering, I ended up wearing a fabulous sheer chiffon mermaid-style skirt (from Urban Outfitters, see it here), along with a wrap that was admittedly dancewear. My studded Valentino look-alikes and my Marrin Costello bowzer bracelets made an appearance as well.
The evening was so enjoyable, we ended up staying until 1:30am, when the city hall security began to politely escort us out.
Black tie success.