San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
San Francisco, CA
April 14, 2015
by Rita Felciano
copyright © Rita Felciano, 2015
Revisiting Alexei Ratmansky's highly acclaimed "Shostakovich Trilogy" opened new perspectives both on details and the overall arc of this remarkable triptych. For one thing, the sheer abundance of what poured from the stage at times almost overwhelmed one's ability to absorb. The vocabulary of steps Ratmansky has at his disposal and the ease with which he draws on it is breathtaking in its richness but also because of the complex sense of humanity that they suggest. A streak of madness also seems to run through this three-act work, sometimes expressed in bone-weary desperation and resignation but also in a kind of madcap après nous le deluge circus with a wild sense of abandon. Above all the choreography sets into the relief the importance of any ballet company's corps. If "Shostakovich" is "about" anything, it's about the corps -- the people -- who here plays a role equal to that of the soloists. SFB ensemble dancers more than deserved the accolades at the recent performance.
San Francisco Ballet in "Shostakovich Trilogy." Photo © Erik Tomasson