A few weeks ago, I sudden felt a craving for ballet. Luckily, SF Ballet’s season just started. I got to choose between Program 1 The Joy of Dance and Program 2 Modern Masters. It was this clip, an original short film by Ezra Hurwitz inspired by Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings, that sold me.
The Joy of Dance consists of 3 dances — Helgi Tomasson’s Haffner Symphony set to Mozart’s Symphony No 35 in D, Jiří Bubeníček’s Fragile Vessels, a new work commissioned for SF Ballet, set to Rach 2, and Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings with music composed by Sufjan Stevens.
Unfortunately, Haffner Symphony felt like a boring filler, but Fragile Vessels properly blew me away. Bubeníček employed a lot of classical techniques but he choreographed the piece with abandon. Every move the dancers made is with purpose. It has a lot of passion and heart. It’s not of desperation but of power and earnest to life. The second movement was particularly gripping. The choreography made the familiar Rach 2 sounds new and refreshing with nostalgic passages. The lighting and costume also accentuated the dance perfectly. The last time a ballet excited me so much was Wayne McGregor’s Chroma at the Royal Ballet (watched Chroma at SF Ballet as well, but was not impressed), but that didn’t even come close.
In the Countenance of Kings did not disappoint either. Justin Peck’s choreography matched Sufjan Stevens’s grand composition. It was busy and joyous, and I observed hints of jazz elements. It was such fun!
I love the two pieces so much so that I almost want to buy another ticket for the evening performance (I’m even willing to suffer through the hollow Haffner Symphony again). But I didn’t. Only because I want to go home to Daniel. Heehee..