There’s a devastating moment that arrives about two-thirds into “Symphony #9,” the first and most powerful panel in Alexei Ratmansky’s “Shostakovich Trilogy,” danced by Mathilde Froustey and Luke Ingham during one of the final performances in San Francisco Ballet’s spring season. The ensemble rushes in with their happy little flexed-foot peasant dances, their movements—penchée splits like ironing boards, hands touching the floor—becoming unabashedly vulgar. Amid the creepily murky lighting, Ingham lifts Froustey, and her feet beat in twittering exuberance as her head, neck and arms hang dead above. The image sears: rarely has art shown us more powerful testimony to the horror of the soul killed by coercion.
San Francisco Ballet in Alexei Ratmansky's “Piano Concerto #1” from “Shostakovich Trilogy.” Photograph by Erik Tomasson
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading