Details and the slightest intricacies are key to this showcase of BalletBoyz’ incredible work, displaying their versatility. A hand placed just so, a smile that is hard to read, bodies entwined, in conflict and pushed apart. With an audacious, challenging remit of creating brand new works for the company in just a fortnight, four choreographers bring pieces of delicacy and precision in collaboration with four composers. Balance and power structures is the theme threading through the evening, topped off by a critically acclaimed half hour long piece from 2013 by Russell Maliphant, called “Fallen” (the most balletic in the purest sense) full of bombast, acrobatic language and circularity.
“What is dance now?” artistic director Helgi Tomasson asked in the middle of San Francisco Ballet’s gala, making a pitch for the massively ambitious Unbound Festival that will crown this company’s 85thseason with 12 world premieres by 12 international choreographers unveiled in four days. If we may recast Tomasson’s question a bit more specifically, to “What is ballet now?”, this was a perfect question for the moment.
When Svetlana Lunkina, one of the world's foremost ballerinas, arrived in Toronto fresh from the Bolshoi Ballet just a few years ago, she was greeted with enthusiasm, and a touch of curiosity. What would Toronto do with a star of her stature? At 18, Lunkina was the youngest dancer to perform the role of Giselle in the history of the Bolshoi, and her debut cast no doubt about her future. She rocketed to principal and danced for fifteen years in the great theatre.