Beneath blue California skies, manicured trees, and the occasional hum of an overhead airplane, Tamara Rojo took the Frost Amphitheater stage at Stanford University to introduce herself as the new artistic director of San Francisco Ballet. The meeting had future box office returns on the line. This was San Francisco Ballet’s third annual August presentation by Stanford Live, an engagement that is not just a back-to-school warm-up for the company, but also a way of convincing new South Bay and Silicon Valley fans to travel an hour north to San Francisco for the 2024 season come next January. Rojo is going to need these newcomers for programming that looks quite different from her predecessor Helgi Tomasson’s. She succeeded in offering plenty of whiz-bang spectacle to convert fresh balletomanes, despite a closer that seemed to leave many scratching their heads.
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
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading