Saturday, February 2, 2008

San Francisco Ballet Shows Off Its Classical Side

Thursday at the opening of San Francisco Ballet's Program 2, the East Coast critics were in the aisles, curious on the occasion of the company's 75th birthday to see how far Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson has taken this once-regional troupe. Meanwhile, some of the company's most sparkling classicists were onstage, dancing not as though they had something to prove but as though they had much they wanted to show. The New York critics will see San Francisco Ballet through their lens, colored by regular exposure to American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. And a local critic can only see the company through hers, colored by the fact that San Francisco Ballet is the Bay Area's dominant troupe, which lends a certain element of civic pride. But anyone who follows the company would have seen this: San Francisco Ballet was at its finest Thursday. These dancers showed the world their best.

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