SAN FRANCISCO BALLET AT SEVENTY-FIVE is a richly illustrated and photographed survey of this great ballet company from its inception in 1933 through its hiatus to its present state of the art. Quoting the important man behind the success of this company - Helgi Tomasson - 'I have always believed that ballet brings beauty and poetry into our lives; it stirs our imagination. It appeals to the heart and nourishes the soul....it tells us something about who we were, providing a window to the past, and who we are, mirroring the present. It opens a door to the future.' The book is naturally celebratory (by name!) and the author Janice Ross is careful to chronicle the events the ballet has encountered, and survived, going on to reign as one of the world's most honored companies. There is a Preface written by Brigitte Lefevre (of the Paris Ballet) that praises Tomasson and a Foreword by dance critic Allan Ulrich that adds kudos to Tomasson and the company. Ross then examines the history and the highs and lows of the company under the following sections: Ballet Reborn in America; Inside San Francisco Ballet; Lives of the Dancers; Helgi Tomasson at work; Making visible - the Ballet and the Repertory; The invisible city backstage; and The ballet on Tour - company matters.
Then open this very large book and enjoy the richly colorful full page and double page photographs of dancing - in costume, in rehearsal clothes, in modern works and in the classics - and the results will take your breath away. The photographers (and there are many) are all credited, but the giant among them is without a doubt Erik Tomasson. It is rare to find such artistic images of ballet as these and the book is as much an art book as it is a book about a ballet company. The appendices include the entire of repertory of the company with all the details of choreographer, composer, and years of world premieres and San Francisco Ballet premieres. It is a staggering list.
For all who enjoy the arts and especially the art of dance and movement, this book is a must. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, June 10
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About the reviewer
Grady Harp (gradyharp)
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Long renowned as one of the world's preeminent ballet companies, San Francisco Ballet marks its seventy-fifth anniversary with a stunningly beautiful retrospective. Replete with intimate portraits of the dancers and behind-the-scenes contributors, this book is the first serious depiction of America's oldest ballet company. Included in this deluxe package is a DVD that provides insight into the company's illustrious history and together with the book, tells the story of how San Francisco Ballet has forged a fresh identity for American dance and is now pioneering a new model of internationalism in the dance world.