Spring Reviews

The Huffington Post review:

Smuin Ballet Knocks It Out of the Park

Ballet to the People sacrificed an opportunity to cheer on her beloved San Francisco Giants Wednesday night as they rallied to tie the Miami Marlins in the ninth inning. Instead she had the pleasure of watching the superb athletes of Smuin Ballet go 3-for-3 in an outstanding mixed bill at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Kicking off with Val Caniparoli’s Swipe — set to a pulsating techno score by Gabriel Prokofiev (yes, the grandson of the great Russian composer) whose ingenuity kept this from being just another cause for migraine — Smuin dancers nailed the fresh and compelling choreography that, while nodding to hip-hop, jazz and African movement, stayed firmly within the neoclassical mold, with crisp pointework, conventional pirouette preparations and a variety of takes on the pas de basque. Read more…


The Contra Costa Times Review:

Val Caniparoli’s ‘Swipe’ Steals the Show in Smuin Ballet’s Spring Program

Even before the curtain rose on Smuin Ballet’s run at the Novellus Theater in the company’s spring season in San Francisco last weekend, all three choreographers on the bill had told us something fundamental about their work. Val Caniparoli’s “Swipe” gave us a sassy name loaded with meaning — everything from stealing to swabbing to passing over. Beijing-trained Ma Cong, calling his dance “Through,” delivered a word that functions like a bridge connecting one thing to another with movement. Both artists chose titles that follow a trend toward terse, muscular names, names like Taste, Fresh and Apple. Read more…


The San Francisco Examiner Review:

Smuin Ballet Gets Serious

Smuin Ballet is known for spice and sass, but this spring, it’s very serious and very Balanchine. Onstage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the spring program includes “Swipe,” a recent work by Val Caniparoli, which opens with brisk, pulsating movements. Five dancers stand in a circle, swinging their arms, flicking their wrists and flexing their backs quickly — a gut-busting move for those with back problems. The choreography is filled with nods to George Balanchine: hips jut and bodies link like synchronized swimmers. A string-plucking score by Gabriel Prokofiev, grandson of Sergei Prokofiev, tick-tocks swiftly. But the atmosphere changes drastically with a moody solo by Jonathan Mangosing, and once more when the strings are churned up in an electro remix. Read more…


The San Francisco Chronicle Review:

Ideal Pairings in Satisfying Spring Opener

The first signs that San Francisco’s beloved Smuin Ballet was moving in a fresh new direction came in 2010. That spring the company performed Jirí Kylián’s maverick “Petite Mort,” and in the fall followed up with the hip “On, Inverted World,” created on the company by Trey McIntyre.  These contemporary forays were applauded by critics and audiences alike. More good signs were apparent in Smuin Ballet’s spring season …
Read more…


KDFC Interview:

Celia Fushille, Artistic and Executive Director of Smuin Ballet

Interviewed by KDFC, available online under “Monday, April 30.”

Listen here…



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