If you're still making mental notes to catch SF Ballet in its 75th Anniversary Season every time a Muni bus placard conveys those exultant leaping dancers past you at an intersection, it's time to pick a date. This week marks the last in the season, and the second in the company's New Works Festival, a humdinger of a season finale showcasing ten world premieres by some of the best dance-makers in the business. Judging from the program notes, nearly the entire roll call, which includes modern dance and experimental ballet choreographers from six countries, has seized the opportunity to break their own molds. Paul Taylor's Changes, set in part to the music of the Mamas and the Papas, marks the modern dance icon's first foray into folk-rock and social dance -- look for passing references to the Watusi, the Frug, and the Mashed Potato. Threads by local favorite Margaret Jenkins is the modern matriarch's first work for a ballet company, and Yuri Possokhov's Fusion, inspired by the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus, may be the first dance ever to seek spiritual transcendence through contemporary jazz. In short, it's a festival of firsts to be savored, even at the last minute.
May 2-4, 2008