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Ballet Sampler 

Wednesday, Feb 8 2012
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We San Franciscans are experimental types, so if you’ve never given ballet a try, it’s about time you did. Three lauded names in contemporary choreography exhibit their work tonight. Picking a favorite from the diverse set won’t be easy. Chroma by Wayne McGregor and Number Nine by Christopher Wheeldon bracket the world premiere of Mark Morris’ Beaux, which flaunts costumes by fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Although Mizrahi’s topsy-turvy career has had its share of flops and successes, his work for theater and opera is consistently admirable. A previous collaboration with Morris featured a crayon-colored array of space-age suits and drop-waisted tutus, but Morris doesn’t need to rely on the designer’s bold palette to fascinate his audience. His reputation for crafting affecting, accessible dance alone is enough to make this debut worth the time, even for a novice viewer. Like Morris, Wheeldon is also a longtime collaborator with the S.F. Ballet and has concocted seven new ballets for the organization over the years. His vivid Number Nine unfolds ornately in a mere 19 minutes. It complements the stark, abstract Chroma, which also boasts a celebrity contributor -- Jack White of the White Stripes is credited with the arrangements. McGregor’s award-winning oeuvre defies the limits of the body with abstract contortions. Both creations have graced the San Francisco stage before, but they contextualize each other and will leave even a first-time ballet-goer with much to discuss.
Tue., Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m., 2012

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Kate Conger

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Kate Conger has written for SF Weekly since 2011.

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