That’s right. It’s not even Thanksgiving and we’re already pulling out the Christmas. You’re welcome.
The Velveteen Rabbit
Told from the perspective of a stuffed bunny that wants to become real, the Velveteen Rabbit is about the love of a boy and toy. A 25-year San Francisco tradition, ODC’s performance of The Velveteen Rabbit includes ODC’s powerful dancing, recorded narration by local legend Geoff Hoyle, score by Benjamin Britten, and vocals by Rinde Eckert. This lovely interpretation of Margery Williams’ beloved 1922 children’s tale has played to more than 350,000 people nationwide.
If the ‘80s are back via hipsters in hot pink Ray Bans, then Smuin Ballet is as hip as ever. This spring, the company performs Momentum, an iconic blend of classical and modern ballet that defined the ‘80s dance scene and propelled the late choreographer Choo-San Goh into the international spotlight. In addition, Michael Smuin’s tribute to the Beatles (originally created in 1984) remains a fun blend of acrobatics and color, set to music you may recognize.
If you prefer deceased rock legends to nut-cracking soldiers and vixens to fairies, hit up Smuin’s Christmas Ballet for this year’s dose of athletic holiday cheer. Blue Christmas-crooning Elvis catches shrieking blondes and hoists them over his head while his hips gyrate wildly. A mini-skirted flirt bats her lashes for diamonds and a line of stool-wielding vamps oust the Sugar Plum Fairy. Drooping evergreens get the chainsaw and a woman eludes her very persistent date.
Quickly gaining a reputation for pulling some of the world’s finest choreographers to San Francisco, Smuin Ballet’s world premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Oh, Inverted World is a stunner. Set to music by The Shins, McIntyre fully lives up to his reputation as one of the most sought-after choreographers working today.
Known for snaps of personality and unexpected twists one doesn't often find at Swan Lake, Smuin Ballet has outdone itself this season. Scoring a much-coveted Jiri Kylian piece - arguably the best choreographer in the world, receiving permission to use one of his works is a Herculean feat - Smuin's dancers perform an elegantly articulated seduction with sharp props and lots of bare skin. (The dancers handily avoid skewering any toes, if you're worried.) Erotically charged and expertly composed, Kylian's Petite Mort (why, yes, that IS French for orgasm) is not to be missed - whether you're a ballet fan or not.