Tag Archives: Berkeley Symphony

A ‘Swan Lake’ inspired by an English Royal love triangle

Joined by Berkeley Symphony and conductor Nicolette Fraillon, The Australian Ballet makes its Bay Area premiere at Cal Performances with Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake (choreography: Graeme Murphy), Thursday–Sunday, October 16–19, 2014 in Zellerbach Hall. 

PHOTOS: Jeff Busby
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If ballet is a matrix, Swan Lake is the matriarch of all matrixes.

Structured to follow rules of expression, manipulated according to form and line, the classic equation of good-versus-evil equals tragic ecstasy premiered as a four act ballet in 1877. Since then, choreographers have torqued the score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the ballet’s synopsis in countless ways, although classical ballet audiences are generally most familiar with an 1895 version staged for the Imperial Russian Ballet by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

Twenty-first century film buffs may have migrated to 2010’s Black Swan, a movie starring Natalie Portman. Regardless of the medium, Swan Lake is largely a physical battle involving honor, love, betrayal and mortality.

Enter choreographer Graeme Murphy and the Australian Ballet, making their first Bay Area appearance since 1971 with five performances of Swan Lake at Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall on Oct. 16-19. Murphy’s rendition, created for the Australian Ballet’s 40th anniversary in 2002, will feature the Berkeley Symphony with guest conductor Nicolette Fraillon, Music Director & Chief Conductor of The Australian Ballet. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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JENNIFER KOH Violinist Jennifer Koh is no stranger to Berkeley, although Berkeley audiences may know her as Einstein, a role she undertook when she played in Einstein on the Beach at Cal Performances. This time she plays as herself — a powerful soloist — when she performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with the Berkeley Symphony tonight, Thursday Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. Also on the program are Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Oscar Bettison’s Sea Shaped in its world premiere. Tickets for the Zellerbach Hall show cost $15-$74. … Continue reading »

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Martha Graham Dance Co. serves up 3 classic feasts

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Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of Martha Graham Dance Company since 2005, knows what all chefs, farmers, architects, engineers, scientists, philosophers — really, what anyone knows. The key to a delicious, sturdy, profoundly pleasing creation is all in the ingredients. On Friday Jan. 31 and Saturday Feb. 1 at Zellerbach Hall, Cal Performances and the 77-year-old modern dance company will serve up three classic feasts, with live accompaniment provided by the Berkeley Symphony.

Like the way that jazz and blues defined American music, Martha Graham swept through the 20th century; absorbing, exuding and transforming the collective experience of American modern dance.

She wasn’t alone in her pioneering career that spanned nearly a century and resulted in 181 works. Others, like Lester Horton, Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp (the latter three trained by Graham) also propelled the field in unique ways. But Graham’s themes and frequent collaborations with equally visionary composers, writers, filmmakers, and costume and set designers, matched the grand scale of America’s ever-evolving landscape from an agricultural to an industrial to a technology-driven society. As the country breathed, so did her dances. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

A sample from one of the past annual sketchcrawls. Image: www.sketchcrawl.com
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1ST ANNUAL WEST COAST URBAN SKETCHERS’ SKETCHCRAWL  The inaugural Sketchcrawl started in San Francisco in 2004, but in its nine years of global expansion – from France to South Korea to Texas – this is the first time that an organized Sketchcrawl has touched down in Berkeley. The creator, Enrico Casarosa, is a Pixar story artist who came up with the idea after doing a bar crawl along the N Judah line in San Francisco. The event gathers artists from around the world to travel throughout the day and sketch everything they see. Sketchers share their drawings on the sketchcrawl website. The West Coast Urban Sketcher’s Sketchcrawl will gather at 5 p.m. on Friday July 12 to have dinner at Picante in West Berkeley, though the organizers suggest arriving early, around 3 p.m., to sketch the neighborhood. From there, the sketchcrawl will span across the Bay, touching down in San Francisco and Oakland throughout the weekend. Begins Friday July 12 at Picante, 1328 Sixth St. Free. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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YEAR OF THE SNAKE Thank your lucky stars that you don’t need to brave Beijing Railway Station, reportedly the busiest spot on Earth this weekend, to find Lunar New Year celebrations. Berkeleyans can instead stroll over to Solano Avenue for a Lunar New Year parade and performance celebrating the Year of the Snake on Sunday. The performances kick off at 1o a.m. in Landmark Theatre’s Albany Twin, and include acrobatics by members of the SF Circus, Chinese dance by Ah-Lan Dance and Lion Dance and a martial arts display by Golden Lion. After the performance, there will be a parade up the entire length of Solano (on the sidewalk), starting at noon. Performance at Albany Twin, 1115 Solano Avenue, Albany, at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

eduTour_th_17WAKE UP AND HEAR THE BIRDS If you want to get a move on Saturday morning, what could be better than a birding walk through the Botanical Garden. Apparently, birds are surprisingly active in winter in the garden, and Chris Carmichael, associate director of collections and research, and local birder Phila Rogers will be there to point out sights of interest. Registration is required and space is limited. Tickets are $20, $15 for members. The birding walk is from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the UC Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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DAY OF THE DEAD  The 1400 block of Shattuck in North Berkeley will be the center of this year’s Dia de los Muertos celebration Friday night. Join dozens of people walking in a candlelight procession as they honor those who have passed on. There will be a community altar from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the procession runs from 7:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There will be free face painting, mariachis, Aztec dancers, fire dancers, food trucks and a beer and wine garden. Comal, the Mexican restaurant on Shattuck Ave., will also be holding a Dia de los Muertos themed evening.

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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MAKE SOME MUSIC – Become a performer! Have you ever wanted to jump from your seat to join the musicians of Berkeley Symphony performing on stage? On Saturday at Malcolm X Elementary School you’ll have your chance! The Berkeley Symphony is hosting an open–call to the community to perform alongside musicians of Berkeley Symphony. Open to instrumentalists and singers alike.

WORDS WORDS WORDSThe 10th Annual Poetry Festival brings together dozens of poets and artists in a daylong celebration of the arts. Held at Berkeley City College at 2050 Center St., the festival this year will honor poet Clive Matson with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Art from the BCC Digital Arts Club will also be on sale. Noon to 4:30 pm. … Continue reading »

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Events

Symphony audience open to innovative music

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Joana Carneiro is about to start her second season as the music director for the Berkeley Symphony and she told an attentive audience at the Berkeley Breakfast Club Friday morning that she has found Berkeley to be a place where people are “open to innovation.”

The presence of the university and heterogeneous community creates a sophisticated audience that is not afraid to hear new music, said Carneiro.

“When I think of Berkeley, I think of its academic excellence … Continue reading »

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