In writing about the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra (SFCO) and its Music Director Benjamin Simon, I tend to focus my attention on their series of Main Stage Concerts. However, since the program for the most recent of those concerts, performed last month, was structured around two orchestral suites based on dance forms, it seemed appropriate to put out the word that the next event in the Family Concerts series would involve a collaboration between SFCO and the Berkeley Ballet Theater (BBT) Youth Company. This event, which will be entitled Shall We Dance, will be only 45 minutes in duration and will provide a different perspective on the relationship between these art forms than what emerged from last month’s Dance Suite program.
Full details of the program have not been announced. However, for this occasion BBT Artistic Director Ilona McHugh has prepared choreography for the premiere performance of an arrangement that Simon has prepared of a composition by the innovative and genre-crossing Portland Cello Project. There will also be choreography to the music of Joseph Haydn created by BBT Artist Emeritus Sally Streets and a pas de deux from the ballet Baroque-en Pieces by Mark Bush. Finally, the Youth Company will perform “Draft in the Attic,” choreographed by Sonya Delwaide, Artistic Director of the Compagnie de Danse l’Astragale.
Like the Main Stage Concerts, the Family Concerts are offered without any charge for admission. There will be two performances of this event in San Francisco, at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. The venue will be the Randall Museum at 199 Museum Way. Doors open thirty minutes prior to performance; and seating is first come, first served. Note that Family Concerts place an emphasis on lively collaboration. In this case this should involve opportunities for not only questions from the curious but also dancing in the aisles!