2013 Top Dance Blogs Contest; Nominate ‘Odette’s Ordeal’ With a Comment!

The Dance Advantage Top Dance Blog Contest 2013

The Dance Advantage Top Dance Blog Contest 2013

Hello Dear Readers!

As this Thursday’s San Francisco Ballet 2013 Opening Night Gala (woot!) begins the season with a program to delight every SF Balletomane (woot woot!), Odette is brushing off her keyboard to continue to bring you up-to-the minute previews, interviews, ‘Newsy Bits’, reviews, video clips, and photo shoots of your favorite dancers…in her trademark ‘Let’s Celebrate the Dancers’ style (woot woot woot!).


In exhange for all the goodies Odette will bestow on her peeps this coming season, she would very dearly love to have *your* support, once again, in this years’s annual ‘Top Dance Blog Contest 2013’ sponsored by Dance Advantage: http://www.danceadvantage.net/2013/01/07/be-a-top-dance-blog

All you need to do to nominate Odette’s Ordeal into the finalist round (part 2 of the contest begins 1/24/13, when your actual votes will be summoned), is comment right here on this post (in the comment box at the bottom) by midnight on 1/22/13!

Just one single (teeny tiny, simple wimple, itsy bitsy) comment, that requires a few very generous seconds of your very busy life, will suffice.

It is important to note that commenting on *this* post (*not* Dance Advantage’s blog post) is the *only* guaranteed protection you will have from suffering an untimely death caused by:

1. A heretofore unknown planetary object crashing into your general vicinity at 149 times the speed of light (even faster than Vanessa Zahorian can turn!)

2. Hungry angst-ridden teenage zombies in drag, singing ‘Glee’s Greatest Hits’ off-key (choreographed by Myles Thatcher)

3. The Disney Villains’ Dance of Doom-Bwahahaha! (choreographed by Val Caniparoli)

4. Bubonic Plague (choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon)


5. The Wrath of Odette (Run, hide!!!)

Soooo…please take that itsy bitsy moment (right now, before you take a bite out of that healthy ballet burrito) and protect yourself from Disney villains and zombies by making that comment in the box at the bottom of this entire post that says ‘Enter your comment here’, telling me (and the world) why you love Odette’s Ordeal. A solitary sentence will do.

Thank you in advance for your support; your comments and votes won Odette’s Ordeal the #9 Dance Blog Award in the whole universe for 2012…in her first year of blogging!

See You at the Ballet!

P.S. Stay tuned for Gala Casting


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San Francisco Ballet Announces Nutcracker Casting!



San Francisco Ballet is back “in the house” (officially pronounced howwwwwwwwws-in a deep basso profundo timbre-for those SFBalletomanes who feel the need) and has just announced Opening Night Nut Casting! To seasoned SFB fans, this announcement ends the traditional way-too-long period of time since our favorite dancers stepped/jetéd out on their own home stage at the War Memorial Opera House (since May, to be precise), so the advent of Nutcracker, our official harbinger of the anxiously-awaited 2013 SFB Season, is reason to rejoice!

Before we get to that Nut casting, let Odette give a big hearty “Congrats” and “Merde” to recently promoted Soloist Sasha De Sola, who dances her first Sugar Plum Fairy on 12/8/12 at 7pm, Carlos Quenedit, who will premiere his first SFB Nutcracker Prince in the glorious Grand Pas de Deux on 12/9/12 at 2pm, and to new company Soloist Luke Ingham who debuts as King of the Snow on 12/7/12 Opening Night at 7pm. Luke will be partnering SFB favorite Sarah Van Patten…but not for the first time-he *has* been doing just that while SFB has been on tour, but this will be our first opportunity to see them together here (where they belong!) at home. Odette will also be “in the howwwwwwws” on opening night, to give her full report on Mr. Ingham. (It should be all good-this young man has already been wowing audiences all around the world!)

 Now…let’s get right to that Cracker Casting (remember, as always, casting is subject to change, so keep checking SFB’s casting page here for frequent updates):


Casting from December 7–9, 2012

* Denotes premiere in role for current production. All casting subject to change.


Friday, December 7, 7 pm (Opening Night)

Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Damian Smith

Queen and King of the Snow: Sarah Van Patten, Luke Ingham*

Sugar Plum Fairy:  Sofiane Sylve

Grand Pas de Deux:  Frances Chung, Davit Karapetyan


Saturday, December 8, 2 pm (Matinee)

Conductor: Ming Luke

Drosselmeyer:   Val Caniparoli

Queen and King of the Snow: Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro

Sugar Plum Fairy:  Sarah Van Patten

Grand Pas de Deux:  Sofiane Sylve, Tiit Helimets


Saturday, December 8, 7 pm (Evening)

Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Ricardo Bustamante

Queen and King of the Snow: Frances Chung, Vitor Luiz

Sugar Plum Fairy:  Sasha De Sola*

Grand Pas de Deux:  Yuan Yuan Tan, Vito Mazzeo


Sunday, December 9, 2 pm (Matinee)

Conductor: Ming Luke

Drosselmeyer: Val Caniparoli

Queen and King of the Snow Yuan Yuan Tan, Vito Mazzeo

Sugar Plum Fairy: Courtney Elizabeth

Grand Pas de Deux: Sarah Van Patten, Carlos Quenedit*


Sunday, December 9, 7 pm (Evening)

Conductor: Martin West

Drosselmeyer: Damian Smith

Queen and King of the Snow: Koto Ishihara, Gennadi Nedvigin

Sugar Plum Fairy: Jennifer Stahl

Grand Pas de Deux: Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitro


One last hearty “Congratulations” to this year’s SFB Opening Night Nutcracker Principal Cast, which belongs to Frances Chung as the grown up Clara & Davit Karapetyan as the Nutcracker Prince (yes, this is the final act’s Grand Pas de Deux pair), Sofiane Sylve as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Luke Ingham & Sarah Van Patten as King and Queen of the Snow, and Damian Smith as Herr Drosselmeyer.


For tickets, visit SFB’s Nutcracker page here.


See You at the Ballet!

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Tiit Helimets, San Francisco Ballet’s Princely Estonian Dancer, to Present Unique Performance Art Installation at De Young Museum

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Tiit Helimets, San Francisco Ballet’s golden-haired Estonian, most frequently associated with the ‘white tights’ roles of ballet royalty, has a new venture and it is a treasure trove of collaborative riches, full of familiar San Francisco Ballet dancer talent in very unfamiliar ways (many surprises in store for those that proudly consider themselves ‘San Francisco Balletomanes’, as we like to say in OdetteSpeak), and so chock full of varied artistic promise that the description “unique multi-media installation” barely scratches the surface. Yet these are the words I, myself, chose to write in the Kickstarter ad below, to support Mr. Helimets’s upcoming show at the De Young Museum.
When you’ve read about the one-time only evening of world premieres to be presented on October 12, 2012, from 6:30-8:30pm, my enthusiasm will likely spread like wildfire;  it is my hope that you will then click on the link that takes you directly to the ‘Kickstarter’ ad, at the bottom of this post, and join me in supporting this incredible event…and the ‘behind-the-scenes’ companion film that will be made to document the artistic process associated with the installation.
(If for no other reason than seeing the accompanying video trailer on the ‘Kickstarter’ site, which features a paint splattered Tiit talking about his project, a mysterious ballerina’s feet in pointe shoes, and a list of incredible ‘perks’ to those who support the project. you must go there and check it out.)
(Or you can just skip reading it below, and go straight to the Kickstarter ad here.)
Here it is-
‘What I Wrote and Why I Wrote It’:

Tiit Helimets and Co.- The de Young Project, Fall, 2012

On October 12, 2012, from 6:30-8:30 pm, Tiit Helimets, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet and Artistic Director of Tiit Helimets and Co, will be presenting a unique multi-media installation at the prestigious M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, one of the most respected fine arts museums in the U.S.

This remarkable and unprecedented project is an homage to Mr. Helimets’s Estonian roots, with particular inspiration drawn from the colors of his homeland’s flag. Tiit is known for his generosity amongst his co-workers in the world of ballet and the ‘de Young Project’ is no exception; this fresh Tiit Helimets and Co. endeavor will, once again, be a collaborative effort which includes some of ballet’s finest dancers, as they explore their artistic talents beyond the world of classical ballet.

In addition to showcasing the previously unknown artistic talents of some of the San Francisco Ballet’s most familiar movers (normally seen on the stage of the War Memorial Opera House), the installation will include an extraordinary presentation of multiple world premieres, in a veritable bouquet of fine and performing arts:

Dancers: Dana Genshaft, Myles Thatcher, and Luke Willis
Narrators: Shannon Roberts and Molly Shaiken
Original specially commissioned musical composition: Jonah Kim
Singer: Shannon Roberts
Makeup: Melanie Birch                                                                                      Stage Manager: Jane Green
Costumes and Jewelry: Dores Andre and Jaime Garcia-Castilla
The world premiere poem that inspired the entire project: Abi Basch
Live painting performance of ‘Synesthesia’: Dustin Shane, who ‘sees’ music as it is played
Photography: Alexander Reneff-Olson
Screening of Eastern Odyssey: Quinn Wharton’s film of Tiit Helimets and Co.’s 2011 Summer Tour to Estonia


“Blue, Black, and White” a brand new film by Rapt Productions

In this brand new film, Tiit has given us yet another behind-the-scenes opportunity to watch the entire creative process of Tiit Helimets and Co. “Blue, Black and White” chronicles the de Young Project as it unfolds, leading right up to the actual performance installation. And this is where you can make a difference.

If you have said to yourself (even once!), “wow”, while reading about this sensational hand-selected group of artists that will be displaying their heretofore hidden talents, please make a donation to bring Tiit Helimets’s vision to life; the de Young Museum has provided the installation space, but the project and film cannot happen without your additional support to fund the costs of film production and materials.

Tiit Helimets and Co. continues to bring us closer to understanding the creative process of the artists we most respect and will once again give some fabulous exclusive perks in return for your support; to whet your appetite, take a look at the list of goodies attached to each level of donation.

And did we mention that there will be an ongoing series of film teasers, for donors only, unveiling the ongoing progress of the project leading up to the installation? Or that there might be those wonderful artist conversations and interviews for your viewing pleasure?

No donation is too small; remember-it is a collaborative effort of donors that will ultimately support this collaborative effort of artists.

Thanks for sharing the vision!

With Great Gratitude,

Tiit Helimets and Co.

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Please click here to go directly to the Kickstarter ad, so you can view the video and donate!
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See you at the de Young!!!
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