Also on this program are archival captures of Dwight Rhoden’s LET’S BEGIN AT THE END and Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet.
Created for Unbound: A Festival of New Works in 2018, Rhoden’s LET’S BEGIN AT THE END is set to music by J. S. Bach, Philip Glass, and Michael Nyman and was noted for its “off-kilter moves, spinning promenades in arabesque and consistent drive” (Bachtrack) at its premiere. LET’S BEGIN AT THE END was the first work created for SF Ballet by Rhoden, who is co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet, created in 1999 with costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, is a rare work in the repertory that sets neoclassical ballet to “funny” music—in this case, nostalgic pop-orchestral tunes by Leroy Anderson: “Sleigh Ride,” “Fiddle-Faddle,” “The Typewriter,” and more.
“I didn’t trust ballet orchestras,” the choreographer writes in Out Loud, his memoir written in collaboration with Wesley Stace. “It turned out that the San Francisco Ballet orchestra was very good.” It was then Morris’ “apology and joke” to set the ballet, his second work for the Company, to Anderson’s novelty tunes. Sandpaper Ballet is one of seven ballets that Morris has created for SF Ballet.