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Introduction

Seven couples dance in shifting groups. They separate for three central pas de deux, each highly characterized: light, sensual, confrontational. All the dancers come together for a thrilling ending of pulsating intensity.

Background

Christopher Wheeldon created Within the Golden Hour for San Francisco Ballet in 2008, as part of their New Works Festival in celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary. Italian minimalist composer Ezio Bosso created the original score for strings, incorporating music by Vivaldi. The work was acclaimed on its premiere by the San Francisco Chronicle as ‘one of Wheeldon’s best works and one of the company’s finest hours’.

Wheeldon structured Within the Golden Hour into clear sections, accentuated by Martin Pakledinaz’s simple set designs. Pakledinaz’s costume designs paint the dancers in muted hues of greens, browns, blues and purples, suggesting an autumnal sense, or the bright orange light of the ‘golden hour’ before the sun sets. Around the three central pas de deux the ballet exhibits Wheeldon’s now characteristic complex handling of ensembles, creating intricate lattice works that shift and mutate.

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