By Mary Ellen Hunt
The gray fog rolled back just in time to allow sunlight to bathe the Sigmund Stern Grove, where San Francisco Ballet gave its annual free outdoor performance on Sunday, July 26. It was a welcome return for the company, which skipped last year’s Stern Grove Festival; and judging from the enthusiasm of the thousands of fans who showed up this year, the ballet was missed.
Opening Sunday’s program was the colorful “Rush” by Christopher Wheeldon. Joseph Walsh and newly promoted principal Dores Andres led off the ballet with Hansuke Yamamoto and new soloist Lauren Strongin. The pitch and yaw of that quartet offered a freewheeling counterpoint to the waves of corps dancers moving in enigmatic semaphores and matched the jauntiness in the Bohuslav Martinu score, which Martin West conducted with aplomb.