Stiefel and Stars - Hartford, CTreview
Posted 14 February 2004 - 10:11 PM
Posted 14 February 2004 - 10:29 PM
Ethan Stiefel brought 11 principal dancers (including himself) to the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford, CT to perform several pas de deux tonight in celebration of Valentine’s Day. They will perform the same program Sunday the 15th at 1:30 as well.
“Stiefel and Stars” began with a section from Within you, Without you (the tribute to George Harrison), a contemporary work which ABT is currently performing in their Mixed Bill program. Unfortunately, the box office was so overcrowded that although I arrived at the theater twenty minutes before the scheduled starting time, I missed this first piece. However, I saw the Mixed Bill program in Washington, DC on Thursday the 5th, and was not impressed. I will not discuss why here as there are many reviews in a previous thread.
Next Sandra Brown and Griff Braun performed My Funny Valentine (suits the date, eh?) which Neve Campbell performs in “The Company”. Although I don’t care for the choreography, it was relieving to see a female dancer with nice por de bras dance the piece! Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner danced The Leaves are Fading beautifully. Although the friend I went to see the performance with complained about Gardner’s use of his arms(specifically his hands) I did not notice a problem. Perhaps I was too busy watching McKerrow float around the stage in and out of his arms flawlessly. Completing the contemporary portion of the program, Stella Abrera and Sascha Radetsky performed Jabula (choreography by Natalie Weir).The two were well paired, and I liked the choreography even though I don’t consider myself a fan of contemporary dance. They encountered a problem though, when about 30 seconds into the piece the music cut out. They continued dancing in silence until the music came back on (starting from the beginning again), when they walked in unison back to their starting pose. A person next to me commented on how well trained they were to deal with these sorts of technical problems. They stayed very calm, and began again with just as much energy and emotion as the first time.
Flames of Paris was the highlight of the program. Gillian Murphy and Gennadi Saveliev had the audience cheering through both their variations and the coda. It was by far the most exciting performance of the night. Saveliev showed off his amazing jumps in his variation with a new trick (very nice, clean, and pleasing to watch). Murphy showed her cute side in her variation, and really seemed like she was enjoying herself. The coda, though, was what brought the audience to the edge of our seats. There was a communal gasp when Gennadi came out and did several revolatards (with the front leg extended front). Murphy ran out for her 32 fouettes amidst the screaming and began with a quadruple. She continued to do triples every 3 fouettes for the first 16, and then continued with 16 more well centered ones. Again we were all cheering!
To close the 1st act, McKerrow and Stiefel performed the balcony scene pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet. I have always loved this pas de deux, and they both had wonderful facial expressions through the whole thing. However, there were a few shaky partnering moments. Although I think McKerrow is a wonderful dancer, she did not live up to Alessandra Ferri’s Juliet.
The second half of the program was a 9 person 3rd act Sleeping Beauty. They adapted it well to fit the 9 of them, but it was strange seeing the opening without the corps de ballet pas de basque-ing (a new verb!) in to that grand music. I was disappointed in the bluebird pas. Sascha Radetsky needed some work on his arms (he’s not very birdlike), but of course his leg work was great. And Maria Ricetto seemed to have some trouble hopping on pointe in her variation. Overall though, I thought the group performed very well. I particularly like Stella Abrera as Little Red Riding Hood. I couldn’t picture her dancing the role, but she was very cute and acted the part very well!
Stiefel and Stars was generally a nice program. Although there were a few technical flaws, the crew and dancers overcame them very well (the music cut out for a split second right before the last two booms of 3rd act Sleeping Beauty!). Saveliev and Murphy definitely made the night, and they are the reason I was glad I waited in that long line to pick up my tickets.
Here is a list of the dancers in the program: Amanda McKerrow, Ethan Stiefel, Gillian Murphy, Stella Abrera, Sandra Brown, Maria Riccetto, Griff Braun, John Gardner, Sascha Radetsky, Gennadi Saveliev, and Brittany Kate Melone.
Thanks for reading!
Posted 15 February 2004 - 12:51 PM
Bethy, I think that you mean Polonaising, not pas de basqueing. Act III of Sleeping Beauty beings with a polonaise.
The second half of the program was a 9 person 3rd act Sleeping Beauty. They adapted it well to fit the 9 of them, but it was strange seeing the opening without the corps de ballet pas de basque-ing (a new verb!) in to that grand music.
How was puss and boots? I'm sorry i missed the performace and I would love to know how it went.
Posted 15 February 2004 - 01:52 PM
Puss in boots was good. I have never liked it very much, but they were pretty cute and funny last night.
Posted 15 February 2004 - 02:06 PM
Posted 17 February 2004 - 01:19 PM
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