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Did anyone go to see the Rhythm & Blues program?


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#1 Tessa

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 02:55 PM

I couldn't make it, but was wondering if anyone else had the chance to see this program. I saw Washington Ballet perform Trey McIntyre's Blue Until June a few years ago and thought it was good (if not amazing) work- I imagine PA Ballet's dancers could probably do a lovely job with it. Anyone attend? Thoughts?

#2 socalgal

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 05:42 PM

This was a fantastic program including Martin's
"Fearful Symmetries", McIntyre's "Blue Until June" and Neenan's "The Crossed Line."
The company shined from top to bottom and the audience gave thunderous applause at both performances that I attended..... :) Choreography was great and the dancing was brilliant. Loved it......I can share more later when I return home......
Bravo PABallet :flowers: :flowers: :flowers:

#3 purelyballet

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 08:34 AM

SoCalGal, I could not agree with you more. I was fortunate to be able to attend the matinee on Saturday along with Sundays performance and I think this was proably my favorite program that I have seen PABallet do. It was truly amazing..both the choreography and the dancing. I have to give special mention to the pas with Heidi and Meredith. They both danced this with such intensity and feeling that it brought tears to my eyes....Bravo PABallet on a wondeful performance...

#4 purelyballet

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 05:18 PM

I have been unable to locate any reviews on PABallet's Rhythm and Blues. If you have seen any could you please share the link with us? :)

#5 Ari

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 05:44 PM

This is the review in the Philadelphia Inquirer. It was posted on the Links thread of Friday, April 16 (registration is required to read the article):

For 'R & B,' Pa. Ballet keeps the beat brisk

#6 Amy Reusch

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Posted 21 April 2004 - 09:18 PM

SoCalGal, I've never seen any of Neenan's choreography, but having seen him dance, I'm curious....

What do you like about his choreography?

#7 Tessa

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 04:55 AM

Not socalgal, but I can interject some thoughts on Neenan's choreography. I love "Vicissitudes" which is a piece he did several years ago (might have even been his first for the company). What do I like about it? Well, he cast a lot of corps members in starring roles which was fun to see! But beyond that, it has a circus-like quality; the finale of the piece has the dancers creating something akin to a rotating circus tent with their bodies- that's the only way I can think of to describe it, as there are a lot of people on stage at that point. There are also a lot of funny, quirky little movements in the piece, like when a female dancer is sitting on a male dancer's shoulder near the wings. He suddenly picks her up and throws her up so that she flies offstage and is (we hope!) caught by an unseen person.

He also did a different piece a few years ago, the title of which I can't recall, that was very disjointed and critically reviled around here- but I thought it had some great moments, including the end when the whole cast came and sat on the edge of the stage with their legs dangling down into the orchestra pit. Neenan also created a great solo for Francis Veyette in that piece that included some breathtaking jumps.

I know he's done some other pieces for the company, but I can't remember any of them at the moment...which may say something...nevertheless, his current piece sounds promising- wish I had seen it.

#8 socalgal

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 11:16 AM

Rhythm and Blues program was excellent programming. The three pieces were different in tone but were all contemporary in nature. The music choices made a nice blend for the viewer with composers Adams, Chopin and songs sung by Etta James. Unfortunatley, the entire concert was danced to taped recordings. For some reason I was not as bothered by this as I thought I would be. The quality of the recordings and the sound system seemed excellent and never called my attention to this factor during the performance.

Martins "Fearful Symmetries" opened the program with powerful and quicksilver dancing by all. I have always liked this ballet and the company danced it with lots of magnatism and style. I thought it showed the strength of the entire cast and the audience was applauding before the finish. I particularly like the shorter couples pas, danced by Valerie Amiss and Phil Colucci in one cast and Marth Chamberlin/Colucci in the other cast I viewed. A great opener for this program.

Matt Neenan's "The Crossed Line" was a world premiere and evidently, as the program reads, had its "initial development supported by the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of NYCB, during the Fall 2003 season." Matt has choreographed for the company before, as Tessa states. I did see his "Le Travail" last season which was based on Degas paintings. The only thing in common with these two pieces was his creative use of sets, wonderful costuming and use of lighting. He seems to have a good eye for the visual which always gives his works a strong focus for what he is creating for the dancers. I guess you would say he sets the mood for his ballets with wonderful artistic sense. Both pieces used sets that divided the stage space and moved during the ballet to allow spacial changes for the various dance sections. I found this to be clever and interesting and lending well to his choreography.

Back to "The Crossed Line"..... Chopin is normally thought to be lyrical music and the dancing did have that element. But it was not always traditional in movement choices. The theme seemed based on relationships of different couples, trios and quintets.
As the dance begins in a circle, it ends as the dancers run back to hold up a long descending black barre,much like a ballet barre IMO. The piece as a whole was quiet and intimate. It uniquely captured love relationships and relationship's many complications and tanglements. I liked the piece very much....although it may have been a tad too long. (they will be taking this piece to New Jersey next week, for those of you who are close by!)

"Blue Until June" closed the show with its bluesy air and wonderful songs. The dancers gave the choreography the right feel and I had fun watching Phil Colucci's drunken solo. There was great chemestry and it was enjoyable seeing the PABallet dancers in this genre.

If you can, check out the PaBallet in New Jersey next week....dancing "Fearful Symmetries." "The Crossed Line" and a third work which may be "Blue Until June" or "Fancy Free", not sure.

#9 Amy Reusch

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Posted 23 April 2004 - 08:24 PM

Thanks, both of you! That helped considerably more than the typical newspaper review!


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