Posted 17 November 2004 - 09:56 PM
Let's hope that not only the Royal BAllet but also other ballet companies begin showing us more Ashton. I love his ballets.
San Francisco Ballet has had Ashton in the rep for decades -- Fille, and also the Dream pas de deux and maybe some more. (Fille was acquired by Michael Smuin and has always been popular here.)
We have some dancers who're good at Ashton. Tina LeBlanc was a fast-footed, great-hearted Lise with the Joffrey before she came to SFB, and warmer and sweeter when she danced it here. I'd love to see her do it again. Elizabeth Loscavio was an enchanting Lise, WHAT pretty leaps. Also Kristin Long, who was gorgeous in the corps when they did it last, has the epaulement and hte bounding leapz and the sunny, unaffected temperament to make the role beautiful in an extremely satisfying way.
Our dancers were not very effective in the Dream pas.
But last year we saw some Ashton new to us. Julie Diana! alas, she's left SFB and joined Pennsylvania Ballet, where I hope they value her, since we've lost one of our MOST important dancers, was perfect for the Thais pas de deux -- her looks are right, her face is right -- like a dark-haired Sibley, with huge eyes, bee-stung lips and a very long neck -- but even more her musicality, her breathing, and her manners (which are almost convent-bred).
She was very fine, though not perfect, as the lead in Symphonic Variations.
She is an SAB product, but she CAN do an Ashton arabesque, square, and with the right feeling in the back, exquisitely modelled through the ribs. Her travelling sissonnes were not as startling as a real Ashton dancer would have made them -- but then they didn't have much time to steep themselves in the style, since they were coming right off their 2-program Balanchine tribute.
And Elizabeth Miner, who danced one of the "side ballerinas" in the second cast of Symphonic, also had the right look, very good head positions, a high breast-bone, the right feel for the line. Although Miner came from SAB, she had Ashton training while still living in Portland, OR, from ELizabeth Remington.
And Brett Bauer was a glorious piece of sculpture in the White Monotones, nobly proportioned, glacially calm; everything he did was immaculate. It was more a way of being than a chain of doings.