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City Ballet of San DiegoAll Balanchine performance


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#1 Swiss_Chard

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 07:59 PM

I thought I would offer my humble, uneducated view of this weekend's performance of San Diego City Ballet's all Balanchine performance. I do not have much ballet-going experience, so these are just my impressions. I went to the Friday performance, which was the first night. This is the second time the company had an all Balanchine performance - the first time was last year, for the Centenial. They performed four pieces: Concerto Barocco, Tarantella, selections from Stars and Stripes, and Donizetti Variations.
On the whole, I really enjoyed the performance, although there were a few ups and downs. Concerto Barocco had a few wobbles here and there. I found I liked the second and third movements best (is it appropriate to call them that?), because the energy and feeling seemed better. The first violin part was performed by Janica Smith, who seemed a little tentative. The second violin part was performed by Mira Cook, who, in my opinion, was the standout of the entire evening. She has amazing stage presence and I couldn't help but watch her. Mira Cook and Alexei Kulpin then danced Tarantella. This was probably my favourite piece of the evening. There was great chemistry between the two dancers, their smiles lit up the stage, and they seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. Alexei Kulpin is an amazing jumper as well - he is a wonderful addition to the company. Stars and Stripes was a bit of a disappointment for me. It lacked the energy of the previous pieces and seemed a little cheesy. The pas de deux didn't come across very well, in my opinion, either. It needed more spunk. The Donizetti Variations, on the other hand, were quite good, and Janica Smith seemed more at ease. It was a nice finish to the program.
On another note, it was nice to see the theatre so full. Let's hope that this trend continues. It would be nice to have more ballet in San Diego.

#2 bart

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 07:17 AM

Thanks, Swiss_Chard, for the very interesting review. It sounds like a wonderful program. And your comments helped me to visualize it.

I hope you'll continue to keep us informed about San Diego Ballet and other dance events in the area. We need reports like these. In fact, I think that American ballet needs to be reminded continuously that there is a vast world of fine dancers, creative and ambitious companies, and passionate ballet fans outside the big dance centers. I would argue that NYCBs, ABTs, Paris Opera Ballets, Royal Ballets, etc., would be very different kinds of institutions if it weren't for the creativity, support, and (even) job opportunities on the periphery.

#3 Swiss_Chard

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 08:57 AM

You're welcome. This was the last performance for the season, but I will be sure to report when they start back up next fall.

#4 dirac

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 09:20 AM

I second Bart's request. This sounds like a worthy program and I was very interested to hear about it. Thanks!


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