I saw program 3 last night, and here are some observations:
Spring Rounds, by Paul Taylor, opened the program. Overall, I liked this piece. It's a pleasant, pastoral romp with a corps of 12 and 2 principals, but, as is often the case with "modern" choreography for ballet dancers, everyone had their own little solo. The adjectives I would use to describe it--pleasant, diverting, pretty, playful--might sound like something to describe a mediocrity, but this was a pretty good ballet overall, and a fine way to open a mixed bill. Kristin Long and Pascal Molat danced the leads, but it was Megan Low who won me over this time with her warmth and musicality.
Magrittomania, by Yuri Possokhov, was the second piece. As the name implies, the ballet is inspired by Magritte, and has elements from his paintings, namely men in suits with hats and lots of overgrown green apples. Beyond that, it was delightfully weird, for lack of a better word, bizarre in the best way. I especially enjoyed the male principals: Damian Smith in the lead, backed up by an astounding trio of Guennadi Nedviguine, Stephen Legate, and Joan Boada. The "klezmer" pas de trois was for me the highlight of this performance, while Yuan Yuan Tan left me cold. One wonders whether the coldness was intentional, given that the role was created on her.
Rodeo, the closing piece by Agnes De Mille, was a slight letdown, but most likely only because I'd been expecting more out of the ballet. The performance was solid, well-danced, and well-acted, however. The exuberant Tina LeBlanc was a perky Cowgirl...maybe too perky? Stephen Legate was back as the Head Wrangler, and it was easy to understand LeBlanc's attraction to him at the beginning. Rory Hohenstein was phenomenal as the Champion Roper, with his comic timing and tap-boots. I especially liked the square dancing section, where Garen Scribner was the caller. Pauli Magierek was a pretty, preening Rancher's Daughter, while Amanda Schull was especially humorous as one of her friends.
Hoping to hear any impressions from others who saw Program 2 or Program 3.
Programs 2 & 3--Impressions
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