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Colo. Ballet 2006 Choreographer's ShowcaseMy (very humble) impressions


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#1 YouOverThere

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 04:16 PM

I managed to get to the opening night of the Colorado Ballet's Choreographer's Showcase Saturday evening, purchasing a ticket a full 10 minutes before the curtain went up (5 minutes earlier than I usually do). There were 3 short pieces: Paul Taylor's Company B, Jessica Lang's From Foreign Lands and People, and Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs. Despite the gorgeous weather, the Ellie was at best half full (Cinderella opening the same day might have had something to do with that).

My uneducated assessment was that the dancing was really good in all 3 pieces. Everyone looked really confident and comfortable, and my untrained eye noticed no errors. The timing during larger ensemble scenes was really tight. The CB had done an open dress rehersal of this program the evening before which may have helped mitigate the opening night jitters.

My uneducated assessment also was that this wasn't the most interesting program to watch for those of us who don't go to watch how well the dancers perform the techniques. Only From Foreign Lands and People was "artsy". The other 2 were pretty light-weight. And I don't really enjoy listening to Frank Sinatra sing.

I'll leave it to someone who actually knows something about dancing to post a more detailed description.

Edited by YouOverThere, 06 March 2006 - 04:18 PM.


#2 carbro

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 06:27 PM

My first couple of viewing of Company B left me with the same general opinion you have -- "lightweight" -- despite one or two spectacular solos. By its second or third year, I saw from Taylor company (granted, they have the advantage of Taylor at their beck and call -- and vice versa) a very different kind of work. The mood was complex -- a generation's veneer of lightheartedness glossing over the very pervasive tragedy of war, in this case, WWII.

I don't know whether it took the Taylor company that long to find the true emotional life of the work, or me that many viewings to see what was under the surface. I hope CB keeps Company B active for a few seasons in order for the dancers to find its emotional core, and the audience, as well.

#3 Golden Gate

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 05:46 PM

[/quote] [quote name='carbro' post='177034' date='Mar 6 2006, 10:27 PM']I hope CB keeps Company B active for a few seasons in order for the dancers to find it's emotional core, and the audience, as well.[/quote]

This production of Company B will be the only one that CB does for a while... :) as of today, who knows whether Gil Boggs will do it again in the near future or not.

I think that the Choreographers Showcase is one of the best performances CB has presented in a while; it's intense and full of energy; the talent that the dancers exhibit is mind boggling - I see them dance on a regular basis and they were doing things I had no idea they could do. There were rave reviews by Kyle MacMillan in the Denver Post and I haven't read what Marc Shulgold wrote... although when I asked, he said it was 'ok' after the first piece. I'm not going to write what I think of Marc or his opinion.
It is a fabulous way to spend a night out - more for adults than children methinks... but it's not inappropriate for them, only the wrong ilk for a very young person.
I wouldn't miss this one; in fact, I'm going to try to see it as many times as I can. ...and I love old blue eyes' music; I think it's the dancer in me. The Choreography is excellent in every piece.

:) Cinderella was lovely; it's the same Cinderella that Martin presented in 2000-2001 but it's so nice to see it again, Maria Mosina and Igor Vassine were as perfect as ever; and the rest of the cast was delightful as well.

...PS - there was a bronze statue commissioned a couple of years ago to be put into the Opera House; it was unveiled last month; it's a statue of Igor and Maria.... as far as technique, it's stunning, very well done... but as for my own personal taste, I don't like it at all... it's painted to look real... far too real, it looks like formaldehyde dancers... ewww.... too eerie.


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#4 YouOverThere

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 02:00 PM

My first couple of viewing of Company B left me with the same general opinion you have -- "lightweight" -- despite one or two spectacular solos. By its second or third year, I saw from Taylor company (granted, they have the advantage of Taylor at their beck and call -- and vice versa) a very different kind of work. The mood was complex -- a generation's veneer of lightheartedness glossing over the very pervasive tragedy of war, in this case, WWII.

I don't know whether it took the Taylor company that long to find the true emotional life of the work, or me that many viewings to see what was under the surface. I hope CB keeps Company B active for a few seasons in order for the dancers to find its emotional core, and the audience, as well.


Because of the previews, I kept looking for allusions to war and only saw one: a scene in the first half of the program where there were shadowy figures that looked like soldiers. But The Denver Post critic claims that the piece was filled with them. Of course, I'm so dense that it didn't occur to me that the 5 rectangular black blocks in From Foreign Lands and People, which was set to PIANO music, might represent the black keys on a piano. I might just have to go back and see it again :).

#5 YouOverThere

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 02:20 PM

I haven't read what Marc Shulgold wrote


There hasn't been a review from him on their website yet, but it will be interesting after his glowing view of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake. He's kind of backed himself into a corner, given that even a casual observer would have been able to see that the CB's performance was superior to MBSW.

... although when I asked, he said it was 'ok' after the first piece.


I actually had the same response when one of the season ticket sellers asked me what I thought of Company B. Scary! (Or maybe I said it was "all right")

Edited by YouOverThere, 08 March 2006 - 03:04 PM.


#6 YouOverThere

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 10:49 PM

My first couple of viewing of Company B left me with the same general opinion you have -- "lightweight" -- despite one or two spectacular solos. By its second or third year, I saw from Taylor company (granted, they have the advantage of Taylor at their beck and call -- and vice versa) a very different kind of work. The mood was complex -- a generation's veneer of lightheartedness glossing over the very pervasive tragedy of war, in this case, WWII.


I saw it for a second time, and am wondering how I missed so much the first time around. The allusions to war and death were all over the place. There was nothing wrong with the earlier performance; it was just a case of a very dense audience member.

I still didn't get much out of Nine Sinatra Dances. Am I still missing something? Maybe I'm blinded because of my dislike of Sinatra's singing (and maybe amplified because this piece followed From Foreign Lands and People which is set to gorgeous piano music composed by Schumann).


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