Posted 31 March 2008 - 01:10 PM
Carrie Imler is back, as both Titania and Hippolyta, and there are several debuts -- lots to look forward to!
There's two weeks of Midsummer, and then a week of the comedy festival, so April is very, very full.
Posted 31 March 2008 - 04:04 PM
Posted 13 April 2008 - 02:21 AM
Normally I wouldn't write anything on half a performance, but A Midsummer Night's Dream has two distinct parts, and there are a few comments I'd like to make about Act I. Chalnessa Eames danced Butterfly, and the bloom in the phrasing of her arms as they rose to the sky to the gentle strings at the end of the act was magnificent to behold. Lesley Rausch's Titania isn't fully realized yet -- that I'm looking forward to in a few years -- but she has a regal elegance in her portrayal of a formidable Titania. The scene that approached perfection, though, was the Donkey Pas de Deux (with Barry Kerrolis, who was a superb Bottom). Yes, in the plot, Oberon is setting up Titania. But he's also giving us -- she doesn't appreciate it -- the sense of what Titania in love might be like, were she not hemmed in by convention, hierarchy, experience, and the enervating effects of Oberon-management. I've never seen Rausch dance with such gentleness and tenderness. It made me wish that Oberon had never brought her to her senses.
Weese also gave a gentle, sweet performance as Hermia, and Wevers matched hers. She did not play the scene in which she recognizes a distraught Helena and Lysander together for laughs, as often is done. What a privilege to have casting like this among the mortals, with Casey Herd dancing a powerful Demetrius.
There was a lot that I liked about Benjamin Griffiths' Oberon, especially the way he projects authority through carriage in a simple tendu back and his clean line and articulated steps and positions. I felt he forced the big jumps, though: they took a noticeable effort compared to the quietness and clarity of his beats and grand allegro. (Maybe it was the jetlag, but the tempo of the "Scherzo" seemed inhuman.) It always astonishes me how Carrie Imler is cast in "tall girls'" roles, like Hippolyta. Only afterwards do you remember that she's not really that tall, because she dances as if she's Barker's height and with great breadth.
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