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Erik Bruhn Prize 2009


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#31 Marga

Marga

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:25 PM

3) [size=3]San Francisco Ballet[/size] – Dores Andre, Anthony Spaulding
Ebony Concerto, choreography: Val Caniparoli; music: Igor Stravinsky, Ebony Concerto; clarinet soloist: Max Christie

Dressed in a black t-shirt and pants, Anthony Spaulding begins the piece with a solo which includes turns, grand jetés, and isolations. I have scribbled in my notes “he’s really good at this”. Dores Andre, in a black lacy strapless top and a black ballet skirt (like the ones girls wear to class) contributes lots of body isolations as well -- arms, head, legs – and I’ve written “she’s really good, too.”

More grand jetés, jazzy moves, different ways of touching and connecting, all to a fast tempo. They cavort on the floor and several other levels. In a neat move, they’re both supine, she atop him, and he rolls her off in a sushi-roll-making motion. They dance different things concurrently on different parts of the stage (as in the last piece), then unite for some arm-y pas de deux. Drumbeats signal a new section of the piece, which is a kind of push-pull -- not the negative kind we saw in Marcelo's piece, but a dance-y, fun variety – sort of a can-you-top-this? contest.

Spaulding has soft-as-a-kitten landings. Andre has nice arms. This is a long piece that you wish would go on and on (I noted “best!”, as in best contemporary offering). The music is wonderfully utilized, with continuous movement that makes sense.

I was sure Val Caniparoli would win the choreographer’s prize with this innovative contemporary work.

Val Caniparoli

#32 Marga

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:59 PM

5) [size=3]National Ballet of Canada[/size] – Elena Lobsanova, Noah Long
Dénouement, choreography: Matjash Mrozewski; music: Paul Tortelier, Suite in D minor for solo cello, movements 1 and 4

Noah Long: shirtless, with long maroonish-brown striped pants, brown ballet slippers
Elena Lobsanova: hot pink short shorts with a lacy maroon turtleneck top, pointe shoes

Matjash Mrozewski’s overly long rendering of his "anticlimax", while interesting in its use of space and form, was not a winner, in my estimation. I was sure they would call out Val Caniparoli’s name for the choreographer’s prize. I liked the piece well enough, and there were some nice lifts and a couple of attention-grabbing positions, but long before the end I was wondering when it would. That’s not a good sign.

Elena danced assuredly, displaying shapely extensions with no broken-foot “cupping” (see my first review of NBoC). Noah is an extremely sensitive partner who handles quirky choreography with aplomb. Perhaps due to the energy demands made by its length, it became noticeable toward the end of the piece that they were both working – not dancing – it. The final pose, a head-to-head embrace, came as a welcome relief for both dancers and (some of us in the) audience.

Matjash Mrozewski
Matjash Mrozewski after his win


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