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2010 "Triple Bill" at Denver University


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#1 YouOverThere

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 05:51 PM

I'm poor but happy after attending all 4 performances of the Colorado Ballet's annual trek to Denver University (hopefully, I'll win the lottery before my VISA bill comes due). Needless to say, I found this "triple bill" thoroughly enjoyable.

The first "bill" was Edwaard Liang's Feast of the Gods, which was just as stunning as the first time around (it premiered in the Spring of 2009). This work has so much crammed into it that even on the 8th or 9th viewing (I've lost count) I still found little pieces that I hadn't noticed previously. Feast of the Gods was my motivation for wanting to see the program so often.

Second on the program was Lars Lubovitch's ...smile from my heart. Though crisply danced, this work got pretty tiresome by the 4th viewing. Actually, it got pretty tiresome by the 2nd viewing. This was not a universal impression. Two friends told me that they liked it better than Feast of the Gods.

Last, but not least, was the one new work in the program, Matthew Neenan's The Faraway (The "Friday, September 10" thread in the Links forum has a link to The Denver Post's preview of this). It was a little different from other works that I've seen with the Colorado Ballet, sort of a ballet with a modern dance attitude. Or at least it was very modern (Feast of the Gods, in contrast, though while a recently choreographed work, is much more in the classical ballet style). Since I'm not familiar with Georgia O'Keeffe, I had a little trouble figuring out exactly what the gist of the work was. The lead parts were for a man and a woman who were attracted to each other but the woman seemed to be frightened of her attraction, and the music and dance between the 2 seemed ominous and foreboding. There were 2 other important characters, who appeared to be like court jesters, and a 12-person corps who were dressed in weird, brightly-colored costumed and appeared on stage engaged in frivolity at what seemed like inopportune times as far as the couple was concerned. This work also contained a lot of material, with as many as 3 couple doing different things at the same time, so like Feast of the Gods it remained fresh with repeated viewings.

This program was sort of a coming out for Dmitry Trubchanov, who was promoted to principle for this season. He was the only dancer to dance in all 3 works in all 4 performances, and really was the star of the show (he played the leading man - none of the characters had names - in The Faraway), along with long-time principle Sharon Wehner who was the only woman to dance in all 3 works (but didn't dance in Feast of the Gods in the Saturday matinee). Curiously absent from the weekend was principle Alexei Tyukov, who not only danced pas de deux in the 2nd scene of Feast of the Gods in the Ballet Nouveau Colorado fundraiser but a photograph of he and Chandra Kuydkendall (who danced that particular part with corps member Travis Morrison in all 4 performances) from that scene was on the cover of the program.

#2 Helene

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 06:56 PM

Thank you for the reports, YouOverThere!

It's always a joy when a work stands up to repeated viewings over more than one season.

You were more patient than I towards "...smile from my heart", which I found pretty tiresome the first time. (Even the music couldn't get me through.)

#3 YouOverThere

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 04:04 PM

One additional item of interest: Each performance this weekend was dedicated to someone. Sunday's performance was dedicated to former assistant artistic director Jocelyn Labsan and former dance coach Andrew Thompson, who were fired from the CB when Gil Boggs took over.


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