Liang, whose work includes “Beautiful Child,” which was created for Tulsa Ballet in 2010, has never choreographed a full-length story ballet before, but his ability to delineate character and convey the intricacies of a narrative purely through movement is impeccable.
Saturday, February 11
Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:22 PM
Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:26 PM
The show cleverly opens with the dancers lined up at the front of stage – a microphone, also on a lanyard, is walked up the row of dancers and after each dancer introduces themselves it slowly retracts back into the wings. The introduction of the dancers added to the feeling that the Ballet is one big happy family and that the audience are friends invited over to share an evening of merriment.
Costumes are so minimal in Strings 32 that the dancers appear almost naked, accentuating the human form but allowing you to focus fully on the sense of movement. Special guest artist, violinist Madeleine Antoine, appears on stage at various intervals through the performance and soothes you with her sweet music.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:28 PM
Putting a dance spin on the Winnipeg Jets' White Out crowd tradition, the company is urging the opening-night audience to dress in white because Giselle is a "ballet blanc," a "white ballet" with a stage full of ghost brides in the second act.
Principal dancer Vanessa Lawson, who has not yet performed this season because of a knee injury, has recovered and will star as the opening-night Giselle. The company is bringing in a guest artist to partner her as Prince Albrecht: Texas-born Jared Matthews, a soloist with New York's American Ballet Theatre.
Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:29 PM
The three dances in Boston Ballet’s “Simply Sublime’’ may leapfrog decades (1909 to 1972 to 2001) but they are contemporaries under the skin. They are bound by the tenets of classicism - “truth and beauty and proportion,’’ as choreographer Mark Morris once defined the term to me - torqued by the abstraction of modernism. That artistic director Mikko Nissinen brought them together on one bill was a stroke of curatorial genius.
Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:30 PM
The evening opened with Ballet Master Alex Ossadnik’s Circus. The title suggests exactly what the ballet delivered—showgirls swaying with extravagant feather fans, a shadowy magician and a love-struck pierrot fawning over a ballerina. The piece made excellent use of Dimitri Shostakovitch’s music, and Megan Ann Richardson’s glittering costumes were dazzling. The performance had a number of humorous elements, at which Artistic Director Peter Anastos hinted before the curtain was raised.
“Alex isn’t by nature a comedian,” Anastos said. “But he’s a very funny guy.”
Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:01 PM
But of course, the night belonged to 19-year-old Beckanne Sisk in the lead role of Kitri, and principal Christopher Ruud as her Basilio. Sisk was invited to join BW II last year, taken in the company this season, and was rightfully cast as lead on opening night in a role that is arguably as difficult as Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) or Odette/Odile (Swan Lake). The audience spontaneously erupted in cheers as Sisk confidently executed 32 (maybe even 38) fouteé turns connected by triple pirouettes in the grand pas de deux. Ruud’s love for moving large on the stage was never more evident. Through no fault of his own, Ruud’s usual expert partnering seemed effortful at times as he tried to rein in Sisk’s extraordinary flexibility — which appears to be her only weakness.
Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:03 PM
[Kathryn] Morgan, a former member of Mobile Ballet, returns to dance the dual role of Odette/Odile. She is joined by Seth Orza as Prince Siegfried. The company also welcomes back guest artist Ryan Carroll, who will dance the Pas de Trois with Lauren Woods and Noel Hanley, and the Neopolitan with Dailey Dexter.
The production features lavish sets designed by Ron Barrett with scenic painting and construction by William Lloyed. Costumes were designed by Winthrop Corey with millinery creation by Joy Klotz.
Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:12 PM
The show opened Thursday night at the Community Center Theater, and of all the story ballets, "Cinderella" is probably the most familiar and most beloved. This updated version comes from co-artistic director Ron Cunningham and had its world premiere in Boston in 1976.
The Sacramento staging, with a deep bow to Carinne Binda, the company's other co-artistic director, feels like new love, even as it retains the magic, romance – and humor (in big doses) – of a ballet with a rich past.
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