Q • In "Black Swan," Portman's character Nina Sayers has trouble coping with the pressures of portraying both the "white swan" Odette and the "black swan" Odile. But in your production, Odette and Odile are played by different dancers. Why did you decide to do it that way?
A • Because the two are completely opposite characters. The black swan is more technically challenging; the white swan is more elegant, more about the beauty of the movement. Since we have wonderful dancers in the company of both types, I just want to show off as many dancers as possible.
Saturday, April 21
Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:49 PM
Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:51 PM
Svengali may be about big ideas, but it never slacks off on the dance. The opening of the second act, announcing Trilby’s stardom, is a mindblowing, 20-minute physical marathon beneath three stylized chandeliers, with dancers entering and exiting in a flash and whisking off Paul Daigle’s sculptural robes. The vocabulary is an innovative mix of classical, en pointe jumps and lifts with off-kilter kicks, flexed feet, and such military gestures as clenched fists and poker-straight arms. The soundtrack, which jumps wildly between the likes of Sergei Rachmaninov, klezmer bands, and Richard Strauss, is a bit distractingly far-flung.
Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:08 PM
Timour Bourtasenkov, company principal dancer, re-confirmed his reputation as choreographer with “Calderiana,” a 15-minute piece to playful, jazzy works by Mexican composers. Mimicking the shapes in Calder’s “Orange Paddle Under the Table,” Alain Molina in gleaming white and Lilyan Vigo in bright orange coupled into various counterbalanced positions, Vigo often upside down or entangled in Molina’s arms. Four men in black sometimes supported Vigo for more complicated contortions. These arresting combinations were counterpointed by Margaret Severin-Hansen and Pablo Javier Perez as cat figures (based on Calder’s “Chat-Mobile”), teasing and gamboling about. The contrasts of elegance and humor made for an unusual but satisfying work.
Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:11 PM
Coomer exhibited remarkable focus and strength of character as the Greek god, summoning three of his muses, Terpsichore (Carolyn Judson), Polyhymnia (Katelyn Clenaghan) and Calliope (Lainey Logan). The ballet's famous poses -- the muses' legs stem out, nautiluslike, from Apollo's body -- were breathtaking, and the arm-linking section was a study in perfectly timed movement between four interlocked dancers.
But Coomer's ballet Evolving was a cliche, beginning with Parents (Leticia Oliveira and Alexander Kotelnets) giving birth to a Daughter (Heather Kotelenets) who later meets her first love, the Young Boy (Jomanuel Velazquez). It did offer some lovely, quiet partnering and mirroring, but the use of a set piece, a door, was a too obvious metaphor. Beautiful dancing from the cast, though. (Tonight's cast is the same; Sunday afternoon's will change).
Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:31 AM
Stevenson’s Bartok Concerto then brought the kind of pure abstraction that Balanchine developed after Apollo. Highlighted by high lifts, it featured seven couples interpreting the composer’s 1945 Piano Concerto No. 3 in a series of sensual duets and muscular group dances.
The festival continues next weekend with Stevenson’s Marilyn Monroe-inspired Image, Val Caniparoli’s Bach-meets-African-rhythm Lambarena, and The Finding, a world premiere from TBT company member Peter Zweifel.
Margaret Putnam's review from TheaterJones.
It was a Carl Coomer event. A busy man, he did double duty Friday night, first as a mortal choreographer and later as a god in Apollo, in the opening of the first weekend of Texas Ballet Theater's Portraits Ballet Festival at the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Wyly Theatre. (At Sunday's performance, he'll also appear in the third work, Bartók Concerto.)
The comparison was all the more striking as Coomer came out for a bow at the end of his new work, Evolving, wearing jeans and untucked blue shirt, looking very much a mortal—granted, a very handsome mortal. In Apollo, he appeared in the briefest of white diagonal-cut toga that showed off every taut muscle. Bold gestures described a god very much in command.
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