We are talking "Cinderella", Ben Stevenson's first full-length ballet and the first one he created in this country after having moved here from his native England. In its Ballet San Jose company premiere, this full-evening production -- on loan from American Ballet Theater -- will wave its crooked magic wand at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday. And, even with all its faults, may it return soon.
In his career, Stevenson would go on to create other story ballets, from the poignant "Snow Maiden" to the spectacular "Dracula." But "Cinderella" is by far his most popular work, in constant demand around the world -- even though it's not his best endeavor. The choreography is often threadbare, the humor crude and the magic too often but a momentary glimpse of what could be.
Saturday, May 5
Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:31 PM
Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:32 PM
OK, maybe not in the story, but 27-year-old, Canadian-born Marc Petrocci, who created the role of Peter two years ago in the Milwaukee Ballet's production of Michael Pink's "Peter Pan," will recreate the role in MB's return production of "Peter" next weekend with two more years of life and dancing under his belt.
Since the 2010 world-premiere production, Petrocci has faced the possibility of never dancing again. "I had a rather serious knee injury in January of last year," Petrocci said. "Every day since, I've been back has been a day of loving the chance to dance again. But to get the chance to do the role of my career again is just amazing."
Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:36 PM
Although it seemed the evening would serve up works by master choreographers, it instead offered sublime ballets by only two genuine choreographic masters -- George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Rounding out the program was a fun piece by the company's former artistic director, Todd Bolender, and a work by the famously mediocre, unimaginative dance-maker Peter Martins. (He had a distinguished career as a dancer with the New York City Ballet and now is its ballet master-in-chief, but for most New York critics, having to watch a Martins ballet is a dreaded event.)
The reason KC Ballet's artistic director William Whitener programmed Martins among such illustrious company quickly becomes apparent. Martins's "Les Gentilhommes," a ballet for nine men, set to Handel's "Concerto Grosso," provides a perfect showcase for the troupe's male contingent.
Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:40 PM
The evening starts with the dancers moving like angels to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In the next part, they embody the sadness of loss as they move to the music of Henryk Górecki. By the third section, to the stirring sounds of Glass and Shankar, the dancers once again soar as they embody the bliss of movement.
"Mozart at the beginning of the show opens up the space and gives you a feeling that is a ballet show," Navas said. "I call it Annunciations. I love the fact that Annunciations is very angelic - very divine in a way."
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