Saturday, May 12
Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:18 AM
Millepied's "Two Hearts" followed and swiftly upstaged Martins'. In Millepied's staging, you could see an artist who understands how emotions should move, though the exact emotion he's going for here is harder to pinpoint. Biggest crowd pleaser: a series of playful freeze frames by female principal Tiler Peck. Biggest crowd confuser: singer Dawn Landes, whose voice abruptly floats into the theater to sing folk ballad "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" over the finale. Using vocals was a risky move, and an idea we'd welcome again from the Millepied/Muhly duo, but ultimately out of place here.
Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:27 AM
Clocking in at over 40 minutes, the work could use some judicious pruning. The ponderous score by Carl Czerny too often mires it in “study” mode. The lack of subtlety also makes discrepancies of ensemble timing and position glaring. But it must be fiendishly taxing to perform, like a rigorous technique class on warp drive, and overall, it showcases the technical strength of a huge cast of dancers. After a while, however, it feels like shallow virtuosity, as dancers unspool one flashy combination after the next. Jeffrey Cirio and Paulo Arrais take dazzling star turns, but it is Kuranaga whose solo moments highlight not just brilliant technique but fully developed choreography and expressive intent.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:01 AM
Doing “Romeo and Juliet” stretched the company considerably, giving the semiprofessional City Ballet Orchestra a two-hour Prokofiev score and demanding half a dozen men in featured roles.
The 41-member orchestra, conducted by John Nettles, wasn’t the San Diego Symphony — there were occasionally screeching strings and muddy winds — but they played admirably. And what a thrill to hear live music for the ballroom march with its weighted sense of destiny and for the delicate themes that accompany Juliet’s discovery of love.
Posted 15 May 2012 - 11:27 AM
If the Martins ballet was disappointing, Millepied’s Two Hearts—set to a score by Nico Muhly, the choreographer’s favorite composer—was completely discouraging. Two terrific dancers, Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle, waste their time playing a couple that seems to suffer from fear of commitment (a prevalent postmodern malady). Or is it just a fear of sex? At any rate, embedded in an ensemble that’s a dozen strong, they seem to be working their way to a gratifying ending when the subject of the ballet shifts somehow into the threat of war, with the oversensitive couple making love before the man goes out to die.
Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:07 PM
“Innovations” celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. Set at the relatively small Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, its success lies in showing audiences a more intimate side of the company.
The curiosity that sustains “Innovations” year after year fueled the TV reality show “Breaking Point” as well. Set to premiere on the CW May 31, fans get a front-row seat in observing the intimate lives of Ballet West. Sklute and many of the dancers concede there will be plenty of drama.
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