Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Saturday, 6 October 2012, 8pm
Power Center Theatre, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University of Michigan
Artistic Director, Tom Mossbrucker
Executive Director, Jean-Phillipe Malaty
Artists: Craig Black, Katherine Bolaños, Paul Busch, Samantha Klanac
Campanile, Sam Chittenden, Katie Dehler, Seth DelGrasso, Nolan DeMarco
Mc Gahan, Emily Proctor, Seia Rassenti, Joseph Watson
Square None (2012)
Choreography Norbert De La Cruz III
Music Alva Noto & Ryutchi Sakamoto, Michelle Ross,
G. F. Handel, Aphex Twin
Costume Austin Scarlett
Lighting Seah Johnson
Stamping Ground (1983)
Choreography Jiri Kyian
Music Carlos Chavez
Set Jiri Kylian
Costume Heidi de Raad
Lighting Joop Caboort
Staged by Patrick Delcroix
Over Glow (2011)
Choreography Jorma Elo
Music F. Mendelssohn & L. van Beethoven
Costume Nete Johnson
Lighting Jordan Tuinman
Ass'tant to J. Elo Nancy Euverink
The dancers were splendid in the works they were tasked to
perform. Gracile of limb and of personality, articulate, and technically virtuosic, all eleven dancers are top drawer. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
gave an auspicious 'show' to this crisp autumn evening in Ann Arbor.
Of the choreographies in performance I have nothing significant to say. All are of the genre that can be seen as 'contemporary ballet' (i.e, not 'archaic ballet').
The dancers were ebullient and the joy was ours.
At the end of the Saturday performance the University of Michigan announced a Q & A session with the director Tom Mossbrucker with an interviewer from the university faculty.
Tom explained that, since, neither he nor Jean-Philippe didn't choreograph, the progress of the company needed choreographers to function. The need for 'contemporary ballet', which he explained, is a must for a ballet company.
A question was posed by a viewer, stating that the cast performed the 'contemporary' ballet choreography winningly, but in fact there was no pointe work in any of the three works presented that evening. Does that mean that 'contemporary' means the abolition of 'toe' dancing'?
Mr Mossbrucker insisted that the company is a ballet company; all the company has been recruited from classical ballet schools. Every day, he states, the dancers participate in a ballet class--- the women practicing with pointe slippers during the class.
After that he told of an anecdote. When Jorma Elo was first invited to create a work for ASFB, he asked him whether he would like to create a pointe work. He responded that first he wanted to create the work in soft shoe, and then he would add the pointe work.
Once he added the pointe, he didn't like it. He took the pointe work out and titied the ballet "Pointe Off'.
From my insignificant viewpoints, I did like Over Glow for the grandiloquence of its two musical choices. The program notes quote Mr Elo: "When one thinks of death, you think something stops. But nothing stops. The machinery keeps on going. Is it sad, or beautiful? I don't know".
I don't know either, but the adages are beautiful.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in Ann Arbor Oct. 6 8:00 pmPower Center Theatre, University of Michigan
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