Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in Ann Arbor Oct. 6 8:00 pm

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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 BolaƱos, 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

(7 dancers)

Stamping Ground (1983)

Choreography Jiri Kyian

Music Carlos Chavez

Set Jiri Kylian

Costume Heidi de Raad

Lighting Joop Caboort

Staged by Patrick Delcroix

(6 dancers)

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

(6 dancers)


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.

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