But the work stumbles in the final two sections inspired by "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Bells," perhaps because any of the Poe sources could become stand-alone dance works, given their rich imagery and melancholic themes. It races through the former (although the use of animation by Elsie Ibis for the dismemberment scene is a clever touch) and then loses focus with the latter, failing to fully key into the creeping insanity Poe evokes in his poem about unchecked grief.
Speaking of loss, the program also features the "Giselle Pas de Deux" with choreography restaged by Sewell after Marius Petipa. Gallas is the heroine who dies of a broken heart. Love interest Albrecht (Lincoln) visits her spirit in the graveyard. While the duo interprets the work ably enough each performer is tentative in approach, dancing more with the head than the heart...
Saturday, October 27
Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:42 PM
Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:45 PM
Stevenson’s “Dracula” also presents its title character in the proper way — as a monster instead of some romantic figure. There is a definite alien quality to the choreography for Dracula, that give the impression of his being not quite human — slithery slides, forceful kicks, partnering that shifts the emphasis to the man rather than the woman.
Stevenson’s choices go against every convention of the romantic lead in a story ballet, to create a most effective aura of unease around the title character. And Tulsa Ballet principal dancer Alfonso Martin, in his last season with the company, pretty much attacks this role with all the devilishness one could want.
Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:51 PM
Sklute, then co-associate director of the Joffrey Ballet, wasn’t particularly nervous about the interview. "At the time, I was being considered for the artistic directorship of the Joffrey Ballet, where I intended to stay for the rest of my career," he says.
He says he’s embarrassed to admit this now, but when he was invited to apply for the Ballet West job, he followed through mostly to find out his market value outside the company where he had spent most of his career.
Posted 27 October 2012 - 01:55 PM
The story follows the basic outline of the classic gothic novel but moves fast. The whole show is over in less than two hours. I cannot be sure, but it seems to me that some of the duets have been abbreviated, which would be a pity because they are so beautiful. Morris and Aujon are great partners and a joy to watch in every context. Thankfully, Duke and Yabumoto’s Act II duet is allowed to proceed at an almost languid pace, capturing both the couple’s pleasure in each other and a sense of sadness as if presaging the tragic events that follow. (Lucy gets bitten by Dracula, becomes a vampire and ultimately dies.)
Posted 27 October 2012 - 02:00 PM
The audience did get to see some of these dances, with the added treat of a brief appearance of Hübbe in the mimed role of the head Fakir. The chance to see that incredible performer once more was an unexpected treat. Hübbe brought seven dancers, who performed some of the highlights. (Of course, the corps had to stay home, working, Hübbe said on their ramp descending skills.) Obviously, these brief glimpses on that small stage were not a good judge of the final product, but the dancers looked engaged and committed.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:49 PM
The production contained some striking scenes. At one point in Act 1, the Sylph makes a swift and startling disappearance up a chimney shaft to escape detection. At another point, she vanishes from beneath a cloak. An Act 2 cauldron scene, in which the evil Madge (Benjamin Linn) stirs a potion surrounded by witch-like apprentices, is frighteningly effective. Effie, James' jilted fiancé portrayed by Samantha Galler, seemed simply to go with the flow of events.
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