This is a much-belated posting on the May 18 Spring Performance of the Colorado Ballet Academy. I don't normally bother with school recitals (except for some SAB workshops!), but this was the first by the new director, Valerie Madonia, and I was intrigued with the advance publicity that it would focus on great dancers and ballets from dance history. I'm also interested in how different companies introduce young kids to the ballet. In short: it was well worth the trip and I truly enjoyed the program.
The performance was in a large auditorium at a local high school, packed with parents and families. It used recorded music and no sets, but each group had a distinctive costume consistent with its theme. Altogether there were 23 presentations, about 3-5 minutes each, for all the different class levels and types. I was charmed by the care with which each group illustrated the look and feel of something from dance history, explained in a paragraph in the print program.
I won't slog through all of them here, but as an example: a large Ballet Level I class was inspired by Spectre de la Rose (taught and choreographed by Carolina Pahde Mallarino). The girls were dressed in white dresses, each carrying a rose. Then a young boy with a shiny red top raced through the group in various patterns and exited with the biggest jete he could muster. My favorite of the afternoon was the Ballet Level 3 (taught and choreographed by Jacob Taylor) in an excerpt inspired by Dances at a Gathering, the movement with three couples in increasingly risky lifts and throws. Other inspirations included Giselle, Dying Swan, La Bayadere, Graduation Ball, Paquita, Romeo and Juliet, and La Sylphide (as well as a few modern, tap, and jazz segments). I imagine the young students learned a lot developing their dance for the program, but I think the audience also learned a lot about the range of ballet and dance. I can't imagine how they'll top themselves in 2015!
Edited by California, 02 June 2014 - 08:38 AM.