This program opened this past weekend, and in Robert Weiss' own words, it opened without a dress rehearsal and without an opening night. Raleigh was paralyzed last week when a severe ice storm closed down the area early Wednesday. However, despite the loss of most of their in theater rehearsals, Carolina Ballet was stunning! They opened a day late to a packed theater and received standing ovations throughout the weekend!
The program opens with Rachmaninoff. This ballet by Zalman Raffael might also be sub-titled "Love is Patient" in my opinion. It tells a touching story of a tortured man who struggles to find find love within himself. Jan Burkhard brought tears dancing with Yevgeny Shlapko, as she beautifully portrayed the essence of unconditional, ever-patient love. The corps presented a beautifully percussive backdrop, flying across the stage with bourrees fast enough to stop your heart.
Robert Weiss' ballet, Vivaldi's Four Seasons is a vivid feast for your senses. Spring surrounds you in soft "new grass" green. The corps seems to be danced by fairies whose feet barely touch the ground, and Lilyan Vigo Ellis is the epitome of loveliness dancing with Richard Krusch. Summer explodes with Eugene Barnes' powerful presence and charisma. Brilliant adagio, danced with four beautiful partners burning hot in yellow, orange and red. Autumn cools down in plums and burgundies. This season finds its pace with rhythmic canons danced by four couples and lead couple Lara O'Brien and Marcello Martinez. Winter bursts in with a storm of leaps and turns from Pablo Perez, Sokvannara Sar, and Nikolai Smirnov in icy blue and silver, then brings to mind the silence and serenity of a snow covered landscape with the statuesque beauty from the corps.
Two more weeks for this program in Raleigh. Catch it if you can!