Program 4

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Tonight I went to MCB's Program 4 at the Kravis in West Palm Beach. It was a great mixture of classical ballet and modern dance. Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15 was mostly classical with a few modern combinations of steps. Then, Taylor's Arden Court was more like modern dance doing an homage to classical ballet. Finally, Balanchine's Who Cares? which uses classical ballet vocabulary danced to Gerschwin songs with jazzy touches to the dancing. It was a great night.


I will report more tomorrow after I see a matinee.  Having drinks with a friend. 

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I will try to write down some thoughts about last night and today's matinee. I enjoyed both performances more than I thought I would.


Divertimento No. 15 is one of the "classical" Balanchine ballets, and I love it. The series of variations followed by a mini-duet for each couple (using two of the men twice) is beautiful. However, each exiting couple causes audience applause for the exiting couple as each entering couple comes on-stage. I have never minded applause in ballet during the music except in this ballet. It is a beautiful adagio moment, and the exits as another couple enters is gorgeous, so the applause is annoying. Usually applause happens during bravura moments in ballet when the music is loud and fast and you never feel like you are missing an important mood, but in the case of this ballet, it ruins the mood, in my opinion.


I have always hated the applause in opera when the curtain goes up and the audience applauds the sets basically (sets are usually much more three dimensional and opulent than in ballet). But overall, except for the ends of arias during opera the music is viewed as so important that very little is applauded until the music stops.


With that said, in my opinion, the stand outs on Saturday night were Nathalia Arja and Jeanette Delgado. I love their spicy personalities even in a fairly demure ballet. It occurred to me that I would love to see what Arja could do with the role of Kitri one day. Today Jennifer Lauren was the standout.


I saw Arden Court once before when the Taylor company toured Florida, and I remembered liking it, but I couldn't remember much about it. This time I felt like it is a very playful piece with bodies becoming either obstacles to jump over or clear a leg over, or attempts at avoiding a touch, etc. It looks like ballet, but everything is fresh and different. Very unique versions of lifts, turns, pas de chats, barrel turns, brises voles, etc. Interesting balances too for the men. It is almost like how ballet might turn out in a parallel universe. The MCB audience loved the work both days and seemed to give it more applause than the other works.


Who Cares? is hard not to like. Most of the Gershwin songs are so well known, and the dancing is classical ballet vocabulary. It may look modern and sound modern (for ballet), but the dancing itself is very classical to my eyes. On Saturday night I loved Kleber Rebello, who I think has the best arms in the company. He is always technically great, is handsome, and very elegant. Jennifer Lauren wowed me during her "Fascinating Rhythm" solo. But then at the Sunday matinee I thought Patricia Delgado had a sexier charisma during that solo and her pas de deux with Renan Cerdeiro. Both are wonderful dancers, and I will miss Patricia Delgado since she is moving to NY (I assume to be with her boyfriend Justin Peck). So maybe that caused me to want to see Patricia Delgado as the more exciting dancer, because I actually think Jennifer Lauren was wonderful too.

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