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Ballet Chicago Studio Company

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Ballet Chicago Studio Company's Spring Repertory performances in Chicago this weekend included an all-Balanchine program. Artistic director Daniel Duell stepped before the curtain just long enough to tell the audience that this program would serve both to educate the young dancers and to offer the audience the opportunity to see Balanchine works that they might otherwise not be able to see. How true, on both counts.

"Serenade" was a pleasure. Sarah Hess, in particular, shone in this work (which is no doubt why she was featured on the poster and the program cover).

The excerpts from "Divertimento #15" were mostly the variations, all very well danced, especially by Alexandria Tsevis and Ted Seymour.

The "Who Cares?" excerpts featured the delightful Ms. Hess in "Stairway to Paradise" and the amazing Reginald Harris in "Liza."

Samuel Feipel (who, according to the program is 18 years old) was the rock-solid partner in control of "Tarantella" -- and he was the Rock of Gibraltar in "Concerto Barocco." His diminutive partner, Ms. Tsevis, was also a pleasure to watch, as was Shannon Yee.

Years ago, I saw Sean Lavery in what probably was his first on-stage rehearsal of "Barocco." Although I had always thought that the Balanchine-trademark interweaving arms in the second movement must be difficult, I had never realized just how difficult they actually were, until some totally confused tangles ensued. Mr. Feipel did it all effortlessly.

It was a real pleasure to see the Balanchine repertory so eagerly, carefully and affectionately rendered.

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Sorry I was not able to see the performances. I have seen them perform in the past and they do a marvelous job!

I have taught a few classes for them as a sub and the atmoshpere is wonderful. The students are taught not only fine technique, but also to use their brains in all aspects of art and life.

:)

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