ABT Vs. Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Posted 18 February 2003 - 10:11 PM
Posted 19 February 2003 - 07:36 AM
Posted 19 February 2003 - 08:31 AM
I will admit, although I loved the color scheme of the costumes, They were a bit over the top. What were those two wearing on their heads! As you said Samba38 "One tiny super where's some overpowering thing on her head that must have been a cabbage in a prior life."
Posted 19 February 2003 - 08:35 AM
Posted 19 February 2003 - 02:07 PM
Now, I have to add nice stuff i forgot although I should be slapped silly for forgetting Frederick Franklin as a luminous, frail and riveting friar. What a treat! Ferri was a laser beam of emotions from her huge eyes to her perfect feet. The brunettes all faired best under the lights (and they didn't have horrid headgear) so you could enjoy Ethan Brown's powerful Tybalt, De Luz's fearless Mercutio, and the intriguing promise -- no dancing just promising posture but that's the choreographer -- of the fellow playing the denied suitor, Carlos I-don't-have-my-Program., with a sense of arrogance and menace. Alas, Boca was pretty beige. I've seen him better. His whole performance was in his legs.
Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:00 AM
But what was worse were the things that couldn't be blamed on performing circumstances. ABT's dancers are given no help with their mime, which is so important to a narrative ballet (which comprise a hefty portion of the company's repertoire). You couldn't tell the difference between the aristocrats and the peasants (except for Gennady Saveliev as Paris, who knew what he was doing), and in the crowd scenes there was nothing going on, no sense of life and activity and humanity.
Xiomara Reyes danced well and in the third act showed sensitivity and imagination in her acting. Unfortunately, however, when she is called upon to act happy, there is the problem of her smile. She has a large mouth and when she smiles, it seems to take over her whole face. Perhaps she could try smiling with her mouth closed; this might give her greater range.
I was disappointed in Angel Corella. His dancing was OK, but his bulky, overdeveloped lower body is at odds with his normal upper body, making him look like a demi-caractère dancer. He didn't characterize Romeo at all — he was romantic, playful, anguished, etc., at the appropriate times, but it never hung together. I didn't know who this Romeo was and why I should care about him. And for all the performances they've done together, Reyes and Corella showed no chemistry at all.
Herman Cornejo, whom I've admired in other roles, was also a big disappointment as Mercutio. He played the character as a punk from the gutter, not as a randy, rip-snorting young aristocrat with wit and imagination. When he finally died, after prolonged death throes, the audience actually applauded, instead of being moved to silence.
It's too bad the company and the Kennedy Center chose to mount this ballet, and in the Concert Hall, for ABT's annual engagment. I would have preferred a good mixed bill in the Eisenhower Theater.
Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:34 AM
Posted 20 February 2003 - 08:34 AM
First Lady apparently went backstage during the first intermission and said hello to the dancers.
But she missed Bocca/Ferri's "tragic death scene" because she left after the 2nd intermission.
"The Bushes go to bed after 9 p.m., and it's already 10" said an ABT organizer.
Posted 20 February 2003 - 09:24 AM
I was there last night, but won't comment until after my review appears, which won't be until after the run.
Posted 21 February 2003 - 10:03 AM
Posted 21 February 2003 - 11:09 AM
Glad I'm seeing Week 1 of the International Festival rather than Week 2.
Posted 21 February 2003 - 11:41 AM
Posted 21 February 2003 - 02:38 PM
One challenge the dancers shared was the venue of Kennedy Center's Concert Hall. With the orchestra being behind the dancers, they noted a few difficulties in not being able to take visual cues from the conductor and the other way around. With no front curtain, nor wing curtains, nor drops the set for the entire ballet was much more rigid and added some challenges in that respect also. Some of the dancers were also a bit unnerved with how close they actually were to the audience. Being able to see faces and human actions in the audience made it more difficult for some to project out and up.
The panel also took on a few questions at the end of the talk, one of which asked how dedicated ABT was to sticking to Kenneth MacMillan's choreography. They shared that they are very dedicated to keeping it true mentioning that it was carefully chosen who recently set the choreography on the dancers (it had been few years since ABT has performed R&J) and that Mrs. MacMillan still occasionally attends ABT's performances.
I enjoyed the performance. The Verona market place was highlighted by some great corp sword play. At the end of this scene, the company deftly stood around the "dead" during the black out so they could discretely exit. I felt they handled the fact of not having any curtain very well throughout the performance.
Xiomara Reyes debut as Juliet was stunning from beginning to end. She started out convincing me she was a spirited 14 year old sprite and by the end of the performance that she carried the weight of a young lady who had seen to much tragedy for someone her age.
Angel Corella's Romeo was in good form by never disappointing the audience with his sharp chainÚs and beautiful attitude turns. The pas de trio prior to the Ballroom seemed a bit unbalanced. Herman Cornejo's Mercutio was technically razor sharp throughout the entire performance (so glad they gave the lead in the Mandolin Dance back to Mercutio this run). Sascha Radetsky's first shot at Benvolio was a bit bland. He was technically not as clean as his other 2 Montague buddies and eventually blended into the background.
The balcony pas de deux was lovely but seemed just a hair rushed in a few places. Might this because the orchestra was behind the stage? I did notice conductor David LaMarche paying close attention by looking over his shoulder during the end of Act ll but was too caught up in the dancing to notice during the balcony pas.
Other dancers that stood out in this performance were Erica Cornejo (Harlot) and Misty Copeland (Juliet's Friend). ABT's corp has always impressed me and they did so even more this performance. It is my pleasure to see a corp that works as a corp instead of a group of individuals as I have seen in NYCB.
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