I went to Friday's performance of Program 1 and Saturday's matinee performance for Program 2. I thought it was a nice start to the season - energetic and and optimistic.
The corps ladies did well, very pretty and together. Daniel D-O was sloppy, missing a few turns, and jumps. The soloist ladies were also together and beautiful. Sasha de Sola has gorgeous legs, a great smile, and lots of sunshine, but I found her arms a bit too wristy. I think it would have benefitted her to find a little more steel in her dancing. Carlo di Lanno seemed nervous and wasn't really smiling. He had a few wobbles but overall was fine. Helgi's choreography never really does it for me, it's an opportunity to see the technique and talent of different dancers in the company. The program notes described it as a garden party, light and happy, and that was definitely the case.
This piece had excellent lighting and set. The white curtains acting as legs made everything different and were striking while still being simple. The set piece in the back was the same - a perfect amount of "something" without being too over the top. The music was beautiful, full of contrasts. Sofiane Sylve has powerful, vigorous legs - her arabesque is so striking. Dores Andre also showed a lot of power. Koto had a chance to shine in her solo in the third movement, but Dores and Sofiane definitely drew the eye. The chaos of the beginning was so interesting and both the first and third movement were constantly entertaining. There was some really interesting partnering, and some parts where the whole company's arms and legs were isolated and powerful. This was an excellent commission.
In the Countenance of Kings
I saw this last season and continue to be impressed by the orchestration. While Peck's choreography has moments of excitement, there are some parts that are too cutesy and coy for me. Mugamba had a hefty weekend of dancing, here as a soloist with gorgeous extensions. De Vivo and Strong made good impressions. Maria K had her debut in this. She is incredible, but I don't think this piece is her strongest suit.
I was excited to see a Ratmansky piece, but this choreography let me down. A few exciting moments, like when the women are doing chaine turns and their arms travel up over their heads, but overall the relationship aspects of the piece felt forced. There was a competing motif of some Russian character dancing. The six dancers I saw - Lorena Feijóo, Tiit Helimets, Dores André, Francisco Mungamba, Vanessa Zahorian, and Steven Morse were all confident and professional. They made it fun to watch because everyone was performing at such a high level. Unfortunately, Lorena had a loose ribbon or bandage during her pas de deux which was a little distracting but Tiit was a very good partner and it was nice to see him dance.
This piece was quite interesting, and I need to see it again to judge. It was awesome to see so many of the male dancers showcased, but Possokhov is always a little kitschy to me. The costumes on the men were good - sailor shirts and pants, although Luke Ingham's jacket was bulky. Lorena's costume was a black pageboy wig, black leather jacket, black skirt, and black pointe shoes. The overall effect was arresting, but perhaps mismatched to the rest of the scene. Possokhov seems to love projections and most of them worked in this, and also seems to love the idea of a woman in danger too. The set pieces of the boat and the hammocks were well used and effective. The music was fine. The plot was not always clear especially if you hadn't read the program notes. In terms of choreography, when the ensemble was working together it was pretty amazing. Lorena had a lot to do and at times I wish it had been simplified so she could have made more of an impression. There were some creative lifts. Taras Domitro made the biggest impression of the day - he bolted out of the wings and every step was powerful, clean, and exciting.
I was originally not looking forward to seeing this, as I saw it last year and was disappointed. I felt that the music was so distracting that it was difficult to enjoy. However, when I saw it this time, the music didn't annoy me as much and I was able to see how stellar Forsythe's choreography really is. The sets, which remind me of James Turrell are used well. My other gripe is with the men's costuming. The ladies are striking in their colorblocked leotards, but some of the men are wearing ridiculous glitter tanks, which do not match anything. Benjamin Freemantly and Wei Wang did great, and I wished for more Maria K. Jen Stahl was also a great opener for the piece.