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BBC"S first program

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last week is over and I'm really surprised that I haven't seen any comments on Boston Ballet's opening program.

I was wondering if anyone had been to see the Balanchine mixed rep program and what they thought.

I saw it over the weekend and thought the company looked really good.

I was impressed with the cleanliness of the corps de ballet in Divertimento on the night I Iwent. Everyone was where they were supposed to be. My one criticism for them would be to enjoy dancing more, but I think most of them were new to the company, so I'll chaulk it up to nerves...

I saw the Martins premire and had mixed emothions. I thought it was a bit long, but the dancers were great.It was a buit repetitive towards the end, but maybe I was just tired.

Rubies was nicely danced, but I felt it was a bit too nice.

I am impressed with the level of dancing that Mikko has brought to the company and my only issue is the lack of color to go with it.

He did hire a young man from Dance Thetre of Harlem and I think that it fantastic, but there are no true women of color left in the company and it worries me for furure generations....

Yes there is a good number of Latin dancers in the company and a few Asians, but in my opinion, the company cannot truely reach the greatness it craves if it remains exclusive....

This is not to say that they don't want diversity, I just think they should try something else to bring Black dancers in...

This isn't meant to be a political thread or anything like that... I am a great fan of the company and want to see it reach greatness. I thought they looked great last week and can't wait to see" Taming"..:

I have always felt that they could do more ..Take more chances with people and maybe they'll surprise you...

But this first program was a good startig off point for the company ....I just hope it continues to do good things.

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My daughter and I attended the Saturday matinee.

Divertimento No. 15 appeared very well executed to these (untrained) eyes. Lia Cirio, in Boston Ballet II last year and since promoted to the corps, was one of the featured dancers. I always enjoy Sabi Varga and his very long limbs.

Next was Peter Martins new work, Distant Light. We saw Pollyana Ribeiro with Mindaugas Bauzys, Christopher Budzynski and Raul Salamanca. The piece began with the female dancer writhing on her back, then rising, appearing to me as a someone awaking from a dream. She then danced with each of the three men in turn, with many lifts and poses. At one point, she was balanced over the shoulder of the man as he danced across the floor. The men danced together briefly. Ribeiro was on stage for virtually the entire 30 minutes. The piece ended with the woman, alone, returning to her writhing position on the floor.

I especially enjoyed the part where Ribeiro danced with Bauzys, as the movement was more extensive and fluid. Another interesting bit was where Ribeiro was spinning in the center of the group of men, and the “centrifugal force” moved them out from her.

The costumes were a bit Flintstone-ish, perhaps forming the basis of my (13-year old) daughter’s interpretation of the piece – “It’s the stone age, and the men are fighting over the last woman on earth.”

I found the violin music plaintive, in contrast to the Boston Globe, which found it “whining.”

The piece was very well received by the audience, which gave it a standing ovation.

Last was Balanchine’s Rubies. This was the first time I had seen this piece. In my view, this piece is very hard to “pull off,” as it is a combination of Stravinsky music, ballet, other types of dance (jazz, chorus line) and other movement (jumping rope, crouching to start a race, jogging). Perhaps a tongue-in-cheek or bemused approach is necessary, which I felt was present with the leads (Romi Beppu and Jared Redick). But the female soloist (Sacha Wakelin) played it straight, as did the corps. I was left with the feeling that the corps wasn’t feeling the music the way I would have wished.

The performance was very well attended, especially in comparison to repertory performances of the past two years.

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