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Mike Gunther

High Lonesome - Washington Ballet

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This was favorably reviewed in the Washington Post. My notes are from the Sat. matinee performance, with a different cast. Although a small company, Washington Ballet routinely provides two or more great casts, even for a one-week run. What a depth of talent!

The program sandwiched Trey McIntyre's High Lonesome between two icons - Balanchine's Four Temperaments and Choo-San Goh's Fives.

In the Sat. mat., Sona Kharatian was featured in Choleric (Four) and High Lonesome. Other standouts (you know there were too many to mention them all!) included Elizabeth Gaither and Luis R. Torres, burning up the stage in 3d Theme (Four); Jared Nelson's moving Phlegmatic; and Jason Hartley's "Innocent" in High Lonesome. Hartley danced this part like it was set on him (can anybody confirm this? I know he danced it earlier at Wolf Trap). His astonishing physicality and emotional projection always make him a joy to watch.

Fives, the first dance that Choo-San Goh set on the company, was last seen here ten years ago. Last week's performance was superbly coached and rehearsed for the new generation by original dancer Julie Miles. It always amazes me about this company, how fifteen individual bright stars can also dance so beautifully en ensemble when required. Thank you to Washington Ballet for keeping this great work alive!

High Lonesome, the "meat" in this choreographic sandwich, was a puzzle to me. It's been reviewed better than I can in danceviewtimes. I got the basic idea, I think, thanks to Hartley's dancing; the McIntyre character is both High and Lonesome. The other characters in this family drama were puzzling to me; I don't think McIntyre gives us enough clues to quite make sense of them.

Next month is Cinderella!

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