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Saturday night at the Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia, SC was the annual "Lifechance" performance, which brings in guest artists from around the country to benefit different charities...

I went all excited and left utterly dissapointed...

It opened with a very confusing version on Carmina Burana performed by a small local company, the Columbia Classical Ballet. Kinda boring, looked like they were worshiping some Papa Johns pizza hanging from the rafters, but whatever....

Act 2 -

Valse Fantasie.... now i LOVE VF... i performed it when i was 13 back home, so was way excited.... and Alexei Borovik from Penn Ballet was marvelous, and Bonnie Pickard performed well as the female lead. However, the corps was another story. not to sound harsh, but putting it nicely they were dumpy and frumpy. overweight russian trained girls trying to do Balanchine. eek.

Grand Pas Classique -

Misty Copeland and Julio Bragado-Young from ABT...

She had saving grace in her gorgeus Paloma feet and nice fouettes in the coda, but she struggled through her variation, and overall neither had any spark. He hobbled through some turns a la second and ended in a single, we all looked at each other like "they dance for ABT?" overall, a HUGE dissapointment

Apollo -

Gasp. Beautiful. Arantxa Ochoa and Alexei Borovik from Penn Ballet were stunning. it was so moving i almost cried. my southern friend said though "that girl needs to eat a biscuit"

Diana and Acteon -

Joseph Phillips showed some great tricks, but thats all it was. tricks. run run run trick. run run run trick. maybe the in between stuff and port de bras will come with age... hes only 17. lots of potential. Margaret Severin-Hansen from Carolina Ballet was adorable... a little sprite of a thing.. not the most talanted dancer ive ever seen, but enjoyable just the same...

Don Q Pas -

Pollyanna Ribeiro and Christopher Budyzinski from Boston Ballet brought the house down.... she was itsy bitsy, not even 5 feet and a little spitfire.... fouettes with the fan... LOVE IT! he was impressive as well.....

and that was it.... overall i felt cheated... especially by ABTs dancers... hmm.... im glad my ticket was free

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Thanks for the review, embunhead. It must be disappointing for those who seldom get to see top-level ballet to go to a gala expecting the best and find something less.

About the ABT dancers — they are young dancers from the corps and usually don't get a chance to do a bravura pas de deux. You can't expect star quality from them. Perhaps they'll become stars some day, and then you can say that you Saw Them When.

Joseph Phillips, is he the young man who won the Jackson competition last year?

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yes, joseph phillips did win at jackson, and i can see why, he is impressive - he just lacks maturity and depth in his dancing. it kinda reminded me of a starpower competition. which unfortunatly is what is happening to alot of ballet... its being a contest of kick run run kick switch leap eight pirouettes, and not about BALLET and its beauty. granted as a 20 year old proffessional i want my extension higher and my triples to be qaudruples.... but you better believe i also want to be a convincing Giselle or Odile...to me nothing is more rewarding than becoming your character, as well as dancing the difficult rep. rite now our company is rehearsing with Paul Sutherland for Rodeo... FUN FUN FUN! :)

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Ah, Pollyana Ribeiro is one of my absolute favorites, and she is really teensy.

I have been seeing her dance in Boston since her first year in the corps, and she stood out even then.

Sadly, she's not often cast for the Sunday matinees these days. :-(

If I understand the concept of phrasing correctly, she is a dancer whose phrasing really stands out.

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