I was able to attend the 7:00 pm performance yesterday, and was completely blown away. There was a wide range of different ballets and dance, with works by Balanchine, Petipa, Paul Taylor, and many others.
Sean Lavery spoke to introduce the performance, telling how as a young boy, the only boy in his class he learned Swan Lake alongside the girls, because Marcia said it would be good for him, and when he was old, he could stage Swan Lake. Before each person danced, a video clip of that person dancing in earlier years as a CPYB student was shown. (for example: a tiny Abi Stafford perfectly executing the Corsaire variation with the all the arabesques into pirouettes) Also included were video clips and hellos from those stars who could not make it to the show (Grant Delong, Adrienne Shulte, Tina LeBlanc, Heather Jurgenson, Vanessa Zahorian, Kristin Long)
On to the actual dancing. It was amazing! I particularly liked the White Swan Pas de Deux, performed by Lia Cirio and James Whiteside, Carrie Imler in the variation from Stars and Stripes, a fun African-themed piece performed by Sherri LeBlanc, and Nh'amor by Laszlo Berdo performed by Zachary Hench and Julie Diana. Noelani Pantastico was glowing in the pas de deux from A Midsummer Night's Dream (partnered by Jeffrey Stanton). However, my favorite moment of the evening was Ashley Bouder's grand pas de chats. From seemingly out of nowhere, she was all of a sudden high in the air, and the straight leg was next to her head. It was amazing There was a collective gasp from the audience.
I couldn't find much wrong with the performance, but I will say that CPYB's excellent technique and training pay off. The dancers from CPYB were mostly stronger and freer because of their technique. Without mentioning names (because I'm not a real critic yet :shhh: ) there were some (but not all) guests I wasn't impressed with.
At the end of the performance, Alan Hineline choreographed a sort of finale for all the CPYB alumnus and 6 young CPYB students. Marcia was brought up the stage, given a very long standing ovation, 3 huge flower bouquets, and lavendar and gold balloons cascaded down onto the stage. She was very humble and seemed overwhelmed. Thank you, Marcia!