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Miami City Ballet in Cerritos, Calif.

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Friday mixed bill; an enjoyable evening at Cerritos Center.

The evening started with "Rubies". Had I never seen the ballet before I would have considered this performance exciting, but I have and the dancing wasn't quite angular and quirky enough. Jennifer Kronenberg and Renato Penteado starred and they were very nice. Just not angular.

15 minute intermission and then "Glinka Pas de Trois" which I had never seen. Callye Robinson, Mikhail Ilyin and Mary Carmen Catoya starred. As a trio they were lacking, but they were excellent in their solos. Ilyin stood out: very clean technique; a solid performance. Short pause, then "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux with Deanna Seay and Carlos Guerra. They did not mesh as well as one would wish, but the ballet is flashy and, as always, pleased the audience.

15 minute intermission (I keep referring to the intermission length because of late intermissions have been nearing the half-hour mark!) and then "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue". Much to my surprise I enjoyed this ballet. It's everything I don't like in ballet: no pointe work, jazzy music, no pointe work, ballet dancers trying not to look like ballet dancers, no pointe work. But the dancers did a wonderful job and they DID look like ballet dancers in spite of no pointe work. Michelle Merrell and Yann Trividic starred. If you wanted acting you had to look elsewhere but their dancing was wonderful. I have no idea what the heck the story line was but that did not take away from the enjoyment of the ballet.

Short evening; only two hours long. Villella made an appearance as the Gangster in "Slaughter...." and got healthy applause.


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Saw the Saturday evening performance of Neighborhood Ballroom. Somehow, I thought we were supposed to see the mixed rep which was actually held on Friday. There was an addition to the program explaining the story line which we didn't get until after the first act so we didn't even know what the story was about. Some quick reading during the intermission after the 2nd act and we had it figured out.

The performance was really long - four acts and an epilogue with full 15-minute intermissions between each act. I'm not certain if the training of a classical dancer really prepares one the styles of dance the choreography was based on. I think my favorite ballet companion (dancing daughter) never did recover from the disappointment that she wasn't going to see Rubies.

Overall, it was an enjoyable performance - a night watching dance is better than a lot of other things. And, I really liked the costumes.

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