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Colorado Ballet "Rodeo", "Rubies", "A Little

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Last night I had the opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal of Colorado Ballet's new evening of dance, which opens officially today at the historic Paramount Theatre.

Almost every ballet company is doing something to celebrate the Balanchine centennial, and Colorado Ballet is no exception. This is a troupe that doesn't have a strong Balanchine connection, but they pulled off "Rubies", the middle section of Balanchine's full evening show "Jewels", with style and grace. This piece is purely music (Stravinsky) and movement, and a little quirky. Igor Vassin and Maria Mosina danced the lead roles.

Comparing your own choreography to Balanchine's is a bold statment, but Colorado Ballet artistic director Martin Fredmann accepted the challenge by staging his own "A Little Love" as the 2nd act of the evening. Unlike Balanchine's pure movement scenario, this piece addresses loss as an inevitable part of a loving relationship. Colorado Ballet newcomer Chauncy Parsons is a delight as he throws huge battements with a very soft touch. I enjoyed this work tremendously, and it is a great counterpart to Balanchine's "Rubies". Opposite Parsons, Sharon Wehner danced the female lead with her usual style.

Koichi Kubo, Colorado Ballet's whirling dervish is still recovering from his torn ligament suffered last summer, but reports from within Colorado Ballet indicate he is starting to regain his lost form in class.

I ducked out before the final act of the evening, "Rodeo". As the only ballet with a known reputation, it's bound to be the reason local audiences buy tickets to the show, but I've seen Colorado Ballet do this piece before, and have no desire to repeat. DeMille's choreography is overwrought, and whenever I hear Copeland's music, all I can think is "Beef, it's what's for dinner."

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