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Atlanta Ballet

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The Atlanta Ballet opened it season Oct.18. I saw it opening night, Thursday, and it was a very exciting evening. The Atlanta Ballet opened its season with George Balanchines Serenade. The company did a great job with Serenade. The leads were danced by Julianne Kepley as Russian Girl, Hye-Young Kim as Waltz Girl and Tamila as her Waltz boy, and Emily Cook as the Elegie girl. Ms. Kepley seemed to have a great time as Russian Girl. Everything she did was dead on and exact. Hye-Young Kim fluttered around the stage with great calm and related a lot to her partner. Emily Cook is a beautiful dancer with great lines and a beautiful face. She was very nice to watch. The corps was very together and seemed very well rehearsed. They maintained clean lines and postions and had very nice footwork.

Also on the same show was a collaboration with the rock-folk group The Indigo Girls. This was an awesome event. The Indigo Girls performed live on stage with the dancers. This ballet was choreographed by Margo Sappington who did a great job with Indigo Girls songs. The company was rocking to the great sounds of the band and danced with tons of energy. The costumes and lighting were really cool as well. At the beginning we see the dancers clumped together listening and dancing to the tunes like they were at a concert. Then all of a suuden the dancers strip down from there street/concert wear revealing these awesome shimmering sexy costumes. The ballet was choreographed to seven songs. Each dance had a different theme. This was definitely an awesome program and seemed to do well with the audience. It is a must see.

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Originally posted by Basilio17:

The company did a great job with Serenade.

I'm very glad to hear this. I saw the company do Allegro Brillante on their recent tour and came away feeling that this company should not be doing Balanchine. I'm glad to know I was wrong.

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I'm glad to hear that someone else was dissapointed in Atlanta's performance of allegro. I've seen the company do it a few times, both during the Robert Barnett and the John McFall years. While Mr. Barnett was still the artistic director I always really enjoyed it and felt that the company was dead on, however, when I've seen it since McFall started directing I was disapointed in the piece. It didn't seem as sharp and crisp as it should have been.

Basilio, I'm curious about Hye-Young as the waltz girl. I always remembered her as a rather bland performer. Has she grown in her artistic abilities lately? She always had such beautiful technique, but she always left me cold.

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The company website actually includes a quote from an Atlanta-Journal-Constitution critic praising McFall for getting rid of the company's "dusty Balanchine repertory." It's not the company management's responsibility that some critic used this phrase, but it surely is their responsibility that they quote it on their web site! I'm delighted to hear that Basilio17 did not find the performance of Serenade "dusty"... Unfortunately I had to miss this program (and none of the other programs this season sound terribly appealing -- Dracula et. al.)

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Always a pleasure to see you, Drew. I agree wholeheartedly with your point about the company using that phrase ("dusty Balanchine repertory") in its publicity material. It's not atypical, unfortunately. And, unfortunately, it's very understandable that people whose only regular exposure to ballet is a company whose direction thinks of classical or neoclassical ballets as "dusty" and who read phrases like that constantly develop the same kind of thinking. (Yes, this is another one of my causes :) )

Do go to Dracula. Please. Think of the scope for imagination in writing about it :o

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Perhaps this will be a trend spanning multiple arts forms: Symphonies will abandon those moldy Mozart pieces, museums will move to the basement those grimy Georgia O'Keefes, theatres will no longer produce all that seedy Shakespeare.

Gee, what a great idea.

[ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: salzberg ]

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