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Nine Sinatra Songs program


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I saw this program on Sat eve., Feb 5, and it was a delightful evening. All the ballets were new to me; actually, all the choreographers were too. I'm sorry that no-one else here was able to catch this program, as I'd like to know what the more knowledgable posters thought.

My main impression was that the entire evening was about real people - no gods and goddesses or fairy princesses here - just real people beautifully dancing real ballet.

The only complaint I have about this evening is that the order of the ballets was switched without any notice!! so Peter Martins' The Waltz Project opened instead of being the second ballet. Notwithstanding, I think I wouldn't have enjoyed The Waltz Project in any case. It was boring. The choreography was very pose-y (as opposed to flowing) - like a collection of stretches and positions that dancers like to do in the studio while they're waiting for their turn to do something else. Also, the audience knows that the dancers have good turn-out, we don't need this to be proved by displaying the ladies' crotches all the time. More than anything else though, there was an inexplicable aggressive nature to many of the duets, as if some kind of "Battle of the Sexes" was going on but for no good reason.?

The second ballet, 11:11, used music which is very much of the moment. Contemporary alt-pop music which obviously spoke to many in the audience, myself included, and although I enjoyed this ballet very much, I do wonder how I would react if this type of music was not part of the fabric of my daily life (as The Waltz Project music is not). The relationships in this ballet were not as starkly contrasted or as sterotypical as they were in the other ballets of the evening - for instance, in a trio of two men and a woman, the woman and one of the men did the same steps and were partnered by the other man - but also a little anonymous. This ballet gave me the feel of watching a good episode of a series like Party of Five or Everwood. I saw a very distinct generational difference between Martins and Tharp, who are of my parent's generation and Matthew Neenan, who is probably my age or a little younger.

The evening closed with Nine Sinatra Songs, which was just a ball - witty, inventive, funny, sad, effervescent (sp?). This ballet too comments on relationships- these relationships are more silver screen than TV, but they're still real people and not Hollywood goddesses. The dancers handled what seemed to be very tricky partnering with incredible grace. Oddly enough, the only couple that seemed to be struggling a little with the partnering were Arantxha Ochoa and Thomas Baltrushunas in "One for my Baby", but perhaps they were supposed to be struggling?? Julie Diana has a lovely serene mature presence in everything she dances - here she was partnered by Francis Veyette. Someone asked about him - he is listed in the Corps, but his picture doesn't appear in the Playbill. I especially liked Laura Bowman and Philip Colucci in "Somethin' Stupid" - they were heartbreakingly young and funny. They were also featured in 11:11 - looks like they're PA Ballet's up and coming couple.

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Thanks for the detailed report, GWTW --

We in SanFrancisco really are eager for word on Julie Diana, whem we really miss for her musicality and tenderness; she's an old-fashioned girl, was our best Juliet, her Giselle had dimensions to I had NEVER seen before... when she saw Bathilde's dress, it was..... we could feel her response as if from hte inside. SHe really has an imagination.

I think One more for my baby is meant to have some struggle in it -- I saw it in Berkeley 10 years ago with Tharps own company, and herself in that role -- and it was almost "Show me the way to go home", a hilarious drunken mime scene as much as a dance....

It's not politically correct to do comic drunk-acts any more, but ten years ago that wasn't so fierce; Thapr was off balance most of the time, if I remember right, and at one point I think she fell off his back (ormaybe she was just about to -- I can't remember the detail, just that it bowled me over). Was there any of this quality to it? As I recall, when ABT did the ballet the very next year it had lost most of its detail.

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