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White House appearance

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While it was nice to see the President and Mrs. Bush enjoying the dancing (including his head bouncing in time to the Russian dance), I would have preferred fewer and briefer cutaways from the stage. It's like that filmed Plisetskaya Swan Lake, where lest we miss the point, the audience's rapture was a major theme of the film.

Here, the Fairy quintet emphasized the extraordinary range and talent in ABT's corps: Boone, Bystrova, Fang, Lane and Schulte. Saltstein among the Trepak. Arabian by E. Cornejo and Stappas (brightening both the President and First Lady's smiles, as well as eliciting the first spontaneous applause). I was unable to identify the three heavily made-up dancers in Chinese. H. Cornejo had a chance to do a jete-coupe or two, and Kent and Carreno were solid in the adage (no SPF variations or coda). Jose's superlative partnering talents were displayed as he increased the velocity of Julies supported pirouettes as the music grew more urgent. By then, the President's attention apparently started to flag, as he chatted with a school boy.

As shown earlier in photos, Clara/Prince: Reyes, H. Cornejo; SugarPlum/Cav: Kent, Carreno.

Afterwards, Julie's husband, beard-sporting ballet master Victor Barbee, got the presidential slap on the arm. For the photo, Laura stood very near Jose.

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I hate taking responsibility with these kinds of recommendations. So subjective.

Besides the reaction shots, flaws were the compressed dance space and the limited (but generally intelligent) camera work.

Depends how much you like the individual dancers and how extensive you want your own video library to be. My library is sparse, and I don't see myself ordering this, despite Jose's and Erica's magnificent showings. His was ever so brief.

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