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Macaulay at Miami City Ballet


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The Alistair Macaulay piece is in today's NY Times. It's not so much a performance review as a statement of impressions. Positive about the dancing; rather negative about elements of Scarlett's choreography.

Changes at the Top, but the Dancers Endure

It’s always a delight to revisit the company; these dancers flood the auditorium with warmth, finesse and pride in their work.
Macauley singles out Catoya, Jeanette Delgado, and Rebello, along with Emily Bromberg, Jennifer Lauren, Nathalia Aria, and Chase Swatosh. Duo Concertant isn't discussed, except in general terms, nor does he refer to what I thought to be the most powerful performances of the weekend -- Patricia Delgado and (especially) Renan Cedeiro -- in that work. I do love his comment on the ballet itself ...
“Duo Concertant” surprises its audience even more: Balanchine leaves parts undanced, like a radical painter who knows where to leave the canvas untouched, sketches in other parts with what feels like utter spontaneity, and then confounds expectation with an astonishing male-female drama indicating love, inspiration and devotion.

Macaulay's response to Euphotic is more single-dimensional than I would have liked, but I do get and mostly agree with his point:

Mr. Liebermann’s concerto has four movements; onstage, each of the first three features a different woman. In the first, the ballerina gets hauled around by one man, in the second, one soloist receives more intense treatment from four men (the way they flip, throw and drop her is particularly disagreeable), and in the third, a second female soloist is continually manipulated by two men.

This was indeed jarring. To watch Sara Esty (and Zoe Zien in the other cast) being hauled around and finally tossed (and dropped) as if in a blanket was awkward and ugly on several levels. No wonder this woman, at other times in the movement, seems to be expressing something like anger, as she races back and forth across the stage, avoiding contact with her colleagues and often not even acknowledging them. The lift-obsessed trio I mentioned above is another example of "manhandling," though my own objection was more aesthetic than moral.

I was interested in Macaulay's implication that this particular element seems tailored for Miami, while it is not present in Scarlett's work for the Royal. Why Miami, I wonder? And -- if Macaulay is correct -- why do the Miami dancers (including the the women, who are given a great deal of dancing) love dancing Scarlett's two Miami pieces so much?

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Bart, there really isn't much I can say about this review, not having been there. I will add, though, as I mentioned at the other thread, that I saw Liam Scarlette's "Viscera" at least twice when it debuted in West Palm Beach and liked it very much.

I do agree totally with his final statement.

"It’s always a delight to revisit the company; these dancers flood the auditorium with warmth, finesse and pride in their work."

[Added comment: "Manhandling" of the women would indeed be disagreeable to me as well. Having not seen this work, I can't really comment on it here. I will say that I've seen instances or resemblances of it in Balanchine, Robbins and Tharp and am always very uncomfortable when it happens.]

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