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Dance Theater of Harlem at Jacob's Pillow

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Some brief observations about a most delightful day! I saw the DTH matinee today at The Pillow and they were truly wonderful. I'm feeling all aglow right now from the experience. The company danced Agon, Black Swan Pas De Deux, Alvin Ailey's Lark Ascending, Far But Close and Return, and the eighteen dancers very beautifully demonstrated they could handle this diverse repertoire. Agon and Lark Ascending (which was danced en pointe) were especially great. Agon had the look and execution of solid, good Balanchine technique and the dancers understood the piece (and should, considering its director emeritus); it was uplifting to see it performed so well. I was especially on the lookout for Michaela DePrince, seeing her for the first time and I liked what I saw. The centerpiece pas de deux was gorgeously performed by Alexandra Jacob and Da'Von Doane.

The dancing in Lark Ascending was lyrical and poetic. Black Swan, performed by Ashley Murphy and Francis Lawrence, was so much fun and the choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes after Petipa/Sergeyev, was, well, exciting! Perhaps I can't help but feel excited every time I see that pdd. I was accompanied by two good frineds and their three 5 yr old grandchildren, and these kids were quite enchanted.

I don't know much about Far But Close, an urban love story in dance, words and music (Allleyn/Beaty/Roumain), but it was great to watch and very moving, too. Return, music by Aretha Franklin and James Brown, is a blast. And shows how ballet can work with anything. You should see those dancers move to that ballet!

To end, the dancers were terrific, with Ms. DePrince, Gabrielle Salvetto, Ashley Murphy, and Da'Von standing out in my mind right now. And they day wouldn't have been complete without my good friends, especially these children, enjoying this marvelous company!

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