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From Houston to The World


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I saw the performance of From Houston to the World this afternoon. It had three parts:

ONE/end/ONE, choreographed by Jorma Elø to Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 in D. This had classic staging and costumes, with the ladies in short black tutus with gold embroidery and the men in black tunics and tights. The choreography, however, was much more modern, with a lot of circular movements of the arms, lifts done by the men from behind with rigid arms under the ballerinas' armpits, and repetitive motifs. It was very good; all of the dancers were sharp and Aaron Robinson, in particular, was really good with great height in his leaps and Yuriko Kajiya was just brilliant.

The second element was Murmuration, choreographed by Edward Liang to the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Ezio Bosso. The ladies wore blue-grey bodysuits with smoke-tone ombré over panels and the men wore long grey flowing trousers, no tunic or shirt. Let me preface this by saying that I've been in the grip of a migraine headache for over 18 hours and my pain meds wore off somewhere between ONE/end/ONE and the beginning of Murmuration -- and that my general preference is toward classical and away from modern music and choreography. That being said this was quite simply brilliant. To call it marvelous would not convey the clarity of the movements, the precision of the pairing, or the sheer intelligence that I saw in the tension and intensity of the dancers. This was glorious, every dancer was great, and the work both solo and together was tight and beautifully done. At times it reminded me of Glass Pieces at the SF Ballet; and that's high praise from me. As I was watching this I thought -- this will go down with me as one of the best performances I have ever seen, and one of the few where my lingering regret is that I couldn't turn around and see it again immediately to capture the nuances I missed on my first viewing.

The last piece was Paquita, and it was extraordinary -- clearly one of the best performances of this piece that I've seen. I know that most of us have seen this before, some of us many times, but I will still say that this was a brilliant performance. Every dancer was on the top of his/her game today; they were sharp, focused, and precise in all of the parts, whether it was the opening and closing parts or the individual variations. I will single out the pas de trios, where Derek Dunn, Christopher Gray, and Hayden Stark managed to achieved a level of unison in their dancing that I have given up expecting even at companies like the SF Ballet. Karina Gonzalez, as the principal ballerina, was spectacular, throwing off two series of fouettés en tournant with a brilliant smile, as if to say -- see how wonderful! She was marvelously paired with Charles-Louis Yoshiyama, who was wonderful in his solo passages as well. There was joy and verve in their dancing, and each one projected real energy and enjoyment, and the audience really reciprocated -- many of the individual variations were met with "bravos" and there was sustained, on their feet applause at the end. For a matinee -- in my experience it takes a lot to bring a matinee crowd to its feet, and this performance managed it.happy.png

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We went on the Sept 26 performance mainly for Paquita and it was the most enjoyable Grand Pas Paquita i have seen. Purist will probably dislike the changes that S Welch added. At the start of the program,he created a group dance for the male corp using the music for the children number in the original. For the Pas de Trois, he used male soloists in the coda that just brought the house down. there were more solo variations in this version than in the the the Makarova,or POB versions. All of the soloist were brilliant including Yuriko Kajiya. Katherine Precourt (as Paquita) a soloist, had a slow start in the beginning but was brilliant in the coda .

The main surprise of the program was E Liang's Murmurration to the music of E Bosso.I can't describe it but it was beautiful and the dancers were perfect. It was a "modern " ballet that i would not mind seeing again. I'm surprise that Mr Liang does not have more ballets in the east coast companies.

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