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The Dream

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I drove down to Sarasota this past Friday to catch Sarasota Ballet's The Dream. It is fun that a small company in Florida has become an Ashton company, so I have seen a lot more Ashton than I normally ever could. The company did great in The Dream. Beautiful sets and costumes. Great dancing! Friedemann Vogel from Stuttgart Ballet guested as Oberon. He was terrific even with slight veil and crown mishaps and so much mist or dry ice at one point that he bumped into part of the set as he exited the stage. None of these tiny costume and scenery mishaps were his fault though.  Victoria Hulland was a lovely Titania. Her use of her arms seemed to fit Ashton's (and my) love of flowing arms. Ivan Duarte was an energetic and exciting Puck. The audience loved him. I have a hard time deciding which version of Midsummer Night's Dream that I like better. Balanchine or Ashton? Both have their charms! Another ballet friend feels the same way. I guess we should be glad there are two versions.

The Dream was paired with David Bintley's "Still Life" at the Penguin Cafe. I love the idea of focusing on animals and then giving it an emotional element by dealing with how they are going extinct. However, I feel it sort of hit us over the head with this idea near the end. The zebra getting shot sent the message but then we see the impact on humans and their child and it continues to make the point and starts to become a big heavy handed and monotonous. Like I said, I do like the concept. I sometimes longed for more exciting choreography. I really wanted to like this ballet, but I respect the idea more than I actually liked it.

I meant to post earlier but was busy also seeing Sarasota Opera's Norma and then driving across the state to catch Miami City Ballet's program. Sorry so short, but I have to get ready for work.

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I envy you your access to this company, especially their Ashton rep -- it's been ages since I've seen any of his work live.

The Bintley work was a staple with the Royal for quite awhile, but doesn't get out as much anymore.  I'm glad to hear that Sarasota is doing it.

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