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ABT Studio Company at Mt. Holyoke

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On Saturday evening I saw the ABT Studio Company performance at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.  ABTSC is "the highest level of the ABT training ladder".

The program was five pieces, Tarantella (Gottschalk/Balanchine), On the First Star of the Night (Bosso/Cong), Overture, (Beethoven/Stiefel), Untitled (Glass/Bond) and Don Quixote Suite (Minkus/Petipa&Gorsky).  There were, I think 12 dancers in all, some of whom were featured a lot more than others.  (Leah Baylin danced in all but one piece, for instance).

This was On the First Star of the Night's U.S. premiere (or, I guess, Friday's performance was).  Its choreography is a very modern, and I was surprisingly very impressed, considering that it's a style I'm usually not especially fond of.

The dancers all did well.  To my eye, at least, they're ready for the ABT corps.  Most impressive of all, I think, was Melvin Lawovi, who showed seemingly effortless athleticism in Don Quixote without sacrificing anything artistically.  I heard another audience member say, "he's a future ABT prinicipal", and I won't be surprised if he turns out to be right.  Also standing out were Leah Baylin and Grace Anne Pierce.

This was kind of like going to a minor league baseball game; you get to see a solid if not top-notch performance, you get to see some future stars, and you get to spend a lot less money than you would at the topmost level.



"Put your head here.  Hear the ocean roar."     - Heather Nova


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