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ABT 2019 Tharp Trio

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Loved this program! Twyla joined the “in the upper room” cast for their final bows Monday night as well, which got about the most enthusiastic ovation I’ve seen at abt outside a dancer anniversary or farewell. 

I wish ABT would do more Tharp. This program seemed to get such a warm response both from the audience and from the dancers themselves, judging from Instagram and the curtain calls.

I’d only seen deuce coupe danced by the Joffrey and I preferred ABT’s rendition. The set could use a refresh, but despite being a millennial who could not care less about The Beach Boys I enjoyed the performance. It’s just FUN, and then becomes unexpectedly poignant in the last section danced to “cuddle up”. Standouts for me were Cassandra Trenary, who really captured the verve and playfulness of the piece perfectly and was just a joy to watch, Misty in her sexy solo, and James Whiteside. 

Not all of the dancers got the speed and humor of the piece—some seemed a bit “sleepy”. And though Katie Williams did a lovely job on the purely classical bits of her solos I didn’t think she quite nailed those occasional breaks into contemporary.

Brahms-Haydn: enjoyed this piece and was surprised to find Misty was the absolute highlight for me. She REALLY gets Tharp: the wit, the play, the grace, the flair, all of it. She looked really in command of the choreography and like she was having a ball. Curious to see as the season proceeds how much of this was due to Tharp suiting her so well, and how much was due to her new coaching regime. 

In the upper room: my favorite piece of Tharp’s. So great: exuberant and moving and clever all at once, and ABT did it justice. Zimmi, particularly, was a delight to watch and kept pace and high energy all the way through. 

I echo those who complained about the smoke. It was really overdone. My husband had to leave our orchestra seats about 10 minutes in as his eyes were burning. There was a lot of coughing from the grand tier. I am not particularly sensitive to smoke but found my eyes and throat were irritated afterward.the last time i saw ABT do this piece was at city center and I don’t recall this being an issue. Maybe they have to use much more smoke at the Met due to the theater size? 

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