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Possokhov's "Damned"

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On Friday (4/26) I saw Yuri Possokhov's "Damned" with Joanna Berman dancing Medea and Roman Rykine as Jason. I was very impressed with the choreography, it really gave Ms. Berman a chance to dance and act. Yuan Yuan Tan was the Princess, and was more than exquisite as usual. I really enjoyed the corps' choreography, however. The men and women moved in flocks and the masks lent a very tribal feel to the whole thing. There was one part where all the men were poised as if to strike down the women with invisible weapons, which was rather frightening especially since Medea's two little sons came running through the scene at that moment. I just hope that the boys don't grow up thinking that's the way to treat women!

Ms. Berman was most heart-wrenching when her character made two abortive attempts to do away with her children. She approached them with conviction, but couldn't do it when she saw her sons' faces. When she finally came to them, gliding with the black cloak behind her, she was for real. We were all stunned at the end as Ravel's Pavane began playing again and Medea walks away from the audience, upstage. Needless to say, the audience roared. Ms. Berman looked very appreciative.

It was apparent that Helgi Tomasson didn't want the evening to end on such a tragic note, as Mark Morris' Sandpaper Ballet was next (and last) on the program. What fun! It looks like such a fun ballet to dance, with all the swinging, loose limbs and Busby Berkley type formations in The Syncopated Clock. I was giggling throughout the whole thing. One thing: those costumes! It's so much ... green ... If the tights and arms weren't green it'd be so much easier on the eyes. The green arms and hands got to me especially -- it gave me the feel of aliens, don't ask me why!

The evening opened with Tomasson's Silver Ladders. It was better than I had expected. Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre danced the main couple, and I was glad to see them as they will not be with the company after the season. Mr. Pierre pulled off some very nice turns and Ms. Lacarra was very delicate. In the pas de trois, Vanessa Zahorian was her usual fearless self. It's very refreshing to see her upbeat dancing.

I can't believe it's almost the end of the season ... only Giselle left. Why does it all pass so quickly?

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FYI: the costumes in Sandpaper are really quite interesting. The top ("white") section is a blue sky with white clouds and the green is supposed to look like grass.... so when everyone has their arms at their sides, you see a field of grass and clouds!

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Grass and clouds; an American landscape for a decidedly American ballet!

I can't help but feel empathy for the dancers in those wonderfully witty costumes; what with the gloves and all, and under the stage lights, they must be shvitzing like camels in there.

Then again, camels don't shvitz...:P

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