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October 2002

Guest EExdancer1

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Welcome to Ballet Alert! Online, and thank you for posting these! I wish I had seen these performances.

I thought Elizabeth Zimmer's piece was lovely, especially for someone who recently wrote she was one who truly believes ballet is dead. I think her review shows a sound appreciation of the art :)

It was especially interesting to me that both writers noted that the company is a true ensemble, with good performances from dancers at all ranks. That's one of the best signs of a ballet company's health, I think.

Come on, Philadelphians. I know you're out there. Did you go? What did you think? Which did you like best, Apollo, Bugaku or Scotch Symphony??

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Ok, I'll bite. I thought the best performances were given in Bugaku, though that's my least favorite ballet of the three. Valerie Amiss was surprisingly good as the bride- she's typically a soft, lyrical dancer, so this role was a stretch for her, but I thought she carried it off well. I liked Scotch Symphony, too, but Jennifer Smith, who I normally love, seemed a bit overwhelmed by her costume (kilt, etc.). Is that role normally given to a short dancer?

As for Apollo, I thought the muses- Arantxa Ochoa and Riolama Lorenzo (who I think is a new transplant from NYCB), in particular- were wonderful, but I felt indifferent to the performance of corps member James Ihde in the title role. He has the appropriate physique, but not the stage presence for that part, I think. Elizabeth Zimmer once praised him in a role where he looked like "a regular guy at ease on the dance floor" (can't remember the ballet- a Trey McIntyre piece, maybe?) and I think it's in those type of parts where he truly shines.

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As I said in another area,I've been away for awhile. ANYWAY... I too thought Valerie was wonderful in Bugaku, don't look for her too much more during this season though. I understand that she and her husband, fellow PA Ballet soloist Edward Cieslak, are anticipating an addition to their family toward the end of this season.

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