Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director
Victor Barbee, Associate Artistic Director
Guillaume Graffin, Susan Jones, Irina Kolpakova,
Georgina Parkinson, Kirk Peterson
Kelly Ryan, Director of Press and Public Relations
Susan Morgan, Press Associate
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 7, 2004
Originally Published on ExploreDance.com
Mozartiana: Choreography by George Balanchine, Staged by Maria Calegari, Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky (Suite No. 4, Op. 61), Costumes by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Ormsby Wilkins, Performed by Veronica Part, Carlos Lopez, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Kristi Boone, Sasha Dmochowski, Erica Fischbach, Sarawanee Tanatanit, and Students from the Jackie Kennedy Onassis School at ABT and the School of American Ballet. Presented by arrangement with the George Balanchine Trust. (Program Notes).
Today's matinee on the final day of the Season was heavy with expectation and audience energy. Ballet Theatre not only did not disappoint, but it went beyond belief in total virtuosity and vivacity.
On today's final viewing, Mozartiana's stunning, visionary form was most apparent, with wing-like arms in chiaroscuro effects. Veronica Part had just the right posture, presence, and power to lead her ensemble to Tchaikovsky's classic score. Mr. Beloserkovsky exuded unusual energy and buoyancy in his partnering of Ms. Part. Carlos Lopez, in the Gigue, heralded the wild abandon, characteristic of this afternoon event. Mozartiana is an interesting and satisfying work on many levels, such as visual figures, musical score, and individual interpretations.
Students from the new Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre joined the School of American Ballet students in striking tableaus of small black costumes and severe positions. Ormsby Wilkins and Ballet Theatre orchestra added to the day's musical magic.
Le Spectre de la Rose (1941): Choreography by Michel Fokine, Music by Carl Maria von Weber (Invitation to the Dance), Staged by Kirk Peterson, Sets and Costumes by Robert Perdziola, after the original by Leon Bakst, Lighting by Brad Fields, Conductor: David LaMarche, Performed by Maria Riccetto as the Young Girl and Herman Cornejo as The Rose. This ballet, in Serge Diaghilev's Repertory at Ballets Russes, was choreographed by Fokine for Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina in 1911, and many years later was taught by Fokine to Ballet Theatre Principals. In the story, inspired by a Gautier poem, a girl returns from a ball, falls asleep in her chair, and dreams that the rose she wears turns into a male spirit, dashing through her window, dancing with her round her living room, and soon dashing out the window again. (Program Notes).
Maria Riccetto as the Young Girl was less dramatic than Ms. Reyes in the previous performance, with eyes occasionally opened, a more restrained but resonant performance. This is a passionate and potent ballet, even though the seducer is a Rose. Ms. Riccetto exuded grace and radiance, and Mr. Cornejo was all hormones and bravura. This work is emblematic of Fokine's passionate and classic ballet, with dance characters that relate with magic, mystery, and magnetism. Mr. Cornejo possessed all three. Ms. Riccetto is growing into the role. Mr. Cornejo was a Rose that dives into and out of a lovely living room with eroticism and energy. Ms. Riccetto was the dreamy girl, but with less of Ms. Reyes' coquettishness and charisma. Her technique was pure and polished.
Swan Lake: Act III Pas de Deux: Choreography after Marius Petipa, Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, Costumes by Zack Brown, Conductor: David LaMarche, Performed by Paloma Herrera and Marcelo Gomes.
To add to the day's daring duos, Paloma Herrera and Marcelo Gomes repeated their extraordinary Act III "Black Swan" Pas de Deux. Ms. Herrera held her final pointes endlessly, as Mr. Gomes stared afar in thought, an allusion to confusion, Odette or Odile. Both were uninhibited, athletic, theatrical, seductive, and intense (the theme of the day). In fact, the attentive audience was treated to new ornamentations in the wild jetés and leaps en air. The final flourish brought the audience to its feet.
Le Corsaire: Pas de Deux: Choreography after Marius Petipa, Music by Adolphe Adam, Arranged by Riccardo Drigo, Conductor: David LaMarche, Performed by Gillian Murphy and Angel Corella.
To complete this virtuosic trio of Pas de Deux, Le Corsaire kept the magical momentum at peak interest and intensity. Angel Corella seized his stage and presented brand new feats before our eyes. He spun like a top, even lowering and raising his whirling torso in gravity-defying feats. Ms. Murphy was unusually unrestrained, finding her confidence and zeal, feeding back and forth with Mr. Corella's sensational performance. The curtain fell to a standing ovation.
Sinfonietta (1991): Choreography by Jirí Kylián, Assistant to the Choreographer and Staged by: Roslyn Anderson, Music by Leos Janácek, Scenery and costumes by Walter Nobbe, Lighting by Joop Caboort, Conductor: Ormsby Wilkins, Performed by Gennadi Saveliev, Sascha Radetsky, David Hallberg, Marcelo Gomes, Angel Corella, Grant DeLong, Craig Salstein, Monique Meunier, Stella Abrera, Anne Milewski, Erica Cornejo, Jennifer Alexander, Kristi Boone, and Marian Butler. Sinfonietta was created by Jirí Kylián for the Nederlans Dans Theater in 1978. (Program Notes).
On this final viewing, after such a powerhouse trio of Pas de Deux, I relaxed to Sinfonietta, with its simplicity and harmony. Amazingly, Mr. Corella re-appeared, as did Mr. Gomes, both performing in demanding roles, prior to intermission. Today, everything was perfect, and this heavily showcased work seemed just right as a Gestalt of pale pastels, ensemble movement, and earthy motifs.
Kudos to American Ballet Theatre for a splendid Fall Season 2004.