Saturday, February 09, 2008
Last night I saw BalletMet's Valentine-themed show, "Lovestruck", which was a bunch of different pieces in three acts.
The first act consisted of a few pieces from their "30x30" performances in August, which involved 30 different choreographers creating a 30 different dances over 30 days (1 per choreographer) to kick off BalletMet's 30th Anniversary Season. "Maquillage" (French for Make-up), a woman's ensemble piece, was the "30x30" selection for the first act. This was followed by Adam Hunt's (a BalletMet dancer and budding choreographer's) piece "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", a pas de deux set to a Nancy Sinatra song, which I thought was quite well-done. "Everyday people", a solo danced by Jeff Wolfe, was next. It's nice to see male solos every once in awhile, and this was was well-executed.
The highlight of the evening for me was the "Sinatra Suite", a pas de deux by Twyla Thwarp that was originally choreographed for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Elaine Kudo. Tonight Jaime Dee and Jimmy Orrante (two of my favorite dancers) danced to this set of five Sinatra numbers, which included "Strangers In The Night", "All The Way", "That's Life", and "My Way." It concludes with another male solo, set to "One for my baby" (I think). Dee and Orrante were pitch-perfect. Both are wonderfully expressive dancers, and this piece gave them the opportunity to showcase those talents, especially in "That's Life". I could watch them all day.
The second act was a world premiere--"A Different Drummer." Well, different certainly applies here. The entire company was involved in this piece, which I think ran about 15-20 minutes, and was based on the poem of the same name by Thoreau. Vastly different in tone and style than the previous pieces, it grew on me as the dance progressed. Carrie West and Jackson Sarver, in particular, were my favorites.
The third act consisted of three pieces: "Two of Us" and "Sweet", pieces from "30x30", which I had seen being created back in August. "Sweet", danced by Annie Mallonee and Justin Gibbs, is one of my favorite pieces in BalletMet's repertoire and I'm always excited to see it performed, especially by these dancers.
The program wrapped with "Bolero", set to music by Ravel, which had Indian undertones. Emily Ramirez, as the solo dancer, did a fantastic job. She was wonderfully captivating. The sensual nature of this number was a perfect fit for the program.