this past sunday i was ever so lucky as to see american ballet theatre twice in the same day! i know you’re jealous, i don’t blame you- i would be too. they danced two mixed rep programs for a total of five different ballets ( and i got gaite parisian twice)!
for the matinee performance i was joined by my incredibly gorgeous friend, holly, and we had a wonderful time. the first ballet on the program was kylian’s “sinfonietta”, which i saw, and wrote briefly about, last week. i saw the same lovely cast this time around and interestingly when it had finished holly said something along the lines of “you know, the only one who really stood out for me was calvin royal III”. i had to agree as i had written as much just the other day. (okay, there were a few other standouts for me actually, most notably stella abrera and skylar brandt). my lovely friend was a bit “meh” about sinfonietta on the whole, but i enjoyed it very much.
the second piece was twyla tharp’s “bach partita”and since it was generally a well liked, popular ballet i was rather excited to see it. unfortunately, to be honest, i didn’t totally love it. i mean, i enjoyed it and all and certainly appreciated the difficulty of the choreography but found it to be much too busy. as far as i could tell, the dancers executed it brilliantly, but at times there was so much going on that i didn’t know where to look. and it was so fast! too much going on and everything fast fast fast and since i am a big mush for drawn out luxurious adagios it wasn’t entirely my cup of tea. and the costumes – ugh. sorry but i am not a big fan of flesh tone costumes as they tend to make everyone (except calvin royal the third) look washed out. plus beige is just so….. beige. i had no problem with the style of the costumes, mind you, just the color. or lack thereof. anyway, it’s not like i hated this ballet or anything, and i do have some lovely moments of marcelo gomes and gillian murphy still imprinted on my brain, but i did find myself wishing the movement would simply quiet down a bit.
last on the matinee program was -hooray!- leonide massine’s “gaite parisienne”! after the lovely yet somewhat muted costumes for sinfonietta and the bach beige-o-rama i was ready for some color and WOW did i get it gaite for sure! incredibly bright and exploding with color, the sets and costumes were just shy of being an assault on the eyes and i loved them. gaite parisian was a joy from start to finish – a delightful blend of ridiculous, charm, romance and…. a bit of raunchiness just for fun. this ballet involves a lot of flirting, a little jealousy and of course …. the can can! as the flower girl, isadora loyola was just about the cutest thing you could possibly ever imagine (until later in the evening when i saw luciana paris in the same role – luciana was equally as cute if not even cuter) and it’s no wonder guys were lining up to buy flowers from her. hee seo and marcelo gomes were absolute perfection as the glove seller and the baron – there was a wonderful, sweet, romantic connection between them and their final pas de deux had holly and i both sighing with delight. 🙂 i adored that little pas deux, largely for it’s charm and simplicity – a welcome relief after the nonstop action of the previous ballet.
(photo: gene schiavone)
herman cornejo’s peruvian, while a bit of an overconfident, slimy sort of guy- was human, nonetheless, and (of course) technically brilliant. he was something of a buffoon (albeit a buffoon that could easily knock off a kick-ass series of pop double tours), slightly pathetic even, yet the moment he realized his coveted glove seller had fallen not for him- but for the baron (gomes) instead, nearly broke my heart.
here are the bows….. 🙂
also notable ~ joseph gorak as the dance master and skylar brant as the lead can-can dancer. both were fantastic!
alas, after the matinee my gorgeous friend had to head home and play mom/chauffeur, so i had some coffee and wandered about nyc for a bit until it was time for the evening performance.
i’ll attempt to make this brief because my goodness….. we all have better things to do don’t we?
ratmansky’s “seven sonatas” – loved loved loved. beautiful music, breathtaking choreography and an incredibly wonderful, gorgeous cast. (stella abrera, calvin royal iii, xiomara reyes, herman cornejo, julie kent and josep gorak). everyone danced so wonderfully and with such joy and passion – they seemed so in tune with each other, such a lovely harmony between them – i felt blessed to be in the audience. ♥ (and…. forgive me for this but good lord, herman cornejo is beautiful!)
liam scarlett’s “with a chance of rain” – ……okay. so perhaps you’ve heard all the controversy about the boob jiggling and the twerking and the homophobic moment and the gay pas de deux and blahblahblah. well, there was a lot of hoopla so i went in expecting to maybe hate it (even tho i think i quite like scarlett) but i gotta be honest- i liked it. altho part of the reason to like it was the music (rachmaninoff played gorgeously by emily wong) but still, the choreography was for the most part enjoyable. the boob thing (where james whiteside jiggles misty copelands boobs) was silly and not really necessary but honestly- not that big of a deal. i can’t say i understood the pas de deux between marcelo gomes and james whiteside. it was actually very beautiful and also a bit romantic, but since marcelo and james seemed to be paired romantically with women for the rest of the ballet it didn’t quite make sense. i thought the little booty shaking bit was really cute – it fit the music and was kind of amusing. my main problem with this piece really, was that having seen sinfonietta, bach partita and seven sonatas already that day it seemed a bit samey. (all plot-less similarly structured ballets with like costumes and no backdrops.). it was hardly my favorite ballet of all time or anything but i liked it well enough and didn’t leave feeling shocked or offended or disgusted. (or possibly i’m just naive and didn’t pick up on all the innuendos and allusions that the intellectual, analytical people got. that’s highly possible).
(hee and marcelo being beautiful in with a chance of rain. photo- marty sohl)
finally, gaite parisienne round two ~ i loved it almost as much the second time around, tho i must confess for the most part i preferred the first cast. while veronika part and cory stearns (as the glove seller and baron) were beautiful and charming i didn’t feel the same connection between the two of them that i felt with hee and marcelo. and while craig salstein was fun and funny as the peruvian his performance was a bit more external and i didn’t feel for him as deeply at the end. some exceptions tho – eric tamm was fantastic as the dance master – he was fabulously….french?! and luciana paris as i mentioned earlier was an absolute delight as the flower girl.
and so ended a very pleasant, ballet filled day! since i rode into the city with lovely holly, and she left earlier taking her car with her, i headed down to penn station to catch the bus back to rockland feeling happy and blessed. 🙂
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