The Sacramento Ballet, under the artistic direction of Ron Cunningham and Carrine Binda, put on an extraordinarily beautiful fourth and final performance of George Balanchine’s ballet “Who Cares?" Feb. 10, at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.
The stage came alive as the dancers moved against a simple but spectacularly lit backdrop to the George Gershwin tunes. The dancers wore brilliant colored costumes of blue, purple, and tangerine laced with sparkling sequins.
The ensemble dazzled as they danced to the tune of “Sweet Down and Low,” no small feat for synchronized movement.
The highlights of the Balanchine ballet included duo performances by Isha Lloyd and Christopher Nachtrab, Amanda Peet and Stefan Calka, and Alexandra Cunningham paired with Oliver-Paul Adams.
“Do Do Do” was the tune that the pulchritudinous Isha Lloyd moved with such grace to while Christopher Nachtrab, an exceptional dancer, had to work extra hard to look like he couldn’t dance. (Part of the routine.) The pair worked well together providing the audience with a performance that was both glamorous and funny.
The lights dimmed as Amanda Peet made an entrance with Stefan Calka to the slow number, “The Man I Love.” Their dance and togetherness was utter perfection and put the audience in a trance-like state.
Ballerina Alexandra Cunningham put on a display of the talent that the Sacramento Ballet has become known for – precise positions, smooth transitions, and perfect technique. Cunningham coupled with the fleet footed Oliver-Paul Adams, enchanted the audience, the “pas de deux” ending their routine with Cunningham in Adams' arms as he placed a gentle kiss on her cheek.
Amanda Peet performed solo to “Fascinating Rythym” – her burlesque style was employed with such grace and her technique was no less than perfect even with the difficult changing tempo of the music.
Two songs later Cunningham’s "tours chaînés déboulés" from stage left to center stage brought thunderous applause and bravos from the audience.
The final number, Gershwin’s popular “I’ve Got Rythm,” danced to by the entire cast, brought the crowd to its feet, but not before Nachtrab, the New York dancer, had primed them with his solo to “Liza.” The agile Nachtrab with his animated dance routines, in this performance, as always, looked like he was doing what he loves to do and what he does best – dancing… and enjoying every moment of it.
If you missed the show, which was double-billed with “The Great Gatsby,” you missed an outstanding performance by the Sacramento Ballet, a performing arts troupe that Sacramento is so fortunate to have.
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