This season’s highly anticipated performing arts event American Ballet Theatre finally arrived at the Winspear Opera House. Considered one of the greatest ballet companies in the world ABT is also innovative and richly American. Their artistry, technical prowess, youth and spirit delighted the knowledgeable DFW audience. The performances included ballet, contemporary, jazz, swing, jitterbug and jive along with a brilliantly choreographed Balanchine classic duet.
The night opened with a contemporary masterpiece entitled Duets choreographed by Merce Cunningham and rhythmic music (“Improvisations III”) by John Cage. Evocative, precise, perfectly controlled and exciting this piece showcased the technical and artistic abilities of the dancers. The depth of talent was evident including young members of the corps de ballet like Brittany DeGrofft who performed beautifully. Principal dancer Julie Kent was superb.
A Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, choreography by George Balanchine, starring Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo, followed Duets. Their performance brought cheering fans to their feet. Reyes was born in Cuba and studied at the National Ballet School. She was a soloist with the Royal Ballet of Flanders and danced in Europe, the United States and Asia. She joined ABT in 2001 and became a Principal in 2003. She also starred in one of the most playful, beautiful and moving pieces of the evening Seven Sonatas (2009).
Seven Sonatas choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky and music by Italian classical style composer Domenico Scarlatti, is a work of art on every level from the lighting of the dancers dressed in white costumes to the grand piano played by Barbara Bilach. The artists were exquisite, sometimes whimsical, emotional and always memorable. The mood shifted with each sonata and there were delightful ballet spoofs, flirtations, and free spirited flights fancy along with drama.
Company B’s world premiere by the Houston Ballet was at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1991. Choreographed by Paul Taylor and songs sung by the Andrew Sisters it is considered a modern masterpiece. In keeping with Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie’s vision of the ABT as “American,” Company B was a wonderful tribute through music and dance of America during WWII. The dance and music were impossible to resist. ABT brought a youthful energy, optimism and spirit to their artistry.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Winspear Opera House was recently named #5 among the Top Arenas and Performance Venues around the world in Travel + Leisure Magazine. In 2006, an act of Congress recognized American Ballet Theatre as America’s National Ballet Company. After watching them perform it is easy to understand why they were honored and why one of the top dance companies in the world dazzled the Winspear.
The next TITAS Performance is:
Artist: Command Performance
Date: Friday, March 9, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
City: Dallas, Texas
Venue: Winspear Opera House
Address: 2403 Flora Street
Venue phone: 214-880-0202
Box office: 214-880-0202
La Fete du Ballet Fundraiser
TITAS’ largest fund raising event for the year will be held immediately following Command Performance and will be attended by Dallas art patrons, who have graciously supported TITAS through sponsorship dollars to attend the event.