Thursday, October 30, 2008

American Ballet Theatre, Tuesday Oct. 28th

I've been enjoying ABT's fall season so much. I wish I could afford to go more often, because both days that I have gone have just been a real pleasure.

"Ballo della Regina" was another ballet that Gillian Murphy was originally cast in. Michelle Wiles was dancing instead. I enjoyed Hallberg, with whom she was dancing, but can's say the same for Wiles. I keep hoping that one of these days I'm going to see her dance and suddenly enjoy her and it just hasn't happened. She can obviously do everything, technically, and it never looks like it's hard for her which is certainly impressive, but it just doesn't do much for me. I'm not sure why but I think part of it is that she seems a bit staid to me and part of it is just a stage presence kind of thing. The really delightful dancing, though, came from the soloists, particularly Misty Copeland and Hee Seo. And I love the ballet.

Flames of Paris was also fun. Daniil Simkin looks about 12, but he was certainly exciting to watch and generated the most in-ballet excitement of the night. Also, it's a good thing Sarah Lane is so bitty--it means they look good together. Overgrown Path, which followed was . . . not so exciting. Downright dreary in fact. The tone would be fine if the choreography was interesting or surprising in some way. But it's not, so the ballet ends up feeling long, and as good as the dancers are it isn't enough to make the ballet something I would want to see again.

Brief Fling, on the other hand, I'd love to see again. The costumes are fun and kind of ridiculous (there are a bunch of pictures of them in the New York Times slideshow.) Although the dancers didn't seem as practiced in this as they did in the other ballets I've seen this season and I'd like to see it after they've done it a few more times, they were consistently entertaining. The quartet in green, which was the least traditionally balletic of the groups, was the one I enjoyed most, with Misty Copeland again standing out. A busy night for her, which was fortunate for the audience.


tonya said...

I love Misty -- she's one of my favorite women in the company. I saw Brief Fling last night and I thought the same thing of the dancers -- that it was under-rehearsed. Except with Marcelo -- unless he's just really good at faking. He was right on, and very dramatic. He made the ballet to me. I know you saw a different cast. I couldn't tell though if some of the foibles among the "green people" and the red checkered ones were supposed to be there or not ... hmm. I'd like to see it again but don't think it's on the list for the last night I'm going... Oh and I'm glad someone feels the same as I do about Overgrown Path! Too dreary, and no movement, no hope -- it was all too one-note!

Meg said...

Yeah, there were definitely a few parts where I though, "well that looked like a mistake!" But it can be hard for me to tell, particularly with Tharp. I saw Cornejo and that was nice but if I were going to see it again I'd love to see Gomes as well--that's always a treat.

I don't know if you saw Gottlieb's review of Overgrown Path, but I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw that he'd written that, "[he] know[s] vampires come from Transylvania, not Czechoslovakia, but this ballet needs a stake through its heart." Halloween appropriate, that. :)