Friday, February 27, 2009

BC Ballet Survived

What a relief that BC Ballet survived! John Alleyne's company is a tribute to the world of dance. After a decade or so of Royal Winnipeg Ballet, so many performances of National Ballet, American Dance Theatre, Harlem and one night of the most spectacular Baryshnikov, I've still never failed to be thrilled by BC Ballet. Goldberg Variations, world premier by James Kudelka was true choreography genius. Modern and traditional juxtaposed in ways never before seen. While the Corps de Ballet performed leaps and pirouettes the extraordinary trio of Jones Henry, Shannon Smith and Simone Orlando danced post modern permutations of love as only Freud and Martha Graham might fully appreciate. Goldberg Variations was well rewarded with resounding applause, whistles and cheers as the dancers bowed again and again. Jean Grand Maitre's erotically sizzling Carmen followed in the second half. Marianne Baue-Grobelaar's tarty and passionate performance was rife with exacting lifts performed by the powerful Shannon Smith while the divine dancing of Makaila Wallace made a fine counterpoint. The sets of Gauillaume Lord were sensational. Nancy Bryants costume design for Golderg Variations was as uniquely sensually cerebral as Martine Bertrands for Carmen were colourfully visceral. Applause poured forth as Carmen walked slowly from the stage. The applause for the night continued after the company took their final bows. When the Queen Elizabeth Theatre curtain finally closed I knew I'd just been present at one of the greatest nights of choreography and dance. Truly art incarnate! The BC Ballet tonight was unsurpassed!

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;

No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet

To chase the glowing hours with flying feet. Lord Byron 1788-1824

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