"Berkeley" tag
Eifman Ballet in Rodin.© Gene Schiavone and courtesy of Eifman Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Eifman Ballet – Rodin – San Francisco

The choreography looks like a steroid-fueled hybrid of Graham-based agony and the precision and fluidity of classical ballet. …nothing succeeds like excess…

Kellie Epperheimer of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs in Azimuth.© Margo Moritz. (Click image for larger version)

Hubbard Street Dance – Little mortal jump, Azimuth, Too Beaucoup – San Francisco

The dancers are really top-notch, razor-edge precise and boundlessly energetic, but limited to an eclectic vocabulary reflecting a Nederlands Dans Theater aesthetic…

© Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet – Age of Innocence, After the Rain, The Green Table – San Francisco

Closing the program is Kurt Jooss’s anti-war ballet from 1932,The Green Table, one of the greatest pieces of choreography ever created and still relevant after more than 80 years.

Mariinsky Ballet in Swan Lake.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Swan Lake – San Francisco

That said, the company is still on top form. The corps de ballet is flawlessly unified technically, stylistically and musically down to their eyelashes.

In Paris: Mikhail Baryshnikov. © Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhail Baryshnikov / Dmitry Krymov – In Paris – San Francisco

Baryshnikov, now 64, still moves with style and finesse, but the choreography doesn’t offer any opportunities beyond a pseudo-Spanish cliché.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Programs A, B & C – Berkeley, CA

Another surprising choice was Taylor’s Arden Court (1981), which opened Wednesday evening’s program. The dancers were simply stunning. I hate to say, but the parallel is that Miami City Ballet does Balanchine better than New York City Ballet. Not to denigrate Taylor’s dancers at all…

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