"In the Upper Room" tag
Washington Ballet in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Delusional Beauty.© xmb Photography, courtesy The Washington Ballet. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – NEXTsteps: Reverence, Delusional Beauty, Racecar – Washington

★★★✰✰   The Washington Ballet opened its season with a program of new works created specifically for the company. All three ballets …had a strong visual appeal and plenty of winning ideas…

Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell in Let Me Sing Forevermore.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Fall Gala and The Masters bills – New York

★★★★✰   The fewer the speeches, the better the gala – this universal truth seems to have bypassed the organizers at American Ballet Theatre…

American Ballet Theatre in In the Upper Room.© Marty Sohl. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Tharp Trio: Brahms-Haydn, Deuce Coupe, Upper Room – New York

★★★★✰   Thirty years after its creation, In the Upper Room is still the ultimate Twyla Tharp piece, an expression of American dynamism and New York style.

ABT in Jessica Lang's Garden Blue.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Fall Gala + Symphonie Concertante & Garden Blue 3bills – New York

★★★✰✰   The fall season is too brief, particularly because it always feels as though it takes the company a few days to warm itself up. The dancing at the gala on Oct. 17 was a little slapdash, but by Friday things had begun to settle.

Brandon Lawrence and Delia Matthews in Embrace.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Birmingham Royal Ballet – Polarity & Proximity: Kin., Embrace, In The Upper Room – London

★★★✰✰   Williamson’s commission – the first of an ambitious Ballet Now programme for new works – was themed on issues of gender and alienation, with Brandon Lawrence being a man struggling for identity…

Twyla Tharp.© Robert Whitman. (Click image for larger/full version)

Twyla Tharp Dance – The Raggedy Dances, The Fugue, Entr’acte, Dylan Love Songs – New York

★★✰✰✰   It all sounds terribly promising, and yet the evening falls as flat as a soufflé left in the oven for too long.

Dimity Azoury and Chengwu Guo in Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Forgotten Land, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and DGV: Danse a grande vitesse – Sydney

★★★★✰   In music, mood and dynamics the Australian Ballet’s new triple bill, Vitesse, represents three elements, water, fire and air.

Ashley Murphy and Dylan Santos in Nacho Duato's Coming Together.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – Divertimento, When Love, Change, Coming Together – New York

★★✰✰✰   It included several new works, two of them by women, part of a worthy new initiative, “Women Who Move Us.”

Brooklyn Mack and Venus Villa in Hamlet.© Theo Kossenas. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Hamlet – Washington

★★✰✰✰   There is, however, one undeniably compelling personage in this somewhat flat production of Hamlet – the quiet and fragile Ophelia, as portrayed by Venus Villa…

Ommi Pipit-Suksun in Yuri Zhukov's User's Manual.© Francisco Preciado. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – This Might Be True, Eighty One, User’s Manual – San Jose

Ballet San Jose is full of surprises…

Xiomara Reyes and Sascha Radetsky in Coppélia.© MIRA. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Coppélia – New York

The three dancers who took their leave this week – Sascha Radetsky, Yuriko Kajiya and Jared Matthews – are all soloists. Each led a different cast of the company’s 1997 production of Coppélia.

Herman Cornejo.© Manuel de Los Galanes. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Herman Cornejo – American Ballet Theatre – Principal

Well, performing for me is really about that experience of giving to the audience. In the studio you work and perfect things, you collaborate with your partner, but for me it’s about what happens on the stage, the ability to give something, to your partner, to the audience.

Kristi Boone in In the Upper Room.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Drink, Cruel World, Stars/Stripes, Rodeo, Pavane, Upper Room – New York

The highlight of the gala was the seventieth-anniversary performance of Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo, preceded by a short film describing its creation, with archival footage of the hilariously histrionic, diminutive choreographer.

Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella in Giselle. © Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – New York

…with Cojocaru the steps are sublimated into the character and the situation. She seems to be experiencing the ballet anew, moment by moment, with the audience. No surprise, then, that her mad scene is hypnotic, and changes from performance to performance…

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