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American Ballet Theatre - ...smile with my heart, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra (World Premiere), Offenbach in the Underworld
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Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director
Victor Barbee, Assistant Artistic Director
Elizabeth Harpel Kehler, Executive Director
Guillaume Graffin, Susan Jones, Irina Kolpakova, Georgina Parkinson, Kirk Peterson, Ballet Masters
David LaMarche, Conductor
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Review by Dr. Robert E. Zlokower
October 25, 2002
Originally Published on ExploreDance.com

"...smile with my heart"*: Choreography by Lar Lubovitch, Music by Marvin Laird, Fantasie on Themes by Richard Rodgers, Costumes by Ann Whitley, Lighting by Brian MacDevitt, Rehearsal Director, Griff Braun, Piano, Marvin Laird, Cellos, Scott Ballantyne, Jonathan Spitz, David Calhoun, Flute, Judith Mendenhall, Oboe, Matthew Diamond. Do I Hear a Waltz and It Might As Well Be Spring, performed by (Principal) Julie Kent, (Corps) Erica Cornejo and Elizabeth Gaither, (Principal) Marcelo Gomes, (Soloist) Joaquin De Luz, and (Principal) Ethan Stiefel. The Sweetest Sounds, performed by Erica Cornejo and Joaquin De Luz. I Didn't Know What Time It Was and Where or When, performed by Elizabeth Gaither and Ethan Stiefel. My Funny Valentine, performed by Julie Kent and Marcelo Gomes.

Lubovitch, Artistic Director of the Lar Lubovitch dance Company, has created a Premiere work for ABT, which is upbeat, lyrical, and, without the familiar classical Bravura choreography, this is a particularly elegant piece. Specifically, Ms. Kent's and Mr. Gomes' selection projected a dynamic quality in the convincing emotionality of their connection. Ms. Kent, with outwardly curved leg, pointed toe, sweeping the floor in circular motion, was exquisite in her burgundy wine leotards. It Might As Well Be Spring was ethereal, with an inherent, Fragonard-like, bucolic quality. Joaquin De Luz, a dancer of amazing confidence and virtuosity, gave a tour de force performance in The Sweetest Sounds, partnering Erica Cornejo.

Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra (World Premiere): David LaMarche is a Conductor of incredible talent, with precision and determined presence in his leading of this most formidable work by Lowell Liebermann. (Corps) Carlos Lopez provided a percussive and passionate interpretation with blazing speed and sensational leaps. (Corps) Craig Salstein and (Corps) Marian Butler enabled the audience to experience, first hand, the Corps talent that Artistic Director, Kevin McKenzie, has wisely showcased in this Repertory Season.

Offenbach in the Underworld: Choreography by Antony Tudor, Music by Jacques Offenbach, Arranged by George Crum, Staged by Donald Mahler, Assisted by Leslie Rotman, Scenery and Costumes by Kay Ambrose, Lighting by Brad Fields, Performed by (Guest Artist) Olga Dvorovenko, (Corps) Ashley Ellis, (Soloist) Gennadi Saveliev, (Corps) Erica Cornejo, (Soloist) Carlos Molina, (Principal) Irina Dvorovenko, (Corps) Sascha Radetsky, (Soloist) Maria Riccetto, and other Corps dancers. This 1870's café ballet, with Can-Can, sexy, choreographed leg lifts, with garters and black stockings, ruffles and champagne, is extremely enjoyable, provocative, and tempting. One could be inclined to immediately take off for a Parisian tour of bubbling Montmartre nightclubs. A Rare treat was the surprise casting of Irina Dvorovenko's mother, Olga, as Madame la Patronne. Carlos Molina was especially effective and skilled in his characterization of His Imperial Excellency. The entire cast is to be strongly applauded for this inspirational performance. Kudos, once again, to David LaMarche, Conductor.

 

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net