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American Ballet Theatre: Seven Sonatas, Other Dances, Some Assembly Required, Everything Doesn't Happen at Once
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American Ballet Theatre: Seven Sonatas, Other Dances, Some Assembly Required, Everything Doesn't Happen at Once

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American Ballet Theatre

Fall Season 2009
Seven Sonatas
Other Dances
Some Assembly Required
Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once

At Avery Fisher Hall

Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director
Rachel S. Moore, Executive Director
Alexei Ratmansky, Artist in Residence
Victor Barbee, Associate Artistic Director
Ballet Masters:
Susan Jones, Irina Kolpakova, Georgina Parkinson
Clinton Luckett, Nancy Raffa
Ormsby Wilkins, Music Director
Kelly Ryan, Director of Press and Public Relations
Susan Morgan, Press Associate

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 9, 2009

(See More ABT Reviews, Interviews, and Candids)

Seven Sonatas (NY Premiere): Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, Music by Domenico Scarlatti, Costumes by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Brad Fields, Piano: Barbara Bilach, Performed by Stella Abrera, Gennadi Saveliev, Sarah Lane, Herman Cornejo, Julie Kent, David Hallberg. Once again, the emotional expressiveness of this dance was breathtaking. Mr. Ratmansky is leaving his mark already, at the beginning of his residency at ABT. Stella Abrera and David Hallberg each exuded rapture and drama, with confidence and coyness. On tonight’s viewing, Seven Sonatas seemed imbued with Jerome Robbins’ gestures and mood, fittingly programmed just prior to Robbins’ Other Dances. Mr. Hallberg grabs the eye like a magnet, a quasi-Valentino, dashing silently, mid-air. Julie Kent was ingénue, but fully poised and certain. Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo didn’t have the chemistry of Reyes-Cornejo, on the previous viewing, but they are a technical/physical match, driven and dynamic. Stella Abrera and Gennadi Saveliev were once again flawlessly partnered, with a sense of serene comfort, and Barbara Bilach brought out the sparkle in Scarlatti.

Other Dances (1976): Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Staged by Isabelle Guerin, Music by Frédéric Chopin, Costumes by Santo Loquasto, Original Lighting by Nananne Porcher, Piano: David LaMarche, performed by Veronika Part and Marcelo Gomes. As mentioned in my review of Veronika Part’s The Dying Swan this week, she’s significantly grown in stage presence, confidence, balance, and partnered chemistry in the past two years, and, with Marcelo Gomes here in their Jerome Robbins duo, Other Dances, Ms. Part was radiant and ravishing. Mr. Gomes and Ms. Part are now physically and emotionally matched, and as Chopin’s mazurkas and waltzes unfolded, Mr. Gomes cradled Ms. Part, charmed and carried her, and devotedly showcased her like a jewel. David LaMarche, on solo piano, seemed merged into the ballet, and his sunny personality always adds light to his musical accompaniment.

In a flowing shirt, Mr. Gomes finished off multiple leg kicks, spins and turns, and Ms. Part, in a frilly Santo Loquasto dress, was as flirtatious as her ruffles. The mood was lighthearted and jubilant.

Some Assembly Required (1989): Choreography by Clark Tippet, Staged by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, Music by William Bolcom (Second Sonata for Violin and Piano), Costumes by Gary Lisz, Original Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Violin Ronald Oakland, Piano: David LaMarche, Performed by Maria Riccetto and Jared Matthews. Some Assembly Required, by Clark Tippet, was austere and grim, with Maria Riccetto and Jared Matthews well cast for their partnered roles. David LaMarche, on piano, switched to a darker dynamic, and Ronald Oakland infused the moment with searing atonal strings. Jennifer Tipton’s evocative lighting added dim luster, as Ms. Riccetto and Mr. Matthews presented studied, spellbinding sentiment.

Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once (NY Premiere): Choreography by Benjamin Millepied, Music by David Lang, Costumes by Karen Young, Lighting by Brad Fields, Conductor: Ormsby Wilkins, Violin: Ronald Oakland, Clarinet: John Manasse, Cello: Scott Ballantyne, Piano: Emily Wong, Piccolo: Judy Mendenhall, Percussion: Jared Soldiviero, Performed by Stella Abrera, Cory Stearns, and the Company. This work was also performed on the Opening Night viewing, but with a somewhat different cast. Stella Abrera and Cory Stearns took the leads tonight, and, with my seating providing a different vantage point, I found Benjamin Millepied’s new ballet more absorbing. The music did not seem so harshly dissonant, and Ms. Abrera and Mr. Stearns both emanate intensity and melodrama. Ormsby Wilkins deserves Kudos for again leading the musical ensemble with his back to the dancers, while conducting David Lang’s precise, contemporary, Asian-percussive score. Karen Young’s black costumes also seemed more appealing, while Aaron Scott took the flashy, aerobic role, leaping into his male counterparts’ arms. Julio Bragado-Young and Maria Bystrova caught my eye.

Stella Abrera, Gennadi Saveliev in
"Seven Sonatas"
Courtesy of Gene Schiavone

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at