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Fall for Dance: Miami City Ballet, Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc., L.A. Dance Project, Che Malambo

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NY City Center
Fall for Dance – Program I

Miami City Ballet
Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc.
L.A. Dance Project
Che Malambo

At New York City Center

Arlene Schuler, President & CEO
Mark Litvin, Sr. VP & Managing Director
Stanford Makishi, VP Programming
Clifton Taylor, Festival Lighting Director
Leon Rothenberg, Festival Sound Supervisor
Joe Guttridge, Director, Communications

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 1, 2015

Miami City Ballet
Allegro Brillante(1956): Choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, “Third Piano Concerto”, Op. 75, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by John Hall, Performed by Patricia Delgado, Renan Cerdero, and the Company.

Miami City Ballet’s opening ballet for the 2015 Fall for Dance season at City Center, was a huge success. Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante has been reviewed on these pages on multiple occasions, as it’s often seen at New York City Ballet. Tonight was the first time I saw it danced by another Company, and the score was a recorded version of Tchaikovsky’s Third Piano Concerto. The fact that tonight’s music was not live was of little consequence, as Patricia Delgado and Renan Cerdero were such extraordinary partners in this ebullient work. Four female and four male dancers make up the Corps support, and they, too, brought this ballet to buoyant rhythms and impressive speed. Mr. Cerdero is brimming with charisma, and his partnering enhanced Ms. Delgado’s elegant luster.

Doug Elkins Choreography, Etc.
Hapless Bizarre (2014): Choreography by Doug Elkins, Music Supervision and Original Music by Justin Levine and Matt Stine, Costumes by Oana Botez, Lighting by Amanda K. Ringer, Performed by Mark Gindick, Deborah Lohse, Cori Marquis, Kyle Marshall, Donnell Oakley, John Sorensen-Jolink.

This second work, instantly forgettable, was lacking in fascination or substance. Mark Gindick, as a clown, moves in silly patterns, from one partner to another, to the 50’s styled elevator music of the original score. The actual skills of the ensemble of six are exceptional and could have been showcased in deeper layers of choreography. This particular work would be great in schools, to draw children in to the genre, but for dance aficionados, I was hoping for more.

L.A. Dance Project
Murder Ballades (2013): Choreography by Justin Peck, Music by Bryce Dessner, Visual Installation by Sterling Ruby, Costumes by Justin Peck, Lighting by Brandon Sterling Baker, Performed by Stephanie Amupao, Anthony Bryant, Aaron Carr, Julia Eichten, Morgan Lugo, Rachelle Rafailedes.

New York balletomanes are now quite familiar with Justin Peck’s choreographies and have watched him grow, through the seasons, as a City Ballet dancer on the Koch stage, as well. His new Murder Ballades, in the repertory of L.A. Dance Project, was introduced tonight to an enthusiastic crowd. With Sterling Ruby’s graffiti-ish, red-blue backdrop, an ensemble of six, in casual attire, shorts or pants with sneakers, moved in unison in shapes evocative of Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite. The reaching of arms and one leg kicked upright, in propulsive fashion, was stunning. There was a hint of drama here and there, but mostly in the imagination of dancing Jets and Sharks.

Che Malambo
Che Malambo (2007): Choreography and Staging by Gilles Brinas, Music by Gilles Brinas, Music and Dance Performed by the Company.

Fourteen men in military-styled, Gaucho dance from Argentina stamp their shoes against the stage, pulsate their hands on giant drums, whip boleadoras (lasso ropes with stones that slide on the floor) into bright circles, call out wild chants, and dervishly spin, as perspiration rains in the spotlights. Each of the men seemed to show off a unique personality and skill, and as this was the second and final night of Program I, the Company let loose. Gilles Brinas, Artistic Director, created the choreography, staging, and music, and I’m sure he was thrilled with the audience accolades.

Miami City Ballet
Renan Cerdero and Patricia Delgado
in George Balanchine's "Allegro Brillante"
Courtesy of Daniel

L.A. Dance Project
The Company in Justin Peck's "Murder Ballades"
Courtesy of Rose Eichenbaum

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