ABT‘s fall City Center season ended yesterday, sadly. Above is the cast of Glow-Stop, with the ever-radiant David Hallberg in the middle, from this past Saturday’s matinee performance. I love the mixed repertoire that my favorite dance company performs during their fall season so much better than the full-length classical ballets they do at the Met in the summer. I generally like contemporary ballets better than classical because I find it fun and challenging to try to decipher the choreographer’s meaning, plus I get a little bored seeing the same classics over and over again, and who doesn’t like something new! And, I get to see a lot more of the corps dancers who are mainly relegated to the background in the classical ballets (most of which offer only a couple of large roles per ballet, given to principals and soloists). So, it’ll be another year til I see my favorites in my preferred season again, ho hum.
Anyway, highlights for me were:
1) Marcelo Gomes doing Sinatra in Tharp’s Sinatra Suites, Marcelo dancing the part of the cocky macho sailor in Robbins’s Fancy Free, and Marcelo and Julie Kent making that insane-looking never-ending lift in Lar Lubovitch’s Meadow look completely effortless. Marcelo has such a huge personality, larger-than-life stage presence, great acting ability, and sincere appreciation for American culture, that he brings so much more than the others to the Tharp and Robbins roles. If he was not a ballet dancer, I think he would be a very successful actor!
2) David Hallberg in everything I saw him dance — Clear, In The Upper Room, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Afternoon of a Faun … and he was definitely brilliant, expectedly, as Death in Kurt Jooss’ both timeless and timely, Post-WWI antiwar piece, The Green Table. He is such a beautiful man; his dancing is like watching poetry in motion. With his height and long limbs, he just fills up the entire stage whenever he is on it and makes spectacular lines. And his luminous, wispy blonde hair accentuates the fluidity of his movement. He is, I think, the quintessential lyrical dancer, and has definitely become, along with Marcelo and Jose Carreno, one of my favorites: David is the most sublime, Marcelo has the most endearing personality, and Jose is, quite simply, the greatest dancer in the world right now
(P.S.: David hasn’t been writing so much on The Winger this season, but, from what I’ve seen at City Center, that is likely because he’s been dancing every single night, so we’ll forgive him for momentarily neglecting us Wingers )
3) Other principals I enjoyed were: Jose (like always) was perfect in everything he did; Angel Corella was wondrous in Clear, Max Beloserkovsy was beautiful dancing alongside David in Clear, Irina Dvorovenko was dazzling dancing Tharp, as she always is (and, as I think I’ve said before, to me, is currently the quintessential Tharp ballerina); Julie and Gillian were powerhouses in Meadow maintaining those shapes in mid-air practically on their own, supported only by what, Marcelo’s pinkies???
4) And a lot of the corps members I haven’t seen much of before: Misty Copeland stood out (at the beginning of the season, before she was injured anyway); both women who performed the Sinatra Suites — Sarah Lane acted the part very well and was so sweet receiving her many bouquets during curtain call the night she danced it with Angel , and Luciana Paris had absolutely gorgeous extensions; Craig Salstein was a blast in Fancy Free and Rodeo; Jared Matthews is so damn cute you just want to pick him up and squeeze him!; Isaac Stappas did Death just as well as David I thought; Blaine Hoven seemed to be in just about everything and was very strong; Kristi Boone was remarkable in Glow-Stop; Marian Butler rocked in Rodeo, and Yuriko Kajiya was so sweet in Upper Room … and that’s just a few off the top of my head…
On a completely different note, one final thought about what we all had damn well better be doing at some point tomorrow, said much more compellingly and humorously by my very favorite political blogger. Please click here to read her raucous mad fun words of infinite wisdom.