American Ballet Theatre
ABT Brings Beauty and Boredom to the Kennedy Center
'Raymonda Divertissements', 'Without Words,' 'Within You Without You'
by Carol Herron
February 5, 2004 -- The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
"Raymonda Divertissements" (Staged by Anna-Marie Holmes, after Petipa. Music by A. Glazounov)
I found the choreography to be less than inspiring, but the corps looked like they had resolved some of the timing issues they had had in the open rehearsal [held on Tuesday afternoon 2/3/04--ed.]. The bright spot was Xiomara Reyes -- she sparkled and danced as if she were in the most glorious ballet. Her arms were lovely, and in her solos her lines were very clean. Ethan Stiefel, on the other hand, looked like he was counting the whole time. Even his solo was disappointing -- not terrible, just no real passion. For the most part he looked stiff, and when dancing with Reyes he leaned way away from his partner (as if he really didn't like her). In the open rehearsal Marcelo Gomes danced Jean de Brienne and did a lovely job.
In the Grand Pas Hongrois,
Sascha Radetsky danced beautifully. He demonstrated how I would
think a real Hungarian csarda would be danced - elegant, cocky, fluid
and strong. But his partner, Sasha Dmochowski, tried a bit too hard and
her movements were too quick, making her arms and especially her head
"Without Words" (Choreography Nacho. Duato. Music by Franz Schubert).
I really enjoyed this piece. The patterns on the stage and the body positions were beautiful. The costumes, set and lighting were designed not to detract from the dancers' bodies and it was very effective. The relationships between the different groupings were dynamic and interesting. Of the women, Stella Abrera was the most fluid. Angel Corella was good, but Maxim Beloserkovsky had the best choreography for the men. When I saw the open rehearsal, Ethan Stiefel danced this part and was wonderful. Irina Dvorovenko danced with Beloserkovsky and though she danced well, her part looked almost too rehearsed. She didn't really look like her movements were in response to him; but overall a very nice piece combining modern and classical movements to create an intriguing series of relationships.
The cello and piano were both played beautifully by A.F. Baumgarten and B. Bilach. In the open rehearsal it was noted that when the players received the music they had no metronome notation and as a result were playing a bit faster than the dancers had rehearsed. They slowed the music down a smidge and the dancers in this performance had no apparent trouble with the timing.
"Within You, Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison"
The costumes for this, at least, were mostly just jeans. Nice colors!
by S. Welch)
"I Dig Love" (choreography
by N. Weir)
"While My Gutiar Gently
Weeps" (Choreography A. Reinking)
"Isn't it a Pity?"
(Choreography S. Welch)
"Within You, Without
You" (choreography N. Weir)
"My Sweet Lord"
(choreography D. Parsons)
Overall an enjoyable evening
and, perhaps because I sat up in the 2nd tier and did not pay a whole
lot of money for my ticket, I did not feel cheated. But one of the advantages
for me is that, especially with more modern choreography, the balconies
are a better vantage point to see the patterns.
Edited by Jeff.