'The Sleeping Beauty'
by Carla DeFord
April 6, 2013 -- Boston Opera House, Boston, MA
Of course, athleticism only takes one so far; it was Almeida’s ability to connect with the audience that truly made this performance indelible. Her joy in the Act I birthday celebration was infectious. Her sorrow and longing in the Act II vision scene brought me to tears. Her triumph of spirit in the Act II wedding scene seemed not only believable but well earned.
Her prince, although a very good dancer and an excellent partner, left much to be desired (pun intended) as an actor. Almeida brought all the emotional firepower to the team. The situation reminded me of the advice Gelsey Kirkland gave to the young Trinidad Sevillano while coaching the latter in “Giselle” (as described in “The Shape of Love”): “We have to believe in your love for [the prince] no matter what. Even if you don’t feel him loving you back, you just keep on giving him your heart.” Almeida did – and it was unforgettable. I haven’t been this excited about a Boston Ballet ballerina (always excepting Larissa Ponomarenko) in years. Bravissima!
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