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 Post subject: American Ballet Theatre - Cleveland
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:15 am 
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Treasure chest of pirate ballet shivers timbers
Wilma Salisbury
Dance Critic
Cleveland Plain Dealer
March 18, 2006
Quote:
"Le Corsaire" ("The Pirate") is one of American Ballet Theatre's most popular productions. The performance Thursday night at the State Theatre in Playhouse Square showed why.

On Dvorovenko and Beloserkovsky:
Quote:
Together, they danced with a sense of trust, and they capped their romantic pas de deux with a spectacular and long-sustained overhead lift.

On Abrera's debut as Gulnare:
Quote:
Dark-eyed American beauty Stella Abrera looked the part of a gorgeous Greek harem girl, and she won spontaneous applause for her delicate hopping steps on pointe.

On Jose Manuel Carreno's Slave:
Quote:
Cuban star Jose Manuel Carreño created an elegant slave, effortlessly leaping, turning in the air and throwing himself to the ground in the showstopping pas de trois with the lead couple

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:19 am 
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From William Salisbury in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer [Le Corsaire]:
Quote:
On opening night, husband-and-wife team Maxim Berloserkovsky and Irina Dvorovenko set a high standard as the pirate and the harem girl he loves. But the next night, David Hallberg and Paloma Herrera surpassed them in the same roles. Hallberg, who was making his debut as the pirate, blazed with youthful exuberance. Herrera, a breathtaking ballerina, blended awesome technique with flirtatious personality. Saturday night, Marcelo Gomes commanded the stage with his powerful physique and warm presence. As the harem girl, Julie Kent was not as strong as Herrera, and she and Gomes lacked the chemistry of the opening-night duo. Nonetheless, Kent is a seasoned artist who knows how to captivate the audience.
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With regard to the lack of chemistry between Kent and Gomes, no surprise. They are cast in Romeo and Juliet at The Met this spring, as well. It would be extraordinary to see Gomes cast with Ferri in R&J. Maybe next year.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: USA (Midwest)
We had the pleasure of seeing the Sunday matinee performance with Herrerra/Hallberg and a last-minute surprise substitution of Carreno as Ali (instead of Saveliev). All in all, it was a very enjoyable experience. The endless parade of show-stopping numbers in the first two acts was memorable and truly exciting to see. (and a young corps member we know explained to us afterwards that the unreal series of flying, leaping turns that Herman Cornejo does in Act I is called a "540": It can't really be described, but suffice it to say, seeing it is one of the few honestly jaw-dropping moments I have ever experienced in watching a live performance.)

I don't know who has prettier feet: Herrerra or Hallberg :) but I do have to say that I felt like Hallberg suffered a bit in comparison to Carreno. to be sure, Hallberg's extension and lines are simply exquisite, some of the absolute loveliest I have ever seen in a danseur. But Carreno has the ability to occupy a stage like few performers do. He's just a much more complete performer than Hallberg is right now.

Quibbles: the third act. What the...? I have never seen Le Corsaire all the way through. OK, once you get past the silly storyline, it's quite possible to relax and just enjoy, but that third act was just about unnecessary. And the gratuitious use of children? I'm sorry, but I didn't come there to see wobbly kids en pointe. I realize it probably helps sell tickets to cast these local children but that whole Pasha's Dream sequence was amateurish at best. Even with a muted Herrerra and Reyes and the ABT corps weaving in and out, it still was close to painful to watch. Why, why, why?


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