BWW Dance Review: Ballet West Celebrates 50 Years
The second ballet is Petite Mort, which was staged by for Ballet West in 2011 by choreographer Jiri Kylian to Mozart's music. The lines of Petite Mort are much more modern than that of The Firebird. In the beginning, the men appear on stage wielding fencing swords and move slowly to the music, showing off their toned bodies (at one point, a audience member even whistled). The costumes of Petite Mort are nude and skin-tight, creating the illusion of nakedness on the stage, which allows the spectator to be more fully enveloped in the movements. Petite Mort is a good ballet for a person who is just learning to appreciate the beauty of ballet, as the movement is center stage and it shows the athletic abilities of ballet dancers.
The final ballet of the evening was definitely the most light-hearted and fun. Who Cares? features music by George Gershwin and choreography by George Balanchine. Most of Gershwin's classic songs are included and the choreography is so much fun; it's hard to not sing along. The dancers were all clearly enjoying themselves, even though the choreography was extremely difficult, with lots of lifts, turns and pas de deux work.
Ballet West has chosen three very excellent works to open its 50th season. There's the classical ballet of The Firebird, a more modern Petite Mort, and fun and flirty Who Cares? A good example of Ballet 101 and how ballet can be more than just the old classicals; it can be a lot of fun too.