BWW Review: Gelsey Kirkland Ballet's ETERNAL SPRING is a Revelation

BWW Review: Gelsey Kirkland Ballet's ETERNAL SPRING is a Revelation

As the first signs of spring crept into the air on March 25, 2017, the same was true at the GK ArtsCenter in DUMBO, at a performance of Gelsey Kirkland Ballet's Eternal Spring. Though I've seen the company perform twice, "third time's a charm" is an age-old adage for a reason.

The show began with Arthur Saint-Léon's "La Vivandiere," a delightful Bournonville pas de deux, accompanied by a group of four synchronous soloists. Lead by the coy Nerea Barrondo and the captivating Koki Yamaguchi, the choreography's buoyant quality shimmered, like dew reflecting off of the most vibrant blooms. Barrondo's precision served to ground Yamaguchi's explosive jetés and dynamic presence; they were a lovely pairing.

"Gopak" followed, danced by the powerful Keisuke Nishikawa. A dynamic contrast to what preceded it, "Gopak" brought the fire with Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi's ferocious score. But it was Niskikawa's confidence and incredible capability that brought the piece to life with consecutive tours en l'air and whirling pirouettes.

The comical reprieve "Village Don Juan" was up next, danced with charm by Georgia Brinkman and Chieh-hung Hsueh. What's so exciting about Gelsey Kirkland Ballet is that not only is technique priority, performance is, too, and this piece proved just that.

After a brief pause, "Eros and His Arrows" was up, comprised of three different love stories being portrayed in succession. "Melodia," danced by the lissome Haruka Yamada and the powerful Johnny Almeida, communicated the beauty of melancholia, as the duo danced through each other with natural attitudes and sweeping extensions. It was a somber meditation, but nonetheless remarkable. "Eternal Spring" followed, which brought back Yamaguchi, this time paired with superstar, Nina Yoshida. From Rodin's Collection of Miniatures, the piece captured the sculpture and musculature of another time, yet the partner work remained fluid and viscous, as the pair created exciting shapes and textures with their bodies. "The Jewish Wedding" was the last piece in Act I and the weakest link of the entire show. While the company got to show off their well-rehearsed acting chops, the choreography stalled, fluctuating between pedestrian and one-note; it didn't serve these dancers to their fullest extent.

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Christina Pandolfi Christina Pandolfi is a New York native, born and raised on Long Island. She began her dance training at St. James' Seiskaya Ballet Academy under the distinct training of former National Opera of Greece ballerina, Valia Seiskaya. She studied with Seiskaya for thirteen years, dancing prominent roles in traditional and original ballets, including: Clara and The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Kitri in the Don Quixote Wedding Pas de Deux and Odile in the Black Swan Pas de Deux. Christina also studied modern dance, beginning at the age of 14 under former Paul Taylor dancer, Heather Berest, all which lead to her acceptance into the prestigious dance department at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Christina has performed extensively and worked with esteemed dancers and choreographers, such as Eleanor D 'Antuono, Deborah Jowitt, James Sutton, Gus Solomons Jr., Robert Battle, Larry Keigwin, Michael Cusumano and Kay Cummings. She loves all dance and is a Broadway aficionado.