BWW Reviews: MANHATTAN YOUTH BALLET
BWW REVIEWS: MANHATTAN YOUTH BALLET AND MANHATTAN MOVEMENT AND ARTS CENTER PRESENT ANNUAL SPRING WORKSHOP PERFORMANCES
By Holly Kerr
Manhattan Youth Ballet and Manhattan Movement & Arts Center presented their Annual Spring Workshop Performances March 7- 9 at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, 248 West 60th Street. The Annual Spring Workshop Performances are the culmination of a rehearsal process that begins with a Winter Workshop Intensive each year.
Manhattan Youth Ballet models its training program with an emphasis on European classical ballet and is a result of Rosa Caiola's seventeen-year effort to create a viable, curriculum-based ballet academy in Manhattan that serves the needs of a diverse community. MYB also conducts numerous community outreach programs that promote dance education, serving over 2,500 New York City school children.
The performance on March 9 began with excerpts from George Balanchine's Children's Ballabile from his full-length Harlequinade, expertly staged Deborah Wingert, the head of the faculty and a Balanchine répétiteur. With its delightful set of Polichinelles, Harlequins, Pierrots and Pierrettes, and Scaramouches, this Ballabile offers entertaining and wonderful dances for different levels and ages of ballet students. All students admirably cavorted with aplomb throughout this joyful presentation.
Excerpts from the ballet classic Raymonda followed for the advanced students. Staged with authority by Marina Stavitskaya, the variations are a cornucopia of female classical ballet technique. These showpiece gems can prove treacherous for inexperienced dancers, even if accomplished technicians. However, all of the variations were capably executed by the Manhattan Youth Ballet's dancers. Standouts included Variation III by Kira Anderson, Variation IV by Erin Chong, Variation V by Brittany Cioce, and Variation VI by Mary Attaway. Hopefully, with more performances and under the expert coaching of Ms. Stavitskaya, these young dancers can add the ease and style of the arms of dancers trained in the Vaganova system, as exemplified so beautifully in the Russian Mariinsky's female dancers, and so necessary for classical works like Raymonda.