BWW Review: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE Kicks Off 2018 Fall Season
On the evening of October 17th, American Ballet Theatre kicked of its much-anticipated fall season at the David H. Koch Theater. Dedicated to celebrating the power and innovation of female choreography, the night welcomed a bevy of audience goers, from everyday ballet enthusiasts to arts advocates to well-known celebrities. With the mood in the air being electric, sparkling with the promise of anticipation, the program had to deliver with bold excitement.
Did it ever.
After a touching speech from Caroline Kennedy about her mother's unwavering commitment to ballet, Lauren Lovette's "Le Jeune" opened the show, showcasing the talented members of the ABT Studio Company. Set to the jaunty, quirky Equus score by Eric Whitacre, the piece demonstrated the uninhibited joy of being young. Lovette's choreographic prowess is impressive; you can see the influences of Balanchine and Robbins with the adept use of syncopation and sequence. But her execution of dynamics between suspended balances, pirouettes, and light acrobatics is entirely her own, and it gave the piece exuberance and easy flair. Plus, the dancers were magnetic - I'm excited to see them shine as they undoubtedly rise up the ranks.
Maintaining the high energy and enthusiasm of the previous piece, the world premiere of Michelle Dorrance's "Dream within a Dream (deferred)" was up next. Celebrating the festivity of Americana and blues with songs by Duke Ellington like "Such Sweet Thunder" and "Chatterbox", among others, the piece framed the dancers into a celebration all their own. Filled with lighthearted movements that softly trickled across the stage - fun leaps, kicks, and assisted lifts - audience goers were treated to a spectacle of unabashed fun. And things only got more exciting when the dancers put on their tap shoes. For artists who train their whole lives to dance without noise, it was an unexpected pleasure to hear their artistry reverberate throughout the theater - most notable was Calvin Royal III.
The final piece of the evening was Twyla Tharp's "In the Upper Room", a staple of American Ballet Theatre's repertory since 1988. Set to a slick Philip Glass score, the percussive nature of the music's timbres adeptly paralleled Tharp's precise movement vocabulary. Sharp, smart, but full of grace, the dancers maneuvered each movement with expertise. While an expected way to end the program, it proved the company's rightful place as the strongest American ballet company in the nation.
Don't miss out - run to the see the fall season this week
Photo Credit: Erin Baiano