BWW Review: LES SYLPHIDES at Cleveland Ballet
The "new" Cleveland Ballet, under the artistic leadership of Puerto Rico-born Gladisa Guadalupe, a former member of the "old" Cleveland Ballet, the Dennis Nahat-led company which left CLE for San Jose, California, has been officially named the Resident Ballet Company of Playhouse Square.
Guadalupe, along with the ballet board's CEO and Chair, Michael Krasnyansky, have developed a company which intends to "cultivate a world-class resident professional ballet company."
If their recent Ohio Theatre "Les Sylphides," the three-part program is any indication, they are well on their way.
The woman-dominated company displayed fine technique and clear purpose as they opened the program with "Les Sylphides," a half-hour non-narrative ballet with original choreography by Michael Fokine and music by Frederic Chopin. Danced in traditional costumes and classic moves, the dance was performed to live piano music played by Ralitsa Georgieva-Smith. piece was staged by Russian-born ballerina, Aygul Abougalieva.
Filled with lovely moves, nice toe-work and elegant freezes, the "romantic reverie" was filled with poetic meaning.
"A Collage of Frank Sinatra Songs" took the dancers in another direction...contemporary ballet with an "old blue eyes" twist.
While still on toe and using effective movements, the dancers took on a guise of relaxed body postures and modern dance freedom of form and flow. The highlight segment was "Saturday Night" in which Rainer Diaz-Martin instantly became the audience's favorite, with his floating turns, powerful leaps and complete body control.
"Saturday Night," which highlighted Luna Sayag and Victor Jarvis and 'I've Got the World On a String," were also crowd pleasers.
"Concerto," the world premiere, choreographed by Gladisa Guadalupe, closed the program. Danced to Johan Sebastian Bach's Piano Concerto in D minor, with live music played on dual pianos by Ralitsa Georgieva-Smith and Sophie Van Der Westhuizen, the sound and dance form of the three-movement piece melded well.
Cleveland Ballet is an up and coming company. They need more strong male dancers to balance off their very proficient women's corps de ballet.
Next up: "Nutcracker Suite and Nutcracker Tea Festivities" (with a special appearance of the Singing Angels), December 15-17, 2017. (Tickets: playhousequare.org)
For information about the School of Cleveland Ballet which takes students 10-22 years of age call 216-320-9000 or go to http://www.clevelandballet.org/