BWW Review: LA Ballet Performs BARTON, CERRUDO & BALANCHINE at The Alex Theatre

BWW Review:  LA Ballet Performs BARTON, CERRUDO & BALANCHINE at The Alex Theatre

A wonderful, young and gifted company, full of enthusiasm and modern moves, the LA Ballet Company delivered a surefooted performance at the Alex Theatre, October 6th, 2018. There are two more performances coming up; one at Royce Hall, UCLA, October 13th, and another at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, October 20, of this same program.

They began with a perfect opening piece, Excerpts from "Les Chambres des Jacques," an L A Ballet Premiere. The Choreography, by Aszure Barton, with staging by Tobin Del Cuore, and music selections from Vivaldi, Gilles Bigneault, Les Yeux Noirs, Alberto Iglesias and The Crackow Klezmer Band was quite unique in it's invention of quirky positions and expressive steps that worked well with the changing formations and display of expertise. There were different styles of vocals accompanying each section, with beautiful violin and guitar solos that were brought to life by the emotive dancing, and each dancer brought their own interpretation, using humor and lightness to their movements. The male dancers shone with some lovely technical feats; triple tours en l'air, elongated grande jetes, and intricate footwork. Just when you felt the flow of the choreography, something surprising and different happened. BWW Review:  LA Ballet Performs BARTON, CERRUDO & BALANCHINE at The Alex Theatre

Dancers performing this piece were Joshua Brown, Bianca Bulle, Laura Chachich, Magnus Christoffersen, Petra Conti, Dallas Finley, Madeline Houk, Leah McCall, Costache Mihai, Clay Murray, Jasmine Perry, Kenta Shimizu (a particular standout) and Tigran Sargsyan.

The next selection, entitled "Lickety-Split," Choreography by Alejandro Cerrudo, and Music by Devendra Banhart, had a very playful, flirtatious feel, danced by three different couples; Jasmine Perry & Dallas Finley, Leah McCall & Joshua Brown, and Bianca Bulle & Tigran Sargsyan, enacting different stages of being in love. It was so much fun, watching their sometimes awkward gestures and movements, mixed with very touching connections between each couple, with much humor and endearing hints of affection.

The third and final offering was a rousing rendition of George Balanchine's "Western Symphony," which brought the house down. Staged by Colleen Neary, with Music by Hershey Kay, it was exciting, vivacious and well-executed, with colorful western costumes on the men, and a dance-hall girl balletic-tutu combination wardrobe on the ladies. The women were en pointe, ably partnered by the men.

BWW Review:  LA Ballet Performs BARTON, CERRUDO & BALANCHINE at The Alex TheatreThe four sections blended together marvelously. The Allegro section, danced smartly and swiftly by Madeline Houk, Hannah Keene, Jasmine Perry, Shelby Whallon, Abby Callahan, Leah McCall, Madeline McMillin, Carolynn Rowland, Joshua Brown, Magnus Christofferson, Jeongkon Kim and Clay Murray; The Adagio Section, performed exquisitely by Petra Conti and Tigran Sargsyan, with McKensie Byrne, Carlie Clemmerson, Mackenzie Moser and Cleo Tanejawas right on point; Rondo, danced by Bianca Bulle and Kenta Shimizu, with Alyssa Harrington, Hannah Keene, Julianne Kinasiewicz, Brittany Rand, Ugo Cirri, Dallas Finley, Costache Mihai and Joshua Schwartz, was a perfect build-up to the Finale performed by the entire cast, featuring Chelsea Paige Johnston & Magnus Christoffersen, and members of the Los Angeles Ballet School Madison Bibb, Dylan Burford, Alexandra Carey, Ana Denton and Michael Van Meerten.

Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary have produced a wonderful stable of dancers, and Julie Whittaker, the Executive Director, runs a tight ship with everything perfectly in sync.

Wonderful Lighting and Costuming by Burke Brown and Robyn Clarke, for "Les Chambres des Jacques, " Ryan O'Gara and Rebecca Shouse, for "Lickety-Split," and Tyler Lambert-Perkins and Laura Day for "Western Symphony."

Photos Courtesy of Nathaniel Solis

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