THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Balanchine\'s&nbsp;<em>Divertimento No. 15</em>, performed by Ballet West

Review: Ballet West | TITAS | Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House


All About the Middle

The TITAS season closes with Ballet West, which fumbles on Balanchine but picks back up on dances by William Forsythe and Jodie Gates.



published Saturday, May 30, 2015

Photo: Luke Isley
Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15, performed by Ballet West

Dallas — If ever a ballet cried out for a live orchestra, Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 5 is it. Unfortunately, Ballet West opened its program Friday night at the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House with a terrible tape: all bass thump, thump, thump, so at odds with Mozart’s exquisite music.

Ballet West is the company, led by Adam Sklute, that was featured on the two seasons of the CW's Breaking Pointe. This concert closed the 2014-'15 season for TITAS.

Divertimento offers us the world of the aristocracy with its polish and poise, of grace and gallantry and without a hint of ostentation. The ballet is a string of dances, solos, pas de deux and ensemble, bright rather than brilliant. In keeping with the period, the hues are subtle—cerulean blue tunics for the men, yellow tutus for the solo women and darker blue for the eight corps members. 

The unmatched number of men (three) and women (five) lead to constant changes in partnering and formations, capitalizing on Balanchine’s genius for geometric patterns and shifts in mood. In the second movement, “Theme and Variations,” one dancer after the other comes forth to toss out delightful variations, each with its own flavor. The ballet slows down briefly in the fourth movement, and turns lively at the end. While some of the solos were executed with finesse, overall the ballet lacked that airy ease the music and choreography called for. 

The other works on the program were much more suited to the company’s mettle: William Forsythe’s edgy In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and Jodie Gates’ luscious Mercurial Landscapes. 

In the Middle was just that: a ballet that had no real beginning and no end. On a dim stage, dancers emerge out of nowhere, the men in dark green, the women in green leotards and black sheer footless tights. The sounds are all clash and jangle, which along with the dimness of the stage, the no-nonsense costumes and the take-no-prisoners movement brought the ballet clearly into the present. Every variation is as taut as pulleys and drawstrings. Again and again, a dancer tilts off balance while her partner stretches the other direction as counterweight. There is constant shifting and maneuvering in this manner, and then abrupt stops as dancers scatter and regroup. The dance pulsates with pent-up energy, relentless and driven.           

Mercurial Landscapes flickers through different eras, opening on a romantic note with moonlight pouring through a long, narrow opening and ending more solidly grounded in a square wall of white. Clad in hues of champagne, silver, drab purple and gold, the dancers seem to cascade in sweeping, arching turns and leaps. To accentuate the “mercurial” nature of the dance, the music swiftly switches from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons to Max Richter’s industrial-style version of the same music and back again. The dance is as breezy and fresh as a spring day.

 

» Margaret Putnam has been writing about dance since 1980, with works published by D Magazine, The Dallas Observer, The Dallas Times Herald, The Dallas Morning News, The New York Times, Playbill, Stagebill, Pointe Magazine and Dance MagazineThanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
All About the Middle
The TITAS season closes with Ballet West, which fumbles on Balanchine but picks back up on dances by William Forsythe and Jodie Gates.
by Margaret Putnam

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Firehouse Theatre Silent Sky Mistletoe Magic TCC Cara Mia Hip Hop Nutcracker Gloria La Fete Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit