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Stars of the 21st Century: International Ballet Gala

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 14, 2005
Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
140 West 65th Street
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About the Author:

Stars of the 21st Century: International Ballet Gala

Stars of the 21st Century
International Ballet Gala

Vladislav Moskalev and Victor Okhotin
Present a Solomon Tencer Production
Solomon Tencer, Executive Director
Perry Silvey, Technical Manager
Russell Tencer, Financial Director
Audrey Ross, Press
audreyrosspub@aol.com

At New York State Theater
Lincoln Center
www.lincolncenter.org

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 14, 2005

Appearing at the Gala:

American Ballet Theatre
(See ABT Reviews)
ANGEL CORELLA
HERMAN CORNEJO
XIOMARA REYES


Bolshoi Ballet
SVETLANA LUNKINA

National Ballet of Canada
GUILLAUME COTE

Kirov Ballet
(See Kirov Review)
ANDRIAN FADEEV
DIANA VISHNEVA


Munich Ballet
LUCIA LACARRA
CYRIL PIERRE


New York City Ballet
(See NYC Ballet Reviews)
ALEXANDRA ANSANELLI

Paris Opera Ballet
ELEONORA ABBAGNATO
ALESSIO CARBONE


Royal Ballet
(See Royal Ballet Reviews)
ALINA COJOCARU
JOHAN KOBBORG


Martha Graham Ensemble
(See Graham Ensemble Reviews)
Directed by YURIKO

Artistic Director
NADIA VESELOVA-TENCER

PROGRAM:

Act I
DIANA & ACTEON Pas de Deux

Vaganova/Pugni
XIOMARA REYES, HERMAN CORNEJO

L'ARLESIENNE Pas de Deux
Petit/Bizet
ELEONORA ABBAGNATO, ALESSIO CARBONE

GISELLE Pas de Deux (Act II)
Corelli & Perrot/Adam
ALINA COJOCARU, JOHAN KOBBORG

ÃŽRUBIES' Pas de Deux from JEWELS
Balanchine (Balanchine Trust)/Stravinsky
DIANA VISHNEVA, ANDRIAN FADEEV

LE CORSAIRE Pas de Deux
Petipa/Drigo
ALEXANDRA ANSANELLI, ANGEL CORELLA

CARMEN Pas De Deux
Petit/Bizet
LUCIA LACARRA/CYRIL PIERRE

Act II
'STEPS IN THE STREET' from CHRONICLE

Graham/Riegger
MARTHA GRAHAM ENSEMBLE

LA SYLPHIDE Pas de Deux
Bournonville/Lovenskjold
SVETLANA LUNKINA, GUILLAUME COTE

ROMEO & JULIET Pas de Deux (Balcony)
Lavrovsky/Prokofiev
DIANA VISHNEVA, ANDRIAN FADEEV

KAZIMIR'S COLOURS
Bigonzetti/Shostakovich
ELEONORA ABBAGNATO, ALESSIO CARBONE

LA PRISONNIERE Pas de Deux
Petit/Saint-Saens
LUCIA LACARRA, CYRIL PIERRE

DON QUIXOTE Pas de Deux
Petipa/Minkus
ALINA COJOCARU, JOHAN KOBBORG

DEFILE
Veslova-Tencer/Tchaikovsky
FULL COMPANY

February 14, 2005

One goes to a grand ballet gala, Stars of the 21st Century, with such virtuosos as Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, Alexandra Ansanelli, Diana Vishneva, and Xiomara Reyes, expecting the unexpected, the element of surprise. And a surprise there was, in the nature of two additional virtuosos, from Munich Ballet, Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre. They danced two unique Roland Petit works, Carmen Pas de Deux and La Prisonniere Pas de Deux. In the first, Mr. Pierre assumed the role of toreador/bull, with hands bent as horns, and with both dancers in sexy black, they seduced and chased and erotically cavorted with passion and pizzazz, creating constant accolades from their audience. In the second, with a white sheet extending from the rafters, Ms. Lacarra was carried and swaddled and lifted and adored in theatrically enhanced and demanding choreography. So unique, in fact, that I hope to view additional Petit works in the near future. It should be noted that the white drape was the only prop onstage during this entire event, performed to acoustically perfect, recorded music.

One other Petit work, L'Arlesienne Pas de Deux, was performed tonight by Eleonora Abbagnato and Alessio Carbone of Paris Opera Ballet. (It should also be noted that most of the dancers were born in countries other than the ballet companies that they represented, an obvious trend). This ballet was not among the most compelling works tonight, was much too long, with costumes too bland, and was confusing and abstract, as it is not often performed in New York. The dancers exuded little chemistry, although Mr. Carbone's solos were aerobic and energetic. This pair also danced Kazimir's Colors, and the Shostakovich score drove the contemporary motif, performed in bright, brief outfits, toward interesting results.

Among the more compelling works, in addition to the two presented by Munich Ballet, were ABT's Diana & Acteon Pas de Deux and the ABT/NYC Ballet collaboration in Le Corsaire Pas de Deux. The first was the opening piece tonight, and Herman Cornejo, as always, danced with gravitational daring and drama, as his countless backward leaps almost landed in headstands. His elevation and elongation, with a short, muscular body structure, was astounding. Ms. Reyes, well matched in energy, size, temperament, and skill, held her own and more. Le Corsaire, one of Angel Corella's signature showpieces, was equally electric, and the audience went wild with enthusiasm. His multiple spins at various levels and intensity seemed, however, to be controlled too tightly by the constraint of recorded music. Alexandra Ansanelli, Mr. Corella's partner (from across Lincoln Plaza), was in excellent form and figure. They truly seemed to enjoy the partnership and the passion of this exotic dance.

Also compelling were the two works presented by the pair from Kirov Ballet, Diana Vishneva and Andrian Fadeev in Rubies Pas de Deux from Jewels and Romeo & Juliet Balcony Pas de Deux. Their Rubies was staccato and syncopated, as Stravinsky's dissonant, pulsating score drove the dynamics. Ms. Vishneva contorted her body in wily, taut excitement, with angular arms and vertical leg kicks. Her partner, Mr. Fadeev, supported her role, as they created a mesmerizing red/black image onstage. In Romeo & Juliet, the lack of a balcony was hardly noticed. Both wore flowing, silky pastel costumes, and they evoked the necessary angst mixed with delight of new love. Another virtuosic pair was Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kolborg of Royal Ballet, who performed the Pas de Deux from Giselle and Don Quixote. The graveyard scene in Giselle was scintillating in imagined loss and regret, and they danced with ethereal technique. In contrast, Don Quixote was lyrical and lively, fiery and fierce.

La Sylphide, a diamond in ballet repertoire fell somewhat flat with the absence, due to illness, of Dmitri Gudanov of the Bolshoi, who was to partner Svetlana Lunkina. Ms. Lunkina had the wispiness of a Sylphide in a signature long white tulle costume with tiny wings. Her hands and arms were positioned to perfection. But, her replacement partner, Guillaume Cote, of National Ballet of Canada, lacked excitement and stage presence, so necessary for James in a kilt on an empty stage. His skills were exemplary, but empty of emotion. Finally, the Martha Graham Ensemble, directed by Yuriko, was exciting and engaging and in Steps in the Street from Chronicle,, of women in the throes of war, all in black, with traditional Graham choreography. This was a well-conceived contrast to all the melodic Pas de Deux', and the clenched fists swung at angles with thrust pelvis' and abdominal contractions were astutely classy and classic. Riegger's score was ominous and percussive.

The Defilé, often seen in ballet galas, brought all the stars onstage again in what was somewhat improvised choreography (by Nadia Veselova-Tencer, Artistic Director). Each star or pair of stars performed a distilled excerpt from their respective presentations, followed by intersecting dancers and partners, although the Graham Ensemble was unhappily not included. Mr. Cornejo and Mr. Corella, as well as the Munich Ballet pair, were buoyant with bravura dynamics. Kudos to Vladislav Moskalev, Victor Okhotin, Solomon Tencer Productions, Nadia Veselova-Tencer, and all the Stars of the 21st Century.


Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg in Giselle
Photo courtesy of Nina Alovert

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