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Joanne Zimbler
Performance Reviews
Special Focus
Luminario Ballet Rehearsal Space
Luminario Ballet
United States
Greater Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Luminario Ballet Performance at Fundraising Gala

by Joanne Zimbler
March 14, 2011
Luminario Ballet Rehearsal Space
5253 West Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(818) 395-6506

Featured Dance Company:

Luminario Ballet
Luminario Ballet (office)
PO Box 252122
Los Angeles, CA 90025

See the article about the gala.
Sunday night's fundraising gala event for Luminario Ballet featured three stunning performances - two with the company's corp dancers and a special guest solo by Carrie Lee Riggins. The first was pas de deux set to the intense music of Paul Rivera, which gave way eventually to a corps dance featuring three simultaneous pas de deuxs in "Luminate", an emotional piece choreographed by MyoKyo Ballet's Josie Walsh in honor of her mother's passing. The women on pointe in gauzy nightie type costumes moved on and off of the bare-chested men who also wore white, reinforcing the ethereal aesthetic. The dancers' longing arms and clinging bodies manifested the elegiac theme as the music transitioned into a powerful tune by Gypsy Soul evoking the pathos of loss as the singer asked, "Who will dance on my grave?" In an act of support, the women sat at one point on the ground mooring the men's legs whose supple torsos swayed like trees in the wind. The mostly synchronized movements of the couples represented a kind of unity, as if in an effort to support one another through grief.

Carrie Lee Riggins, former dancer with the New York City Ballet, lent her star power to the company for the evening in her performance of "Essays on Recovery Over/Under" choreographed by Jamal Story. The stiff competition and bidding war that ensued later in the evening for a date with Ms. Riggins (one of the gala's fundraising activities was a date "auction") was no doubt engendered by her virtuosic talents, sinewy arms, gorgeous arabesques and dominance of the stage which were on display for this performance. Ms. Riggins oozed emotion through her impossibly elegant limbs, creating a lingering, powerfully poignant image in the minds of the audience.

"Lift Ticket", the whimsical piece choreographed by Judith FLEX Helle, lifted the mood as well as the dancers to dizzying heights in a ballet which featured skillful aerial performances. Circus-inspired costumes enhanced the fun as the dancers walked aimlessly across the stage and suddenly exploded into unexpected lifts. Odd configurations and funky music accompanied the corps. The carnival sensibility was enhanced by the second portion of the performance with bodies suspended in the air in and on silk as spinning bodies twirled and moved lithely while their earthbound partners playfully moved them with arms and legs. The voice of a whispering child towards the end of the music was apropos of the feeling that we had been transported, not just to an amusement park but indeed back to childhood. A sweet sticky sugar high remained as the performance sadly ended, concluding the regrettably truncated show.

Luminario Ballet breathes fresh life into the ballet world with its unique fusion styles. The still fledgling company is an asset to our city's art scene and, with an outpouring of support like the one this evening, promises to be around to "illuminate" us for years to come.
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