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Rita Kohn
Performance Reviews
Musical Arts Center - Indiana University
United States
Bloomington, IN

Indiana University Ballet Theater's "Old World New World" Spring Ballet Program Delivers

by Rita Kohn
March 22, 2013
Musical Arts Center - Indiana University
101 North Jordan Ave
Bloomington, IN 47406
(812) 855-7433
This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Demanding, distinctive choreography by the 19th century master August Bournonville and the 20th century master George Balanchine was met head-on by undaunted Indiana University Ballet Theater's student dancers, in close collaboration with the outstanding University Orchestra conducted by Richard Fletcher. Indeed, musicality is at the core of the 70-170-year-old works feeling fresh and new with IU dancers delivering with zest and impeccable technique.

For Bournonville it's making intricate footwork look easy with airiness, floating from each movement into the next while depicting characters with clarity. Bournonville creates vignettes about ordinary people dancing at a wedding [Pas de Sept], reminiscing about a new-found love [Mirror Dance], horseracing [Jockey Dance] and celebrating the return of villagers whose recent adventures border on the miraculous [Napoli].

Balanchine in The Four Temperaments [1946] and Western Symphony [1954] developed a new vocabulary and presentational style that now seems ordinary. Temperaments, built upon angular geometry, pioneered a fusion of classical ballet with a leaner outward look and emotion growing from within — "I am" vs "I am being" — constantly surprising with individuals expressing gloom, passion, passivity and anger. Western Symphony weds ballet with American folk dancing for full-blown personalities to emerge. In an unbroken tradition of passing down, internationally acclaimed repetiteurs and stagers joined regular faculty members to teach the nuances of each choreographer whose works demand a combination of lyricism and athleticism. Abetted by lighting designed by Patrick Merosh and costumes overseen by Soraya Noorzad and Magdalena Tortoriello, this program in its entirety ranked with all we expect from a professional company. Of special interest to Indianapolis readers was the outstanding partnering of Michelle Meltzer and Christopher Linger in Western Symphony's "Rondo" and Linger's depiction in "Jockey Dance". Both are Indianapolis School of Ballet alums. Current ISB student Luther DeMyer guest appeared in "Rondo".
'Courtesy of Indiana University.'

"Courtesy of Indiana University."

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