Ballet dancers perform ably in so-so program
Final work does little to inspire, motivate.
Miami City Ballet opened the final program of its 2017–18 season at the Kravis Center on Friday night. It was a solid evening of dance in a less-than-thrilling program.
The company presented Apollo (created by George Balanchine in 1928), Concerto DSCH
(an Alexei Ratmansky ballet from 2008) and La Valse (choreographed by Balanchine in 1951). It was a pleasure to have the illustrious Ormsby Wilkins, who serves as music director at American Ballet Theatre, as a guest conductor for Program IV.
The troupe’s presentation of Apollo is interesting from a historical perspective. Notable as Balanchine’s earliest extant work, Apollo’s composition is a revelation of the choreographer’s unique ability to tell a story (in this case based on Greek mythology) through the use of minimalist costuming and sets, sculptural poses and simple gestures. As noted in the program, Miami City Ballet restores to the ballet its original birth scene and original staging for the final ascent to Mount Olympus.
These additions make the ballet feel more complete. Renan Cerdeiro danced the role of Apollo, accompanied by Tricia Albertson, Jennifer Lauren and Emily Bromberg as Terpsichore, Polyhymnia and Calliope, respectively. The four dancers performed their roles effectively.
The second work, Concerto DSCH, was set to music by Dmitri Shostakovich. The piece was technically challenging with a great deal of classical partnering for the men and quick footwork for the women. Ironically, this work appeared more dated than it is.
Perhaps the costume design — which consists of dance dresses for the women and Greco-Roman-style unitards for the men — gives the impression the ballet was created in the 1970s or 1980s rather than in 2008. Regardless, the dancers committed to the work as they typically do.
The ballet was performed with precision and attack by the entire cast.
Simone Messmer and Jovani Furlan were the highlight of DSCH, performing the central pas de deux.
La Valse was an anticlimactic way to close the season. Had the final piece been more dynamic, it may have changed the overall impression of Program IV. While the costumes and scenery are beautifully executed, the music and choreography do little to inspire or motivate. The introduction of a “death figure” and the ensuing struggle and consequence add a touch of drama and curiosity to the ballet, but overall, La Valse deflated what might have been a grand finale of the company’s season.
Miami City Ballet’s final performance of this program is at 1 p.m. today.
Miami City Ballet dancers finish the season’s final program at the Kravis Center with a performance at 1 p.m. today.