The Suzanne Farrell Ballet treated guests to a traditional and modern blend of works many from famed choreographer, George Balanchine.
By Sheila Mulhern
The John F. Kennedy Center’s own Suzanne Farrell Ballet presented a weekend of diversified ballet ensembles to a packed Eisenhower Hall. The renowned muse of the famed pioneer of American ballet, George Balanchine, paid tribute to the great icon with acts from many of his choreographed works. The select performance time held an assembly of routines that covered almost all areas of dance from story-telling and classic ballet to both modern and jazz with a strong depth of quality in the individual content breakdowns.
Decorated costume design and masked dancers at a traditional ball began the story of “The Sleepwalker” in La Sonnambula. A love triangle was soon to follow between the Coquette, played by Soloist, Kendra Mitchell and the Poet (alternating Principals, Michael Cook/Kirk Henning) who subsequently becomes entranced by the mysterious Sleepwalker (Violeta Angelova/Elisabeth Holochuk). As these tales often go, tragedy is soon to follow with the murder of the Poet arranged by the scheming and jealous Coquette. Music was by Vittorio Rieti and choreography courtesy of the The George Balanchine Trust.
Traditional ballet in Monumentum Pro Gesulado followed by a modern interpretation Movements for Piano and Orchestra continued in the following acts. A more intimate perspective was presented, as if the audience was looking in on a private rehearsal. Customary frontal planar techniques with fluid movements and pirouettes were executed by Principal dancers, Natalia Magnicaballi and Momchil Mladenov with company. After a brief pause the more contemporary methods were presented with broken movements and flexed palms. Both arrangements were presented in accordance and courtesy of the The George Balanchine Trust with music by Igor Stravinsky.
Eight by Adler closed the performance with an upbeat music with the band providing on-stage accompaniment. Jazz-stylings entertained the audience lead by Principle, Natalia Magnicaballi paired with male cast members, Ted Seymour, Matthew Renko, Kirk Henning and company to works by Richard Adler, Jerry Ross and Robert Allen Damn Yankees including favorites, “Whatever Lola Wants” and “You’ve Gotta Have Heart” as well as show tune classics “Rags to Riches” and “Hey There” among others.
An additional program was also featured with performances including La Source, Sonate No. 5 and In Memory Of….
Following The Suzanne Farrell Ballet is the holiday favorite The Nutcracker performed by The Joffrey Ballet beginning November 24 through November 28, 2010. Tickets are available at The Kennedy Center.