Here’s looking at you

By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  April 30, 2010

Avoiding gimmick and parody, all three Coppéliuses were excellent, Boyko Dossev gimpy and irascible, Robert Kretz feisty and furious, Sabi Varga intense and, yes, tender — when he put Cornejo on his arm and strutted about with her, he could have been Maurice Chevalier with Leslie Caron. The third-act divertissements create a compelling progression, but the choreography seldom goes beyond pleasing; the biggest impact was made by Whitney Jensen and Sylvia Deaton, both slinky in red as Spinner. Discord and War, each with a long train of attendants, come on like Titania and Oberon from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to music that’s hardly serious, but the wit seemed to get lost in Mark Stanley’s underlighting. No wonder it was the 24 Hours that got the audience’s undivided attention. Prepared by Balanchine Trust representative Garielle Whittle and Boston Ballet children’s ballet mistress Melanie Atkins, and led, opening night, by a luxuriant Dalay Parrondo, the Boston Ballet students were proficient and poetic, well-drilled without having had the spontaneity drilled out of them.

The Boston Ballet Orchestra continues to shine in the crystalline acoustics of its new home. I could have wished for a mazurka with a tad more thump on the third beat, but the csárdás, so often heavy-footed, had an irresistible momentum. Balanchine’s choreography for these two pieces is exuberantly intricate, and the Villagers did it justice. It all ends with a Galop that Mr. B has turned into a riot of cancan pas emboîtés, the girls kicking as if every hour were golden before, at the end, waving goodbye. I was sorry to see them go.

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  Topics: Dance , Boston Ballet Orchestra, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Whitney Jensen,  More more >
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