ABT wrapped up its Australian tour over the weekend with mixed rep performances consisting of Bach Partita, Seven Sonatas, and Fancy Free. Here are two reviews:
Sublime, austere and very beautiful, it (Bach Partita) was a master class in the perfection of the art, pure dance in the way that Bach’s Partita is pure music, and although classical ballet developed long after Bach’s death, I think this interpretation would have appealed to him. Flawlessly accompanied by Charles Yang on violin, this 20 year-old work proves that classical perfection is timeless.
Fancy Free…showed the versatility of the dancers — Cory Stearns, who had smouldered irresistibly as Siegfried in Swan Lake, here sparked into fire as a typical sailor on shore leave; and gentle heartthrob Daniil Simkin showed quite a different side of his personality. No languid lovers here, but in-your-face guys on the prowl, but the girls, Luciana Paris, Isabella Boylston and Leann Underwood, know the moves of this game and tease them along without giving anything away. A very cheeky plot, and yet another demonstration of the versatility of this company.
American Ballet Theatre’s Three Masterpieces was a gloriously individual celebration of dance the way Americans can do it. The classical and contemporary movement languages may be shared across the world, but only in America does it turn out quite like this.
…Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita (No. 2 for solo violin, very well played) exceeded my hopes. Made in 1983, this is Tharp in the kind of neo-classical mode that Balanchine had pioneered many decades before. At first it looks a bit old-fashioned in comparison with the work she is best known for – but then the quirky moves build up and the old-new character takes over. Delightfully.
ABT next performs in Chicago October 3-5 for four performances. The All-American Celebration consists of Bach Partita, Some Assembly Required, Sinatra Suite (with Luciana Paris in two performances), and Fancy Free. ABT performs at the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center from October 22-November 4.