Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Eternal Spring, March 23-26

Gelsey Kirkland Ballet’s Eternal Spring is worth checking out March 23-26, featuring neoclassical and classical ballet works rarely seen. GKB is a studio company consisting of young dancers performing at a high level. I have enjoyed their previous performances of The Nutcracker and Spring works. The Eternal Spring pieces have a romantic love theme, consisting of Leonid Yakobson’s Eternal Spring, based on the Rodin sculpture, Village Don Juan, and The Wedding Procession (Jewish Wedding). Also on the bill are The Talisman, Petipa’s work set in Ancient India, Melodia by the Bolshoi choreographer Kasyan Goleizovsky, to the music of Dvorak, and Walpurgis Night.

I enjoyed Jewish Wedding and Walpurgis Night last year, two works from the GKB’s Mischief performance. Last year’s GKB performance of Jewish Wedding was the second U.S. performance of Yakobson’s work, which is set to Shostakovich’s 1944 Piano Trio Number 2 in E minor. Yakobson was a major figure in Soviet ballet, who survived censorship during Stalin’s rule and managed to “…create a singular body of revolutionary dances that spoke to the Soviet condition,” according to Janice Ross’ biography of Jakobson, Like a Bomb Going Off. He is best known in the U.S. for Vestris, a solo work performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. The Wedding Procession tells the story of the poor groom whose pregnant lover is forced to marry into a wealthier family – in front of everyone in the shtetl (a small Jewish town in eastern Europe) including the Fiddler, the Piper, the Rabbi, both families, and the town gossip.

GKB performed Walpurgis Night last year at a very high level, particularly with fireworks from Koki Yamaguchi as the Roman God Pan. It is the famed Bachanalian scene from Charles Gounod’s Faust, where virgins, satyrs, Pan, and Roman Patricians celebrate the festival of Bacchus. Originally choreographed by Leonid Lavrovsky, this rendition was restaged and choreographed by GKB’s Nikolai Levitsky and Vera Soloveyva.

Performance will be March 23-26 at the GK ArtsCenter in DUMBO Brooklyn (near the York Street station on the F subway line). Tickets are available online.