Review: Boston Ballet’s latest triple bill production “Robbins/The Concert” delights audiences

Review: Boston Ballet’s latest triple bill production “Robbins/The Concert” delights audiences

Angelica Potter

Boston Ballet’s latest triple bill production includes a Boston Ballet premiere, a world premiere, and an audience favorite. Each ballet features uniquely beautiful choreography and wonderfully showcases the talented dancers of the company. Conducting the Boston Ballet orchestra, who did a marvelous job with each musical variation, was guest conductor David Briskin.

Opening the production is the Boston Ballet premiere of the “Stravinsky Violin Concerto” which first premiered at the New York State Theater in 1972. It features the music of Igor Stravinsky with choreography by George Balanchine. It is being produced through a special arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® Service standards as established and provided by the Trust. The ballet included four segments: an opening and a closing with the full cast of dancers, while featuring two couples dancing a pas de deux in the middle two sections. Toccata, the first part, was upbeat with lively dancing by the company. Aria I was beautifully danced by Lia Cirio and John Lam. They had a fantastic partnering connection and were captivating to watch. Aria II highlighted very nice technique from partners Lasha Khozashvili and Seo Hye Han. Capriccio was fantastically flirty and fun. This enjoyable ballet was a great start to the evening.   

The second piece is a world premiere entitled “Creatures of Egmont” by Boston Ballet resident choreographer Jorma Elo. It features twelve dancers, six men and six women, who are constantly moving. Dancing in this ballet on opening night were, Lia Cirio with Lasha Khozashvili, Misa Kuranaga with Paulo Arrais, Dusty Button with Sabi Varga, Seo Hye Han with Junxiong Zhao, Maria Baranova with Patrick Yocum and Addie Tapp with Drew Nelson. This ballet is physically challenging for the dancers and includes many lifts and flipping of partners, in addition to a myriad of jumps and turns. Each pair of dancers were superbly matched and danced beautifully together. Elo masterfully matched his choreography with the various musical pieces he selected for this ballet. The choreography often featured angular lines paired with both smooth and sharp movement. The dancers all displayed impeccable musicality, technique and understanding of the choreography. Their lines and extensions were exquisite. The overall artistry of this ballet and the dancers within it was outstanding to watch.  

Jerome Robbins’ “The Concert (Or, The Perils of Everybody)” was a playful, fun, and humorous ballet to end the production. Robbins’ choreography blends nicely with the music by Frederic Chopin and together they delightfully bring a collection of characters and their story to life.  Kathleen Breen Combes, Lasha Khozashvili and Dusty Button led the company with wonderful character roles. Each dancer’s character was specific and clearly portrayed to the audience through their acting and dancing. One standout section was when a group of ballerinas danced with numerous intentional and often comical mistakes. Being able to pull off intentional mistakes while staying in character is much more complicated than it may seem. It takes a lot of talent, technique, focus and teamwork. Their pristine musical timing and perfect facial expressions during this section made their dancing even more enjoyable. The audience clearly enjoyed this ballet as noted by their constant chuckles and by their giving it a hearty standing ovation. ©

This triple bill production is perfect for the dance enthusiast and runs about 2 hours including two intermissions. “Robbins/The Concert” performs at the Boston Opera House (539 Washington St, Boston, MA) through May 27th rotating with Boston Ballet’s production of “The Sleeping Beauty”. Tickets and more information can be found at www.bostonballet.org or by calling the Box Office at 617-695-6955.

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Angelica has an A.S. in Theatre, earned a specialty degree in Shakespeare from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a minor in Psychology from SNHU. In addition to writing, she stays busy teaching dance and choreographing for a local studio.

Fortunate to have been a member of the audience for over twenty years; Angelica has enjoyed performances not only in and around the Boston area, but also on Broadway and in the West End in London. These experiences on and off the stage have given her the ability to understand the art of theatre and to recognize great performances. Be it a ballet, a musical or a straight play, she appreciates every moment from the overture to the final curtain.   

For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com/

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