Friday, May 26, 2017

TWB: Frontier World Premier

Last night I saw the world premiere of The Washington Ballet's newly commissioned work "Frontier" by Ethan Stiefel. It was quite good! The scenery/video and the lighting designers deserve kudos.

The second piece was "Jardin aux Lilas" by Anthony Tudor. I was not impressed, though I expect my issue is with the choreographer and not the company. I felt like I was stuck in a Madonna lyric. You know the one: "Strike a pose." A friend described it as a series of very pretty still images, with not a lot of dance.

The third piece was "The Dream", by Frederick Ashton, a delightful retelling of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Absolutely fantastic. Julie Kent has added more emotive expression to Maki Onuki's technical expertise this year, and Brooklyn Mack is still amazing. But the unexpected highlight was whomever danced Puck. The program lists Johnathan Jordan but an announcement was made of a substitution. I missed the name but I think it was Andile Ndlovu. I wish I knew for sure because he brought so much speed and energy to the role I felt exhausted just watching him. I think he must have gotten a Big Gulp sized espresso before the show!

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