Friday, May 15, 2015


I went to see the final production of The Washington Ballet's season, Tour de Force. Between work and other stuff I'm feeling a bit stressed, and discovering that rather than my normal 6th row seats I was in the second to last row didn't help. Perhaps I was not in the best frame of mind at the beginning. But then neither were the dancers on stage at first.

I would think you'd want to start such a collection of performances with something strong to set the tone. The pair of dancers I saw were energetic, but at times were as stable as I was in Tuesday night's class. Which is to say not very. The woman obviously bailed out of several turns early, though she did it with control. At another point she was supposed to take a dramatic attitude derierre pose with arms in high fifth, but she held on to her partner's hand for a long time and had to grab it for balance several times. I'll be the first to admit that I have trouble holding that pose too, and on demi-pointe rather than full pointe, but I'm not a pro. Still, there were no falls or anything hugely embarrassing.

As the night went on the performances got better. It ended with Balanchine's Serenade, which makes interesting patterns but lacks drama. And men.

Speaking of which, can't classical ballet find more roles for men than as a prop for the women, with occasional bursts of leaps and turns? What about nuance?

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