This weekend, American Ballet Theatre is bringing an exciting repertoire and world-renowned dancers to the Music Center. Here is our review of the first night of performances, and reasons why you and your family should make plans to check ABT out as soon as possible.
Opening night started off as heavenly as could be, with Marcelo Gomes dancing the lead in George Balanchine’s Apollo. Both ballet buffs and the average art appreciator could relish in the beauty and precision of this piece. The roles of Terpsichore, Polyhymnia, and Calliope (danced by Paloma Herrera, Devon Teuscher, and Melanie Hamrick) were flawless; Apollo was the perfect way for ABT to make its reappearance in Los Angeles.
After a short intermission and switch of conductors from Charles Barker to Ormsby Wilkins, the program continued with Alexei Ratmansky’s Chamber Symphony. You could practically feel an energetic buzz vibrating throughout the theater as the dancers flew around the stage, sometimes throwing each other around and other times holding an immaculate arabesque for so long, you’d wonder how their backs weren’t spasming.
The show closed with Balanchine’s Symphony in C, which started out with audible “oos” and “ahhs” as the curtain rose to reveal beautiful white sparkling tutus, and ended in a standing ovation. The dancers made the ever-changing formations look simple with their perfect symmetry, and even in the dark of the audience one could see several smiling faces within just a few feet. As ABT danced Symphony in C, they seemed to portray the essence of love – certainly not of the Romeo and Juliette type, but more of a gleeful expression of the utmost exuberance.
If Thursday night’s performance is any indication of how the rest of the weekend will go (and with ABT’s reputation, it almost certainly is), you won’t be disappointed should you decide to see ABT stars like Xiomara Reyes, Gillian Murphy, and Paloma Herrera dance in Le Corsaire. Click here for program details and tickets, and prepare for an inspiring evening!