230. “Ballet Now” at The Music Center.

It is Saturday. A balmy evening in Southern California. I am sitting in the courtyard at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, enjoying the soft breeze and watching the theatregoers trickling in. I am here to watch a ballet performance “BalletNow”. A medley of favorite “Pas de Deux”s. A definite crowd pleaser. Eighteen Principal dancers from different ballet companies are performing together.

It’s 7:30pm, time to go in. I am seated in the orchestra center. The lights dim and the show starts.

The first piece is a tango. A solo dancer accompanied by a pianist and another musician playing a “bandoneon”. It is a strange musical instrument. It looks and sounds like an accordion but smaller in size. The dance performance is powerful and is followed by a solo piano interlude; a difficult piece executed brilliantly and a solo “bandoneon performance.

The musical interlude is followed by another tango.

Sleeping beauty comes next. Princess Aurora is exquisite. The Pas de Deux is flawlessly executed.

The talisman Pas de Deux is my least favorite. The execution is weak and hesitant.

The Spartacus Pas de Deux is performed with just the right mixture of emotion and power. It is not the original choreography by Yuri Grigorovich (which is my favorite). The lifts though are spectacular.

Le Corsaire is the last dance of Part one. During the whole performance  Viengsay Valdes keeps the public entranced by her technique and interpretation of the heroin Medora. Conrad le Corsair wows us all with his gravity defying jumps. The standing ovation is well deserved.

Part two opens up with Carmen. The chemistry between the two dancers is undeniable and gives depth to the performance. It is a joy to watch.

Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and the Nuestros Valses come next. The dancing is elegant and executed with a ‘joie de vivre’ that is very enjoyable.

The finale is a medley from “Don Quixote” Each dancer performs a solo to show off his or her brilliant technique. Again Viengsay keeps us on the edge of our seats with her perfect balances and flirty performance.

A last curtsey and the curtain comes down. It is the end of a fabulous evening and a memorable program.






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