Monday, June 18, 2018

Three Nights at the Ballet

I love going to the ballet. It's become a yearly tradition for Rachel & I to attend three ballets performed by the American Ballet Theatre in that sweet spot between spring and summer (Here's my 2016 round-up and my 2017 round-up, if you're curious.) This year, we had a lot of fun seeing our favorites - Misty Copeland, Jeffrey Cirio and Stella Abrera - dance in three new-to-us ballets (or at the very least, they were new to me). It was a solid season, and I'm certainly excited to see what ballets the next year will bring us!


La Bayadère | The first show we went to see was almost my favorite of the season. Set in India, the story is about love and revenge as it follows the temple dancer Nikiya, her lover Solor and her rival in love Gamzatti. It's beautifully done, with the intricate sets and costumes, and all three lead dancers (Isabella Boylston as Nikiya, Jeffrey Cirio as Solor and Misty Copeland as Gamzatti) were fantastic. I was spellbound by Isabella's performance as Nikiya (it was our first time seeing her!) and thought Misty was incredible as usual, but it was totally Jeffrey who stole the show and really cemented his place as one of my favorite dancers.


Harlequinade | I've never watched a ballet that was as funny and lighthearted as this one. It's about Harlequin (performed by Jeffrey Cirio) and his fight to be with his one true love Columbine (performed by Sarah Lane) with the help of some friends (including Stella Abrera as Pierette, Columbine's friend), as her father tries to marry her off. I enjoyed the costumes, as well as the overall tone (comedic and light) for the dances, though I don't think this show is really my cup of tea in general. In terms of performers, I didn't particularly find Sarah impressive as the female lead but Jeffrey was incredible, and Stella totally stole my attention every time they were onstage.


Romeo & Juliet | Is it any surprise that this is my favorite of the three ballets we went to see this year? I've always had a soft spot for this story (it was the first Shakespeare play I ever read), despite the fact that I do criticize a lot of it even as I'm consuming it. But apart from just generally being excited to see one of my favorite classics brought to life with dance, it was just so wonderful. The sets, the costumes, the dances - everything really held my attention. But the crown jewel of this show? Seeing Stella Abrera in the role of Juliet. She was Juliet - young, passionate, playful, innocent - and her dancing was ethereal and graceful, as per usual. Her performance just reaffirmed the fact that she is my favorite dancer ever.

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