Sunday, November 17, 2002

Fall program 2002 (Ohio Ballet)

Ohio Ballet presents pleasing winter program

Ohio Ballet is presenting a very pleasant evening of dance as its FALL PROGRAM. It showcased in Cleveland’s Ohio Theatre on November 15 and 16. It will be repeated on November 22 and 23 at the E. J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall.

FRIENDS AND LOVERS, which consists of three pas-de-deux, examines relationships. It featured strong performances by all of the women dancers and exceptional partnering by Alicia Pitts and Brian Murphy. Young Eric Carvil is improving with each Ohio Ballet performance. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for William Hoppe who still needs to learn the necessary confidence and skills. The live musical accompaniment of Antonin Dvorak’s music was beautifully performed by Linda Nagy Johnston, Madelena Burle Marx and David Fisher.

CAPTURE, choreographed for the Diavolo Dance Theatre, was a fascinating piece. It featured a proficient Damien Highfield and the effervescent Amanda Cobb. Cobb entered and exited a segmented silver half-sphere into which Highfield was attached. The segmented globe rocked and twirled to Juliet Prater’s well-conceived original far eastern music creating a visual illusion of flow and movement.

PYGMALION & GALATEA, choreographed by Jeffrey Graham Hughes, was the weakest segment of the evening. The dance movements were often out of sync with the mood and cadence of the music. In spite of this, Jesica Salomon was wonderful. Unfortunately Dmitry Tubolstev didn’t get physically and emotionally involved in his dancing. He is talented, but his posturing creating overly affected moves and gestures to convey a surface level performance. He failed to emotionally connect with his partner.

SIXTY-EIGHT, choreographed by Leslie Cook, combined music of Simon and Garfunkel, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Buffalo Springfield into a series of dances. It paralleled the musical styles of 1968, the year the Ohio Ballet was created 35 years ago. The highlight was a jazz version of “Summertime” and was beautifully danced by Amanda Cobb and Damien Highfield. Brian Murphy, the company’s strongest and emotionally most involved male dancer, lit up the stage. Strong performances were also put in by Jesica Salomon, Larissa Freude, Kristin Knapp, Alicia Pitts and Mary Beth Hanson.