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Colorado Ballet Opens 50th Anniversary Season
The Colorado Ballet opened it's fiftieth (Yes 50th!!!) season this weekend (September 10, 11, 12, 2010) with three contemporary ballets - Edwaard Liang's "Feast of the Gods," Lar Lubovitch's ".... smile with my heart," and Matthew Neenan's "The Faraway" - and by recognizing one of the company founders, Lillian Covillo. All of that in the audience accommodating Gates Concert Hall of the University of Denver's Newman Center, to close to sell-out houses.
Liang's "Feast of the Gods" was performed by the Colorado Ballet as recently as March 2009, and a review of that performance can be found on this site in the 'Reviews Archives' under the date 2009-03-21. This performance was as elegantly sumptuous as that one, and the canons as plentiful. Duets danced in the Saturday evening performance by Chandra Kuykendall and Travis Morrison and by Sharon Wehner and Dmitry Trubchanov were stunning. ".... smile with my heart" by versatile choreographer Lar Lubovitch - whose work includes not only choreography for dance performance, but for ice skaters, movies and television as well - consists of six dancers in four sections, three of those sections dominated by duets. This time those duets were danced by Wehner and Jesse Marks, by Sayaka Karasugi and Igor Vassine, and by Maria Mosina and Trubchanov, with Karasugi's rejection of Vassine and Mosina's and Trubchanov's "darker dance" standing out. All three duets involve intricate partnering with technically difficult inventions, which included Trubchanov partnering Mosina from a virtually prone position on the floor.
Neenan's "The Faraway," is best described as "exciting." Exciting that Neenan even takes on the incredible Shostakovich music score with all its wide variations in dynamic and density. In the process of doing that Neenan creates dance characters as diverse as the music, deliberately contrasting dark and brooding duets, this time danced by Mosina and Trubchenkov - wherein Mosina's legs tremble in seeming fear as she is lifted - to brighter duets danced by Wehner and Marks and six other colorfully costumed couples. The contrasts in the dance are as breathtaking as the contrasts in Shostakovich's music.
The next Colorado Ballet performances will be of "Dracula," opening October 15th at the Ellie Calkins Opera House.
Donald K. Atwood
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