Saturday, March 21, 2009

Enjoyable Experience: The Goldberg Variations in the Sun by: Lezah Williamson

Ballet BC, Feb. 28, Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Following a scathing review on James Kudelka's World Premiere of The Goldberg Variations in The Sun, I went to the ballet with not just a little bit of trepidation. I knew, already, that the company had been through some hard times in recent months, with the almost-going-bankrupt hardship, and then having to cancel Korea Ballet's Swan Lake while restructuring the existing company. But the reviewer in question has been highly critical of Ballet BC before, so I took what was said with a grain of salt.

The crowd at the ballet was nowhere near as big as the crowds we experienced when the shows were at the Ford Centre, but then maybe the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is just that much bigger. Sadly, most of the upper seats were empty. Then artistic director John Alleyne came out just before the start of the performance, and he was noticeably more nervous than I've ever seen him. Usually he is the epitome of calm - cool and collected, but last night he was clearly rattled. However, as is the motto in show biz: the show must go on! And I'm glad it did.

Adam and Eve and Steve (The Goldberg Variations, side 2) was danced to a recording. The trio of Jones Henry, Simone Orlando and Shannon Smith danced to a backdrop of Corps de Ballet. The two groups were quite disparate, stylistically.

Later in the evening, Carmen was danced with Marianne Bauer-Grobbelaar in the lead role. I had seen Carmen about two years ago, but this particular one seemed so much more vibrant. I really enjoyed it.

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