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INTERNATIONAL BALLET FESTIVAL OF MIAMI.

INTERNATIONAL BALLET FESTIVAL OF MIAMI JACKIE GLEASON THEATER, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA SEPTEMBER 19-20, 1998

One swallow doesn't make a summer, they say, but in the midst of the dol-drums, how many fine ballerinas does it take to give a festival wings? If just a handful, then the third annual International Ballet Festival of Miami certainly took flight.

This event, directed by Pedro Pablo Pena of Miami Hispanic Ballet, reached its highest points through Ana Lobe's artistry and Tamara Rojo's authority, remaining aloft with Rosario Suarez, Laura Urgelles, and a few other dancers. Although Urgelles opened the first evening in the pas de trois Pasion y Fuego, her performance of Fernando Bujones's Spanish-hued choreography, which covered a much-trod arena using bullfighting imagery for love and death, looked uninvolved. To display drive, Urgelles's true ground proved to be Tim Melady's Between Blue Moons, where the clamor called for athleticism matched by her partner, the choreographer, from Hartford Ballet.

Participants from Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal (Nathalie Huot, Robert Rubinger, and Eric Miles) furthered the presence of the contemporary with smooth dancing in the mechanistic duet Max Mon Amour and James Kudelka's quirky, Beatles-inspired trio, Come Together. The keyed-up pieces of other companies were not as successful, although Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico made a vivid mark with Julio Lopez's Piazzolla en Concierto, and Aspen Ballet's Angela Rogers and Seth Del Grasso forcefully executed Dwight Rhoden's Black and White, despite the all-too-mannered choreography.

Suarez, a former star of Ballet Nacional de Cuba, fashioned the Russian Variation from Swan Lake, Act III, into an endearing bibelot, carefully academic and brightened by the folkloric. In the Black Swan Pas de Deux Genoveva Surur, of Ballet Teatro Argentino de la Plata, proved solid in fouettes though her back was rigid. Another Petipa, brought by Ballet de Santiago (from Chile), had the royal wedding couple from The Sleeping Beauty looking more stressed-out than the Windsors. The Bournonville from Ballet de Zaragoza (Spain) fared better, with Nuria Arteaga sweetly flirtatious in La Sylphide and Aha Aguirre embodying floral innocence in Flower Festival, while Pablo Savoye (guesting from Ballet de l'Opera de Nice) displayed precise batterie.

Throughout her pas de deux from Don Quixote, Rojo (of English National Ballet) was most exacting--if a bit chilly--in the use of classical technique. In a diagonal approach of her efficient partner, Dmitri Gruzdyev, she turned the stage into a grand concourse and then drew our close attention with a brush-stroke passe.

For the glamour that comes from innate musicality, however, and the allure of an engaging persona, there was Lobe in Rivulet. Not that this Dennis Nahat piece, brought by Cleveland San Jose Ballet, ventured beyond garden-variety lyricism. But in Lobe's winding against Mark Otloski, her unfurling turns, and her aplomb on a lift, the festival had its prize rose.
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Title Annotation:Review; Jackie Gleason Theater, Miami Beach, Florida
Author:PEREZ, GUILLERMO
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Dec 1, 1998
Words:468
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