BALLET FLIRTS WITH SENSUALITY.
JAMES K. POLK THEATER NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE OCTOBER 13-14, 2000
Nashville Ballet whirled into its new season like a cyclone, showcasing five crystal-clean dances that explored the many aspects of sensuality. Opening with a reprise of George Balanchine's Serenade, the youthful corps danced exuberantly, providing a crisp backdrop for the interplay among soloists Alisha Murray, Danielle Quill and Kathryn Beasley. The ending lift, with Beasley held aloft by four male dancers, her body torqued backward, was as spectacular as the choreographer ever intended.
Choreographer Toni Pimble's pas de trois Two's Company found dancers Alexander Srb and Eric Harris heartbreakingly contending for Beasley's affection. Despite its intentionally ironic title, this work offered a lyrical examination of the more troubling side of intense passion.
By contrast, Volver, a world premiere by Nashville Ballet's Artistic Director Paul Vasterling danced to a Spanish guitar score, presented a spicy fandango about fleeting romance. Dancers Eddie Mikrut and Christine Rennie met as if at an airport, pranced and flirted, ignited a spark, and then blithely parted company.
Alexei Khimenko and Quill's eye-popping interpretation of Salvatore Aiello's Satto sent the sensuality meter pegging into the red zone. Danced to the stark rhythm of drums and flute, this work journeyed into the primal urges aroused when a man and woman come together. Clad only in a loincloth to accentuate his finely cut physique, Khimenko undulated and moved with flat-footed agility as the equally well-toned Quill rolled into the light. The lifts were athletic and erotic, often performed with Khimenko lying on his back. On opening night the sexual tension created onstage was so pronounced that when the curtain fell the audience emitted a collective gasp.
The evening concluded with the company premiere of Vasterling's Seasons, a colorful tribute to the many facets of affection, danced to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. In Seasons, Vasterling has experimented with different trio combinations--much like an artist mixing watercolors on a canvas. The effect was a visual parade of seasons--and human relationships--intermixing and passing. In the Fall variation, soloist Murray delicately wobbled her hands, subtly suggesting falling leaves. Winter found Anna Djouloukhadze-Srb toying with the hearts of Mikrut and Robert Gosnell. In Spring, Erik Gundersen struck comic he-man poses and flexed his ample muscles, while nymphs Beasley and Quill circled him, vying for his affection. Vasterling choreographed an interesting take on an all-male Summer with Harris, Khimenko and Scott Brown performing as if it were the perfect season for guys to hang together and dance.
Without question, contemporary ballet is a particularly sensual art form. In Seasons with Repertory, Nashville Ballet's fine company of dancers has given some excellent reasons to celebrate that.
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|Article Type:||Dance Review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2001|
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