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Lyon Opera Ballet.

Yorgos Loukos, artistic director of Lyon Opera Ballet, has followed a successful policy of creating a wholly contemporary repertoire for his company by regularly commissioning ballets from promising choreographers. "An American Evening" in March saw three new works by Stephen Petronio, Susan Marshall, and Bill T. Jones; all decor was by Donald Baechler, all costumes by William Katz, all music played live by members of the Lyon Opera Orchestra. Without occasioning any balletic revelations, the program offered a stylistically varied and interesting time for both viewers and dancers.

Petronio's Extravenous had shiny creatures in bright white leotards (some with spiky protrusions) dancing with impressive balletic virtuosity against rose-painted panels. A mermaid in a glittering bodysuit emerged as a kind of heroine, slowly undulating alone, then coiling on the floor, then getting lost in the ensemble's rather too busy comings and goings.

Marshall's Central Figure, perhaps the most interesting piece, combined a fluidity and simplicity reminiscent of Lucinda Childs (a parallel heightened by the excellently played Philip Glass String Quartet no. 5). Dressed in gauzy, flowing garments, the twelve dancers moved in small jumps, with arms gently curved, in and out of structured ensembles; one man constantly separated from the group lifted his arms naturally in a gesture of resignation or welcome. Like Petronio, Marshall seemed to try to get too much in--the narrative element was overstressed, given the subtlety of the movement--but her talent cannot be doubted.

In I Want to Cross Over, Jones gave the dancers their first piece as the troupe's resident choreographer (a position he took over from Maguy Marin in January). Set to gospel music sung live by Liz McComb, and with simple accessories (a little house, a pillar, a boat), the work was notable for its sincerity; Jones seemed simply to want to make people really dance, as he did, his own glowing presence lending inspiration to the twenty-two joyous dancers on stage.
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Title Annotation:Opera de Lyon, Lyons, France
Author:Sulcas, Roslyn
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Sep 1, 1994
Previous Article:Bavarian National Ballet.
Next Article:Blackpool Dance Festival.

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