Saturday, January 26, 2013


Was it me, or did this year's Lifechance, the charity event put on by Radenko Pavlovich and the Columbia Classical Ballet seem a bit shorter, a little rushed, than it has in the past? Even so, the performance tonight brought back to Columbia its favorite star, Brooklyn Mack, some regulars such as Lia & Jeffrey Cirio, and a host of dancers who provided both traditional and cutting-edge modern work. The crowd was quite big, it seems, and everyone was well entertained, and I think it shows the growing support for ballet in the city and state. And for me a special treat, because my friend Renata from Brazil, showed up and I always like seeing her. I hope she can bring Waldilei with her next time (I really miss them).

The night opened, as it usually does, with a work performed by the entire CCB. Dressed all in white, they danced "Etudes," a delightful piece that let everyone shine a bit. I especially liked Nana Yamatani. I may have the name wrong, but I also liked very much the dancing of Yukihiro Tamura. Some of the ones I know from the past---Edward, Lauren, Zoltan, Matthew, Sasha, and Christopher danced, and I even noticed that Nations has been promoted. Eight dancers later performed "Pulse," which was crisp and nicely done, kind of favoring a 40's dance hall, the women dressed in red.

Brooklyn, who just about everyone really comes to see, and coming off rave reviews and a neck load of medals from recent international competitions, did three pieces: a traditional turn with the lovely, talented Ayano Kimuro in "Grand Pas Classique;" a nice piece, titled "On the Way," which oddly enough I saw one of the Japanese dancers do about a month ago, and very well, and Brooklyn brought to his performance the strength and power we are familiar with (I was later told that this work is often used in competitions); and a piece he choreographed, "Lost in Time," an athletic, vibrant, energetic dance that wowed the crowd.

Lia Cirio and Sabi Varga presentes "Polyphonia Pas de Deux," parts one and two, a modern selection that emphasized their strength and precision, somewhat gymnastic in style, a bit dark, and the music a bit jarring. But they did a wonderful job. Maki Onuki and Tamas Krizsa also took two turns, the "La Ofrenda," which in style was similar to "Polyphonia, and a piece from "Giselle." Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio finished the night with "Don Quixote."

Thanks to Lucretia for getting us tickets, and to Katherine for facilitating. It was a lovely night, and the boys and I had a great time, as usual. Soon enough, CCB may have to perform Lifechance on two nights!

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