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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Ballet Arts presents "Live in Living Color"
June 22, 2023
Every few months, Ballet Arts at New York City Center put on multiple showcases to provide opportunities for the students and community of Ballet Arts. It is always a celebration with a variety of performances ranging from dancing to theatre to vocal. This time’s no different.
“Live in living color” on this Father’s Day had a theme of variations. The show started with the beautiful Hiroko Kodaira performing Gulnara Variation from Le Corsaire. A slew of classical variations followed with dancing by Elle Catalano, Lisa Kiryushina, Ava Prentice, Sierra Chapman, Astrid Brucker, and Allie Hutchins (all performed solo). Ava and Hiroko were the standouts. There was a contemporary solo danced by Emily Wash. We were also treated with both the duet and the trio sections of “The Ocean and Pearls” danced by Arisa Tanihata, Fiorella Armando, and Cooper Everson (only trio). I’ve came to know some of the dancers over the years and I have to say I was impressed by the quality of “The Ocean and the Pearls”. I could tell they put in countless hours to prepare for this show.
“Seven Seas!” directed by Reiko Russel and performed by Ayuko Huda, Reiko Russell, wright Takeuchi (reader), Zuri Russel (story teller), and Lana Yepifanova was a theatrical piece that involved the narrator, ballet, martial arts, and violin. I was worried that it might take away the theme of this evening, but actually found it quite refreshing.
The last piece was a huge group piece of “Swan Lake” Act I Waltz staged and coached by Ballet Arts faculty member Noriko Hara. The costumes were gorgeous with dancers weaving in and out of complex patterns. Some were wearing pointe shoes while others wore ballet flat shoes. Hara played to the strengths of each dancer and created something that looked cohesive and beautiful despite the different technical levels of the dancers. I was impressed.
Unlike previous Ballet Arts showcases, this one only had no intermission and had a relatively short running time of a bit over an hour. Nevertheless, I witnessed significant growth in some of the students and always love the enthusiasm surrounding this studio. Another job well done, Ballet Arts!