Ballet des Amériques - An Evening of Dance - April 30, 2016
Ballet des Amériques
April 30, 2016
One measure of an enterprise is how it deals with adversity.
In a dance company, injuries to performers are hazards that can have far-reaching consequences. If your star cannot dance, it is not just the individual performance that is affected.
Other strong dancers take on the star's roles but cause a ripple effect in the roles the strong must leave to others, not so strong.
On Saturday night, Ballet des Amériques danced without Isodale Alexis, its star and most prolific performer. In addition, Louise, an apprentice dancer, was still unable to return from an injury that kept her on the sideline in the last Evening of Dance.
And Ashley Cook, who danced through an injury that had resulted in recent surgery, had to ask for a program change to allow her to complete the night's performance.
Through all this adversity, Ballet des Amériques proved its mettle.
We saw more of Jenna Simon, Irene Przywara, Ashley Cook, Christine Sawyer, Hope Ruth, Garrett McCann and Alexandria Ina Rose than we ever have before. We saw them dancing roles we have not seen them dance before.
And, though we were disappointed that Isodale and Louise were missing, we were charmed by the talents of the others in the company and impressed by the versatility and the commitment displayed by all who danced.
In a strange way, this Evening of Dance was even more intriguing and promising because it gave us a taste of what happens when the show must go on.
Oh, there were surely mistakes made, though I did not notice them. And adjustments to the repertoire to accommodate different bodies and different flexibilities, though they were too subtle for my eyes to recognize.
What struck me was the extension of Christine in a role I had not seen her dance before. I had no idea she could raise a leg that high and that straight with such elegance.
What struck me was the exquisite precision of Jenna and the supple beauty of Irene. Jenna is impeccable and Irene glows.
What struck me was the precocious serenity of Alex and the joyful energy of Hope.
What struck me was the determined strength of Ashley.
What struck me was the solid partnering and the agility of Garrett.
What struck me was the continuing evolution of the new dances that Carole Alexis presented. Rather than take the easy way and stick to the tried and true, she, like all great choreographers, adjusted to the talent at her disposal and pushed forward. The little surprises, the sparks and twists of these new dances, are joys that bode so well.
This last Evening of Dance of the 2016 Season was a study in resilience, adaptability and commitment but most importantly, another display of beauty and art, from a steadily advancing dance company with a promising, intriguing future.