Monday, March 12, 2007

Ballet Review: Carmina Burana

Yesterday, due to the continued generosity of my new friend Anitha, I got to go see the ballet Carmina Burana at the Academy of Music.

The performance started out with the short and lyric Serenade, which is kind of like whipped-cream... sweet, frothy, a lovely way to top off. There is no obvious plot, just lovely dancers in lovely outfits doing lovely things.

Ah, but then... after intermission... CARMINA BURANA... with the drums and the costumes and the leaps and the pure madness of it all! Based on medieval poetry about wine, love, and other sundry subjects, this piece is visceral and abstract. The set design and costumes were NOT period and lent themselves to the aesthetic of the piece dramatically and unexpectedly.

If you read my review of Giselle, you'll remember how the young ones in the crowd were whining to be set free... this time, they were on their feet, acting out their own versions with pure, unadulterated joy.

The Kantorei, of the Opera Company, lent their wonderful voices to the pit orchestra and were amazing. (The soloists presence onstage was distracting, but forgivable.) Oh, and Jermel Johnson was spectacular! Rarely does a male dancer capture my attention, but his athleticism, flexibility, and power are formidable.

I want to go again!

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