The Sarasota Ballet presented a triple bill this past weekend featuring Galina Samsova’s “Paquita,” Peter Darrell’s “Othello” and Matthew Bourne’s “Boutique.” The program was a mixed variety that perfectly combined classical, dramatic and contemporary ballets.
“Paquita” is a classic piece that is widely used by ballet schools at end-of-year performances to demonstrate the students’ skills and technique. The timing of this performance was key, because the Sarasota Ballet corps de ballet has learned over the last few months how to maintain its lines and dance in unison. Bravo.
Two of the three variations seemed slightly miscast with the tall long-limbed Danielle Brown performing the quick and sprightly second variation, while the petite Haruka Katagi performed the slow and controlled first variation. But, nonetheless, all three soloists, including Mizuki Fujimoto, did well with their respective roles.
Miguel Piquer and Kate Honea performed the principal roles with grace and ease. The grand pas was performed with such effortlessness that the technical lifts, especially the one-handed torch lift, seemed as though it was second nature for the two. Honea was clean, crisp and precise in her technique. Both Piquer and Honea pulled off perfect multiple pirouettes in their own variations as well as tricks in the finale: 32 fouettés for her and double tours en l’air en passe for him.
How Darrell managed to fit “Othello” into 20 minutes is a feat in itself. His dramatic piece included some classical choreography combined with contemporary movements that were as compelling as “Othello’s” storyline. The dramatic role of Othello was perfectly suited for the raw, emotional depth of Octavio Martin and even brought out a dramatic side to Piquer, whose character, Iago, truly had the best dancing parts. A more mature side to Simon Mummé’s technique was also seen in his role as Cassio, which featured technical switch-leg leaps that he performed with ease.
Bourne’s “Boutique” was an entertaining and fun twist on the classic, “La Boutique Fantasque.” Set in the ’60s, the sets and costumes were as clever and fun as the choreography itself. Logan Learned not only continues to wow audiences with his amazing technique, but seems to be further honing in on his true acting abilities as well. He and Honea, as the boyfriend and girlfriend shopping for wedding attire, received numerous giggles and guffaws from the audience.
“Boutique” consisted of different vignettes that always entertain an audience, much like “The Nutcracker” and Frederick Ashton’s “Façade.” Victoria Hulland and Ricardo Rhodes were perfect mannequins with perma-grins and stunted movements as Barbie and Ken, while Mummé, Yoohong Lee and Cort Larson added extra silliness to the “Manpower” piece.
The choreography was fun with ’60s-style dance moves and hilarious happenings. It was a great end to a production that showcased the dancers’ ability to entertain.
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