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Flash Review 3, 6-1: Texas Rangers
Spirited Dancing, Mixed Program from Fort Worth Dallas

By Marwa Bernstein
Copyright 2001 Marwa Bernstein

Fort Worth Dallas Ballet made a very good showing at last night's performance of its premiere engagement at the Joyce Theater. The evening was of varied rep with pieces by Kevin O'Day, Stanton Welch and Peter Anastos. "Fingerprints," choreographed by Welch to music performed by the Kronos Quartet, was a perfect example of harmonious collaboration on stage. The choreography complimented the beautifully rhythmic and nuanced music just as the dancers complemented the choreography at every turn. It was highlighted by a sense of flow, from the long billowing skirts that adorned the dancers (both male and female) to the fingers of light illuminating the stage (by Lisa J. Pinkham), combined with the skirted backdrop to allow the dancers to appear and disappear as in and out of mist. All the dancers deserve to be mentioned by name but of special note were Bettina Sarmiento and Shannon Beacham. The piece seemed to make the dancers want to dance and it showed on their faces as well as in their bodies. It was a joy to watch.

"Yes Virginia, another Piano Ballet" by Peter Anastos, a classical comic piece, was no less enjoyable. A spoof of classical ballet set to Chopin, it made fun of itself and ballet as a whole and was totally charming. All the dancers displayed a command of technique and vaudeville timing that kept you laughing.( And for myself and other dancers in the audience laughing AND LAUGHING.)

O'Day's "Principia" opened the evening and though well danced, was not as strong as what followed it. An ensemble piece that had a few nice moments, it seemed to be controlling the dancers instead of the dancers controlling it. There were so many steps that it felt like there was never a moment to breathe, and the dancers seem to have a hard time fitting it all in. The woman's section stood out as a nicely choreographed and clean movement, as did the third pas de deux danced by Corrina Peterson and Andre Claude Kaltenrieder.

It was a refreshing evening and proves once more that dance in America has spread beyond this city's borders. Fort Worth Dallas Ballet can be seen at the Joyce Theatre through June 3. For more information, please visit the Joyce web site.

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