Sunday, September 14, 2003

Ballet stars shine for Florida crowd

Dance Notes

By Carol Norris
Enquirer contributor

While Cincinnati boasted its own gala in early August - through the combined efforts of ballet tech ohio and BalletMet Columbus - Cincinnati Ballet principals Kristi Capps and Dmitri Trubchanov were preparing for their own venture into the world of gala dancing.

They recently returned from the International Ballet Festival of Miami, where they performed pas de deux from Don Quixote and Romeo & Juliet, a first for locals in this world-class event.

While she heard lots of praise for their passion, sweetness and youthful interpretations in R&J, artistic director Victoria Morgan said it was Don Quixote that the audience went nuts over. Their powerful dancing would have made Cincinnati proud, she said. "Their individual variations were so energized - like I had not seen in rehearsal."

Her explanation? "There's nothing like the rush of a performance, a bit of healthy competition and an appreciative crowd to rev up the adrenalin - and it was high gear for Kristi and Dmitri."

It was an energized time for Morgan, too. She was there to support her dancers, of course. She also had the opportunity to check out the works of choreographers from around the world.

She gathered inspiration from some of the world's greatest companies - Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet, Ballet de Santiago to name a few. She studied how others approach the daunting task of getting dance to stage. "I could imagine the orientation of the coaching and the kind of detail addressed in rehearsal," she said.

She saw works from Europe and South America by choreographers she'd only read about. She was able to make connections that will open doors for future engagements.

While the Miami festival has been going strong for eight years, this was Cincinnati Ballet's first invitation to the four-day event. Why now? "It's our growing reputation in the dance field," Morgan said, with no apologies for the boast.

Among participants were former Cincinnati Ballet dancers Lorna Feijoo and Nelson Madrigal, who are now with Boston Ballet. "... With their reputation and Miami's large Cuban population, all they had to do was walk on stage and before executing a single step there was applause and bravos," Morgan said.

Feijoo returns to guest in Morgan's Romeo & Juliet Feb. 13-15.

'Jewels' preview

Don't miss the preview to George Balanchine's Jewels Oct. 10-12 with Cincinnati Ballet in partnership with BalletMet Columbus. Former New York City Ballet principal dancer Merrill Ashley will talk about the mark Balanchine left on the dance world, 7 p.m., Sept. 22 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Pavilion, Norwood.

With a 20-year career at New York City Ballet, Ashley brings first-hand knowledge to the topic. Of the many Balanchine works she performed, "Ballo Della Regina" and "Ballade" were created especially for her. She will explain the Balanchine style and its impact on today.

Joining her will be Nancy Goldner, former dance critic of the Christian Science Monitor, The Nation and the Philadelphia Inquirer. A Balanchine expert, she'll focus on the local production of Jewels.

Information: 396-8960 (Joseph-Beth); 621-5219 (Cincinnati Ballet).

Celebration of dance

Another don't-miss event: A celebration of dance in Cincinnati, which serves as a kind of preview to the 2003-04 season. Participants include ballet tech ohio, Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati Ballet, Contemporary Dance Theater, McGing Irish Dance, the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet, School for Creative and Performing Arts, Yalla Raqs and Arthur Murray Dance Studios.

The assortment of dance works is free, 5:30-8 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Cincinnati Ballet Center, 1555 Central Parkway, but you need to RSVP by Friday to Christopher Strauch, 562-1114.

Dayton anniversary

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company celebrates 35 years with concerts 8 p.m. Oct. 4 and 4 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Victoria Theatre.

Special to the event will be a world premiere of a new ballet created to honor DCDC founder, the late Jeraldyne Blunden. The new work is choreographed by Ronald K. Brown (seen in Cincinnati with his company Evidence in 2002) with music composed by jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller. Miller and his group Wingspan will play for the premiere.

Tickets $25-$45. (937) 228-3630.


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