I love seeing the Ballet West company perform. Many of their dancers were on the TV show "Breaking Pointe," which I really enjoyed watching (too bad there were only two seasons!). So when I see them dance, I feel like I know the dancers, or at the very least that I'm in the presence of celebrities.
Christiana Bennett and Beckanne Sisk (it's strange to list them here with their last names, since I really only "know" them by their first names) were as beautiful as ever, smiling and representing the epitome of what ballerinas should be. I thought they were wonderful as the Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy (respectively). And I will say, I was relieved when I saw that Christiana and her ex-husband, Christopher Ruud, weren't dancing together as a couple; I wonder if they ever dance together.
|Image found at http://goo.gl/qFEx1S|
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Photo by Beau Pearson, courtesy of Ballet West. Image found at http://goo.gl/z1hjes
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|Photo taken by Luke Isley. Image found at http://goo.gl/ldQG81|
Speaking of which, as I said in my previous Nutcracker post, I do not like children in ballet. It's just weird. I came to see beautiful ballerinas with their long legs, not a bunch of kids running around on stage and trying to "dance." I also thought it was pretty obvious that a few of the children were wearing "flippers," or fake teeth, which was very off-putting, to the point that I couldn't look at anything but their mouths. But I will admit I thought the children this year did a good job, and I'll even say that the "buffoons" that came out from beneath the ginormous skirt were rather adorable (and very tiny!).
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In general, I thought the costumes were amazing. They are everything you imagine from a classic ballet: tutus, tiaras, sparkle, color. This company makes the dance just so gorgeous to watch! There's so much you want to look at, so much that you want to take in! But of course nothing's perfect. I've never been a fan of costumes in which dancers hold things in their hands, so when the Snowflakes danced, all I could focus on were the evergreen twigs covered in glitter that they were holding the whole time. The same goes for the Ladies in Waiting and their pink Swiffer feather dusters. Also, during the Waltz of the Flowers, the ballerina's tutu was so short you couldn't help but stare at her ruffly pink underthings; some modesty, please.
I was also put off by the pyrotechnics that the company used. Now, if I had read my program more carefully, I would have seen that the pyrotechnics company was listed, so I should have been prepared for the bright flashes of light and loud noises. But I didn't notice that little tid-bit, so when a cannon went off during the fight between the mice and soldiers, I practically jumped out of my seat! Not exactly what you have in mind when you're going to see the ballet!
But besides those few things, I thought the performance was amazing. I was so glad that I got to go opening night, and that I was able to see all of the dancers I really wanted to see perform. I recommend this performance, and anything Ballet West does! 5 stars! Encore!