Another season comes to a close...

By news on Friday, May 27 2011

Before we go, here are some excerpts from Robert Johnson’s Star-Ledger review of NEW Ballet with a Latin Beat:

Another season has ended for New Jersey Ballet, but not without a stimulating farewell.

 The troupe revived its frolicsome "Ballet with a Latin Beat" program on May 21 at the Community Theatre in Morristown. This time, New Jersey Ballet added two new works by emerging choreographers to the mixed bill centered around Pedro Ruiz's evocative portrait of his native Cuba, the romantic crowd−pleaser "Guajira."

 Brazilian choreographer Humberto Teixeira lent the program an experimental edge with the premiere of "Tamoia," a rainforest ballet effectively combining music by composers Clemente Ferreira Jr. and by his grandson, Leonardo Venturieri.

 Music also made a major contribution to "Suite Huasteca," New Jersey Ballet's latest acquisition by David Fernandez, who created "The Raven" for the company last fall. El Cuarteto Carlos Chavez accompanied the dancing live on stage, spurring the action with Jesus Echevarria's saucy composition for strings and Mexican guitar, and punctuating it with grito mexicano, the legendary shout of mariachi bands. Projections by Gabriela Rosado Rivera supplied a series of stunning, color−saturated backgrounds.

 … Fernandez's multi−part divertissement found its imaginative center in the pas de deux "Sonecitos Por  Menor," with unexpected, clever directional changes for Ana Luiza Luizi and Junio Teixeira.The focus of a mischievous pas de trois, sprightly Catherine Whiting confirmed the good impression she made earlier in the evening, dancing in the ensemble of "Paquita." It's wonderful to see talented youngsters, like Whiting and like Kelly Amarante, step forward. Amarante brought a gorgeous line and her own distinctive personality to excerpts from George Tomal's "Carmen."

 The greatest satisfaction of a program like Saturday's comes from observing the assurance NJ Ballet’s experienced artists such as ballerina like Mari Sugawa, whose performances anchored both "Paquita" and "Guajira." In glittering command of the Russian classic, Sugawa changed styles effortlessly, going on to fill the central duet in "Guajira" with a soft and pliant naturalness. In "Guajira," the attentiveness and musicality of her partner, Raemon Kilfoil, added to the duet's feeling of spontaneity, and together these dancers made the kind of magic that carries a show.

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