Dance Review: Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Performs ‘The Nutcracker’

December 16th, 2013

As a pre-eminent dancer with American Ballet Theater in the 1970s and ’80s, Gelsey Kirkland was recognized for her storytelling. With her fabled vulnerability and big, sad eyes, she carried a lot of a total-size ballet: “Giselle,” “Romeo and Juliet” and, maybe most famously, “The Nutcracker.” In a 1978 review of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s variation (the same 1 that lit up the nation’s dwelling rooms by way of PBS), the critic Anna Kisselgoff wrote in The New York Instances that Ms. Kirkland, as Clara, “has found a single of her deepest roles.”

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It’s proper, then, that for the inaugural manufacturing of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet — the carrying out department of Ms. Kirkland’s dance academy in TriBeCa, which opened in 2010 — she would carry us a new staging of the getaway vintage. It also fits proper in with her lofty pedagogical mission: “to foster a rebirth of remarkable storytelling in ballet.”

So considerably, so very good, where drama is concerned. This “Nutcracker,” choreographed mostly by Ms. Kirkland’s spouse and co-inventive director, Michael Chernov (she focuses far more on coaching), is practically nothing groundbreaking. But on Friday at Tempo University’s Michael Schimmel Middle for the Arts, it showcased the theatrical ardor and sound strategy that Ms. Kirkland is passing on to a new technology.

Someplace amongst students and pros, the 20 main business users — joined by other trainees and graduates of the school — ranged from emotionally nuanced and technically precocious to endearingly awkward. In the role of Marie, as Clara is alternately acknowledged, Anastasia Barsukova radiated whatsoever the scene (and the Tchaikovsky rating) known as for: youthful awe as she cradled her new toy dreamy exuberance as the wood doll awoke in princely sort.

That prince, the humble Anderson Souza, assisted his diaphanous quickly-to-be princess in skimming runs and clean, albeit effortful lifts. With her imploring gaze and coronary heart-formed pout, Ms. Barsukova seemed not not like a youthful Ms. Kirkland you could think about her striving to be just like her trainer. By her last solo, you could inform she was doing work hard.

Strangely, Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Chernov have accomplished away with the typical business of sweet. In Act II, the Prince does not manual Marie to the Land of Sweets but instead to his celestial palace. Although toys occur to daily life, sugary treats do not. There is no Sugar Plum Fairy.

Standout times arrived from Erez Ben-Zion Milatin, a potent force in the “Spanish” part, and Galen Bolard and Marko Micov, the rosy-cheeked leaders of the “Russian” dance. But it was the youngest solid member, a bite-measurement, shaggy-haired Charles Klepner, who stole the show once more and once more.

The sets and costumes, mostly inherited from New York Metropolis Opera, did not always run efficiently. But what would a “Nutcracker” be with no some surroundings malfunctions? Following the opening party, as the Xmas tree screen trundled offstage — making way for heated combat of the Nutcracker Prince, the Mouse King and their respective armies — a single gold-wrapped present stayed driving. Kudos to the mouse — anonymous on account of the head-to-toe rodent costume — who took a single for the staff and kicked it into the wings.

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