Past Perfect

Past Perfect

By Mary Cargill, Danceviewtimes
Friday April 23, 2010

The New York Theatre Ballet is the small group affiliated with the school founded by the famous Cecchetti teacher Margaret Craske, and it gives regular performances of chamber ballets, works which would be lost on larger stages. Though the company performs new works, it is best known for its scrupulous and honorable revivals of earlier masterpieces, with live piano (played by Mariko Miyazadi and Ferdy Tumakaka), a rarity in this age of tape. The combination of the British greats, Tudor and Ashton, seasoned with a fine comedy by Agnes de Mille and a rare Limon made for a wonderful program. Antony Tudor's "Soiree Musicale", choreographed in 1938, was originally intended as a demonstration of Cecchetti technique. It is a bundle of charming dances, a group of nineteenth century lithographs brought to life. The nine dancers (six women and three men) perform lighthearted, but gloriously musical, stylized folk dances, so evocative of the Romantic period. There is even a slyph, the charming Young Wha Lim, full of little grace notes, a Spanish gypsy number, and an infectious tarantella, with Rie Ogura and Steven Melendez as the happy couple.

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