Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballet Nacional De Cuba

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballet Nacional De Cuba

Article excerpt

BALLET NACIONAL DE CUBA WILTERN THEATRE LOS ANGELES FEBRUARY 6-7, 1999

Since Los Angeles is the country's second-largest city and the so-called entertainment capital of the world, one would expect to see a touring ballet company here occasionally. But no. Such niceties now grace only the outlying areas, whose open-calendar culture palaces beckon. So Alicia Alonso's Cubans, after a ten-year absence, made a most welcome visit to L.A. proper and reminded us what Giselle, the real, rare Romantic thing, is.

In fact, there was a transporting moment when Myrtha (Laura Hormigon) and her attendants (Yanet Acuna, Ivette Regueiro) seemed to step from an antique lithograph, their shoulders sloping, elbows bent, wrists dropped--a collective Marie Taglioni come to life. And in that eerie twilight they defined the white gossamer of the wili, the bereaved maidens whose vacant souls wander the earth through eternity. When the full corps assembled--an astounding twenty-four--it was a sorority all of a single breath, single impulse, single angle of repose.

This startlingly high level of stylistic integrity, which gives meaning rather than just spectacle to the mystical second act, is a benefit Alonso and her ballet mistress, Josefina Mendez, pass along season after season. True, the worn physical production reflects Cuba's hard-bitten economy more than it does a lavish or even unified decor; taped music replaces a live orchestra; Albrecht's noble entourage wears clashing Day-Glo colors; and Salvador Fernandez's set design is a shreds-and-patches affair. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.