Arts » Theater + Dance

Review: An Evening with the Stars

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Four stars

Indianapolis City Ballet, Murat Theater, Sept. 11. This second annual gala event showcased 13 virtuoso dancers from renowned companies worldwide. The program opened with the world premiered of Margo Sappington's sophisticated setting of Cole Porter's "Night and Day" on Veronika Verterich and Vitali Krauchenka. A cross-section of contemporary choreography — featuring cutting edge works that fused ballet and modern dance — showed the variety of styles growing from the classical repertoire, here represented by Petipa in his "Le Corsaire Pas de Deux" danced by Misa Kuranaga and Daniil Simkin, and "Don Quixote Pas de Deux" danced by Natalia Ospiova and Ivan Vasiliev. Both works feature breathtaking jumps, speed and technically-demanding steps. Julie Kent and Marclo Gomes particularly pleased with their meticulous rendering of the intensely dramatic "Lady of the Cameillias, Act III Pas de Deux" by Neumeir and "Othello" by Lubavitch. Natalia Ospiova and Ivan Vasilev brought superb character dancing to Vainonen's "Flames of Paris." Daniil Simkin made Cauwenbergh's "Les Bourgeois" totally charming.Elisa Carrillo Cabrera and Mikhail Kaniskin delivered a sultry "Kazmir'sColours" by Bigonzetti and a deft "In the Middle Somewhat Elevated" by Forsythe. Yuan Yuan Tan and Damian Smith were fluidly sculptured in Tomasson's "Pas de Deux" from The Fifth Season and then lyrically angular in Liang's "Distant Cries." And, as last year, the audience went totally wild with "Caught," as Miguel Quinones made Parsons' lighting inspired work seem miraculous. Chris Stack was an engaging Master of Ceremonies, delivering sprightly introductions to each piece. Producer Kevin Hesse shaped the program with finesse to highlight technical prowess and a deep understanding of each work's emotional core.

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