I wasn’t aware of the PBS Arts Fall Festival until this year, which is lucky or else I would have missed Miami City Ballet perform works by George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011.
Edward Villella, the incomparable founder and artistic director of the MCB, set the tone for the evening with a vibrant introduction, which included a brief synopsis of Balanchine’s Square Dance and Western Symphony and Tharp’s The Golden Section.
Square Dance was a technically flawless classical piece that showcased the company’s musicality and timing. The costumes and background were muted blues and greys so as to not distract the viewer from the dancers’ movements. Western Symphony was the complete opposite. Bright colored costumes, a wild west background and a blend of ballet steps and folk dances gave viewers a chance to see why Balanchine was so fond of the west.
Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section was quintessentially Twyla. It reminded me a little of a Richard Simmons exercise class. Dressed in gold biketards (ladies), shorts (men) and ankle-length leg warmers (all), the company ran, jumped, punched and “ponied” their way through a fast paced routine. The movement never seemed to stop. One motion always lead naturally into another, even if it was a double pirouette, into a jete, into a spiral turn, into an over-the-head lift. It definitely showcased Tharp’s corky side as well as the dancers strength and stamina.
So glad I didn’t miss it!
If you missed it or want to see more dancing, check out PBS Arts from Chicago: AMERICAN MASTERS “Bill T. Jones: A Good Man” on Nov. 11.