Man of Many Talents

Carl Coomer in George Balanchine's Apollo. Photo: Sharen Bradford

Carl Coomer dazzles in Texas Ballet Theater’s Portraits Ballet Festival.

Dallas – Carl Coomer is a truly multi-talented artist. If you don’t believe me then you should have seen him this past weekend in the new Portraits Ballet Festival, presented by Texas Ballet Theater.

He shined in George Balanchine’s Apollo. (And I am not just referring the sweat covering his naked chest.)

He was everything Balanchine could want in his Apollo: strong, commanding and physically beautiful. Every movement from a hand gesture to a grand leap was bigger than life. Even sitting on a stool watching his three muses dance he demanded your attention.

Photo: Sharen Bradford

What many people say put Balanchine ahead of his time was his belief that movement should enhance the music and that a storyline wasn’t always necessary. Apollo was no exception.

The muses accented the music with their sharp pointe work and stretched their limbs to emphasize a long musical note. Coomer’s body swelled with the music and exploded into a jump or turn when needed.

Coomer also proves to be a great story-teller. In his piece Evolving he told a simple story of a girl’s journey from birth to adulthood and her interactions with her parents, friends and men. The movement was a mix of sweet and quirky gestures. He played to the dancers’ strengths – their long legs, amazing body control and expressive faces.

Photo: Sharen Bradford

The Portraits Ballet Festival will run through this weekend, April 27-29, at the Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas.

(Photos are courtesy of Sharen Bradford. You can view more of her work at



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