Is There Anything More Beautiful Than The Ballet?

Published on: June 15, 2012

Filled Under: Reviews

Views: 498

Robert Stephen and Tina Pereira in Chroma. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
I feel a burst of joy whenever I walk into the Four Seasons Centre to see a ballet.  So much so that if I did my own version of Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project”, taking myself on dates to the ballet would be at the top of my list of things to increase my happiness level.
I prefer the solo ballet viewing experience.  If I’m alone, I don’t have to be concerned if my +1 is enjoying themselves, I don’t have to hear any negative nitpicking at intermission and I don’t have to be self-conscious about the tears of joy that can well up in my eyes occasionally because what I’m seeing on stage is just so bloody beautiful.

Last night I went to see the National Ballet‘s triple bill of short ballets: Elite Syncopations; Song of a Wayfarer, and Chroma.   All three wowed my senses to the point where, yes, I was so overwhelmed that tears sprang to my eyes.  This happened at least once in all three ballets (twice in Chroma).  Watching these was different from the usual ballet-viewing experience – for one, there’s less of a narrative to follow for each ballet. There’s no proper story so it’s easier to focus on the movement and the music…and also how incredible Aleksandar Antonijevic looks in blue tights.
Let’s be honest; the man is so emotive and graceful and powerful when he dances, it’s impossible to tear your eyes away.  It’s so breathtakingly beautiful and I love every second.
I’m gushing. This is why having some “me” time at the ballet is imperative; it’s embarrassing if I don’t.
Elite Syncopations is a light-hearted ballet that evokes the vaudeville, flapper era of the early 20th Century, with a touch of clown.  Although I prefer my ballets with more drama, the synronization of the dancers and the calibre of the performances were outstanding.  The costumes looked like body paint so you could see every muscle ripple in every leap and turn. Amazing.
Song for a Wayfarer is a pas de deux for two men, and it was a total treat to watch principle dancers Piotr Stanczyk, and my ballet dreamboat, Aleksandar Antonijevic, debut in these roles.  This is what professional dance looks like – bare stage, minimal costume; only the dancers’ bodies as spectacle.  I still don’t fully comprehend the story between the two men but that could be because I was slack jawed and teary the entire time.
Chroma blew my mind. I’d seen it before but forgot how technically difficult and original the choreography is.  When the curtain rises, you’re hit with fast-paced, high-intensity, borderline androgynous dance, set to the score of The White Stripes. YES PLEASE.
The ballet begins with a wallop and doesn’t stop ’til the curtain drops.

I admit that I’m biased. Going to the ballet is one of the few things left in the world that still emotes the same rush of excitement as when I was 5 years old, so its a very personal experience for me.  But the multiple curtain calls and the numerous ‘Bravos’ shouted from the mezzanine, probably agree with me in my summaries of these performances.

Elite Syncopations, Song of a Wayfarer and Chroma are playing now at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen St. W.) until Sunday June 17.  That’s only 3 days!
Get a ticket – rush is probably available – and GO.
For tickets, call: 416-345-9595 or click here.

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