Embraceable You is irresistable

By Odna Borlaug

THE unusually modern interpretations of classical ballet by early 20th century Russian musician, dancer and choreographer George Balanchine are spectacularly brought to life in Embraceable You by his erstwhile pupil, repetiteur Diana White, supported by a great cast, and of course Myron Romanuls (West Australian Symphony Orchestra).

Concerto Barocco is danced to a concerto for two violins by JS Bach, characterised by the simple costumes of the ballet in whimsical white and their lively dance after a strained commencement.

The sole male Christian Luck executed some spectacular lifts with his partners Polly Hilton and Roberta Martins Portugal.

Tarantella, choreographed by our own local dancer Jayne Smeulders to the music of Gottschalk, presented a complete contrast, with the always delightful Andre Santos transcending his normal talents in complicated movement, with great lifts and pirouettes.

Accompanied by red-clad partner Sarah Hepburn, then joined by Adam Alzain and a blue-clad Carina Roberts in an energetic flirtation. The beautiful Tchaikovski pas de deux was danced to the swelling sound of Swan Lake by bright and sparkling French artist Florence Leroux-Coleno and Cuban guest artist Oscar Valdes with excellent control.

The second part of the program was a celebration of Gershwin according to Balanchine, again interpreted by Diana White against an imposing backdrop of New York skyscrapers.

Enititled Who Cares, it was almost irresistible to sing along with the wonderful collection of songs but certainly impossible to match the standard of dance.

The fiery colours of the girls´┐Ż costumes matched their bright smiles and complimented the pinstriped young men in shades of red.

Principal dancers this time were Jayne Smeulders, Sarah Hepburn, Japanese-born Reika Sarko and Matthew Lehmann all engaged in various forms of flirtation indicated by the changes of tempo from perennial Strike up the Band,to Somebody Loves Me, The Man I Love, Stairway to Paradise and of course Embraceable You.

As with Balanchine himself, artistic director Aurelien Scannella has flaunted modernity in the faces of lovers of classical ballet that was apparent success according to most comment heard and certainly with ambition from the dancers themselves to tackle this dance.

Embracable You

West Australian Ballet,

His Magesty’s Theatre May 15-30