Night of dancing was well conceived

  • <B>One of the dancers</B>

    One of the dancers

The Bermuda Civic Ballet’s latest show, ‘Summer Selections 2011’ was a light, airy, breezy summer jaunt that simply delighted the diverse group of ballet fans who made it to City Hall on Friday evening.

Featuring a mix of local dancers and international performers, the presentation was competent at worst, and spectacular at best, throughout. Pieces set to contemporary alternative rock music and choreographed by local artists Jelani Veney and Dominique Anderson stood out for me, while more classical pieces like ‘Capriccio’ and ‘Scenes from a Wedding’ offered the kind of charm, humour, and passion only found in the ballet.

Mr Veney’s ‘Evanescent Lullaby’ found Radiohead providing the backdrop for three graceful ballerinas to indulge in a postmodern interpretation of modern dance forms; very eye-catching indeed! The other ultra-modern interpretation came from Anderson’s stunning ‘I’ll Be With You’, which featured the beautifully ethereal ‘My Love’ by Sia backing the wonderfully choreographed movements of Zoe Arshamian, Kim Kassia Kreipe, Alexis Richens, and Mr Veney; a definite highlight of the evening.

Individual accolades go to male dancer Remi Laudat, and female dancer Ms Arshamian. Technical excellence and boundless energy characterised the offerings of guest dancer Mr Laudat, while standout Ms Arshamian exuded personality and passion in her pieces. Each of these artists appeared in five pieces, making them the hardest working dancers of the evening, and giving them more chance to stand out, which they did.

Other noteworthy performances came from James Wadell in ‘Scenes from a Wedding the Engagement’ (a duet with Ms Arshamian), and solo pieces from Sofia Cannonier (‘The Golden Thread’), and Jeppe Jakobsen (‘Prince Florimund solo, Act 2, Sleeping Beauty’). Louise Edmond, Michelle Saunders, and Katherine Squires also delivered memorable performances each time they respectively graced the stage.

Other notable pieces included Eric Bean’s ‘JoGo (The Game)’ which depicted the constant game we play in the tug-of-war we commonly call love, and Pascal Rioult’s magnificent ‘The City’ which depicted the perpetual heartbeat of an eclectic, daunting, often unsettling, and sometimes awesomely beautiful organism: the city and her inhabitants. ‘The City’ was aided by typically amazing performances from Ms Arshamian, Mr Laudat, Ms Squires, and Mr Waddell.

The finale was the perfect close to an exceptional evening at the ballet. Set to Johnny Woolridge’s anthemic ‘Proud to be Bermudian’, the ‘Finale’ featured the entire cast in an ensemble piece choreographed by Bermuda Civic Ballet director Coral Waddell. It was simply enchanting.

In the final analysis, this was a well-conceived show; a mix of contemporary and classic pieces presented in an imminently digestible three-act two-intermission format that kept the pace of the evening perfect, allowing the choreography to shine with minimal effort from the viewer. What more can one ask for?

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