I accompanied my friend Carla Körbes to the opening night of Fall for Dance recently. Carla was in town to support the L.A. Dance Project, to which she was recently appointed Assistant Artistic Director. Fall for Dance, a festival that began in 2004, is a great tradition. The cheap, flat-rate tickets and eclectic programming bring out an audience of dancers and true connoisseurs. Everyone there is passionate and knowledgeable about dance, which makes for an invigorating environment.
The evening kicked off with an excellent rendition of George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante by the Miami City Ballet. I am always thrilled by the energy MCB brings to every performance, and they did not disappoint here in one of Balanchine’s most kinetic works. Patricia Delgado danced the ballerina role and she was just lovely. She gave full value to every step, especially in the carriage of her head and neck. She is such a sunny presence onstage and off; she radiated pure joy even in the trickiest cadenza passages.
The corps looked sharp and tight, and my eye was frequently drawn to the very pretty Zoe Zien. The men had clean lines and were perfectly synced in what is one of my favorite passages of choreography of all time: the moment at the end of their first entrance, right before the women reenter, when they perform a simple sequence of cabriole arabesque to tendu derrière four times in a row to Tchaikovsky’s ebbing piano chords. Never has a repeat been so effective, in my opinion.
The only qualm I had about the piece was the canned music. In Allegro, the interplay of the ballerina and the pianist is crucial. Without that spontaneity in phrasing there is some frisson of excitement that is lost. It was unfortunate to have been deprived of Pat’s full musical artistry here. It was also a shame in the measured ritards before the