So as you may remember, the boy and I attended Saturday night's performance by the Los Angeles Ballet. It was fun to be out on the town and back at UCLA (the theater was on campus) but I think we had mixed feelings about the actual ballet.
|Me and the Bruin Bear-- we roamed campus before the show, and the rain!|
On the one hand its refreshing to see that the company is still going and seems to have expanded their number of dancers. They have the privilege of being able to perform great works by Balanchine, such as Raymonda Variations and Western Symphony, two of the three pieces performed Saturday night. And they have new choreographers offering them pieces too. But even with all that I think they still haven't quite reached the level of expertise and professionalism they are gunning for...There were several moments during the show when I felt like I was watching a school academy performance. The dancers seem young and lack a level of confidence and precision that sets the professionals apart from the amateurs. Perhaps they were just having an off night, but I have a feeling they are just a few steps short of being a really professional and skilled company. Although Western Symphony's upbeat music, fun costumes and flirty characters did help to end the evening on a crowd-pleasing note (it also finally allowed the dancers to show what they had by way of stage presence and personality.) It was by far the strongest piece of the program. I have hopes for LAB's future indeed, but they're still a ways away from being counted among the companies in ballet's "major leagues." Maybe next season!