Friday, October 16, 2009


For my birthday two years ago, a dear friend gave me tickets to a performance of Anna Karenina by the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. Little did I know this gift would spark an abiding love for ballet: I was so moved by the finale of Anna Karenina I knew I had to experience more.

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. Photo by L.A. Times.

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg.

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg. Photo by Dmitri Solobev.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to see a number of performances, and I just never tire of a beautiful ballet. Something about the astounding capabilities of the human body and the magical moments when movement and music are perfectly matched has me completely riveted. I have seen so many performances I have loved, two of which were part of a program by the American Ballet Theatre at New York City Center. The first was "Overgrown Path," choreographed by Jiri Kylian and inspired by the autobiographical piano pieces of Leos Janacek.

An Overgrown Path. Photo by Andrea Mohin/New York Times.

Twyla Tharp choreographed the second, the Scottish-inspired "Brief Fling," which ABT described as "an admirably fierce and aggressive plunge into what a dance language can express, contrasting the ballet vocabulary with Tharp's own spiraling, incandescent and witty modern-dance idiom." described it as "a raucous blend of dance styles set to traditional and electronic music and clothed in deep-hued tartans." I just remember it was a really fun, happy, modern ballet.

Brief Fling. Costumes by Isaac Mizrahi. Photo by Lois Greenfield.

Brief Fling, choreographed by Twyla Tharp, music by Michel Colombier & Percy Grainger.

Unfortunately, I could not find clips of either performance, however I did find a video of Leos Janacek's beautiful piano piece as well as another wonderful ballet by Ms. Tharp, "In the Upper Room." I realize the videos are on the long side, so maybe just have a little taste!

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