The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Winspear Opera House welcomes American Ballet Theatre

Winspear Opera House welcomes American Ballet Theatre
Photo courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center

(Photo courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center)

The Dallas Arts District has welcomed internationally acclaimed performers once again. American Ballet Theatre presented a taste of their repertoire at the Winspear Opera House Friday and Saturday evening.

Titas, in association with the AT&T performing Arts Center, showcased the 70-year-old company with principal dancers and corps de ballet performers.

Prima ballerinas Paloma Herrera and Julie Kent awed the majority of the audience simply with their presence on stage, however some spectators didn’t feel completely satisfied.

Audience member Barbara Rathwick from Dallas was upset there was no live orchestra to accompany the dancers.

“Part of coming to the Winspear is the live music,” Rathwick said.

But Rathwick did enjoy the first piece of the evening, Seven Sonatas, because it had live piano accompaniment on stage.

“Seven sonatas was my favorite piece because of the pianist, beautiful costumes and choreography,” Rathwick said.

The remaining pieces of the repertoire were Duets, a contemporary piece by Merce Cunningham and a Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux with Balanchine choreography. The final piece was choreographed by Paul Taylor called Company B. The piece had a swing feeling with music from The Andrew Sisters.

Audience member Jessica Alemendarez from Irving, Texas, was surprised by her feelings towards the performance.

“I thought Cunningham’s contemporary piece would be my favorite, but it was monotonous. I could feel the audience getting restless.”

American Ballet Theatre dancers are known for having impeccable technique, but when the choreography is static, the non-dancer isn’t satisfied.

Stephen Safra from Miami said the Duets piece was absolutely not his style.

“I enjoyed the spirit of the Company B piece, especially Craig Salstein, but as far as grace and beauty, the Tchaikovsky piece was amazing,” Safra said.

Previous American Ballet Theatre Student in New York, and now an SMU dance major, attended the performance and had a positive review for the company.

Although many audience members weren’t too keen on the geometric and modern style of the Duets piece, previous dancer Belle Riley was intrigued.

“The dancers were clean, controlled, and precise. This was what gave the piece such elegance,” Riley said.

Riley also enjoyed Seven Sonatas because of its intimacy between the dancers.

“The choreography and dancing quality was casual, almost as if the piece wasn’t about choreography but they were in a classroom dancing with each other. It made the piece relatable to me. I wanted to get back to ABT’s studios,” Riley said.

With more than 1,700 tickets sold for opening night, America’s official Ballet Company, successfully entertained Dallas Arts District visitors.  

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