"Stars of the Ballet
Clowes Hall sparkled last Saturday night with nine works featuring alumni dancers-choreographers sharing where their Butler Ballet training has taken them.
Cathy Long Colbert, a soloist with Nevada Ballet Theatre, opened the two-hour program with a jazzy, saucy, leggy balletic soft-shoe rendition of Balanchine’s classic “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” from Who Cares?
Kathryn Sellers paired with guest dancer Robert Dunbar, both with Louisville Ballet, for Twyla Tharp’s gorgeously fluid, flirty, physical sleight of hand take on “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” from Nine Sinatra Songs.
Adam McKinney, now with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, choreographed and danced his electrifying, provocative multimedia composition interweaving film footage from his experiences in Johannesburg with Agulhas Theatre Works, a company committed to making dance available to disabled and able-bodied people.
Diane Coburn Bruning, artistic director of the New York City-based Chamber Dance Project, choreographed “Water,” a gorgeously lithe interpretation of Ravel’s “Sonata for Violin and Cell,” performed live by Biljana Bozinovska and Maxim Zheleznyak and splashily danced in a clear plastic pool of water by Laura Feig and Sean Stewart.
Thaddeus Davis opened Act 2 with his mini-drama “Elida and Twenty Rising,” in playful seriousness to music by Iva Bittova and Bang On a Can All-Stars, danced engagingly by Davis and his NYC-based Wideman/Davis Dance colleagues Tanya Wideman-Davis, Sara Paul and Vincent Lopez.
Allisyn Paino and Jim Stein, both with Ballet Austin, delighted with Stephen Mills’ beautiful, swiftly paced “KAI (pas de deux)” to music by John Cage.
Dance Kaleidoscope dancers Christopher Faesi, Tanner Hronek, Matthew Sparks and Brittany Edwards gave eyebrow lifting, body language nuances to Cole Porter’s “What’s This Thing Called Love?” from David Hochoy’s Cole!
Sara Sardelle and Pete Lay, both with Louisville Ballet, closed the showcase evening with Peter Darrell’s luscious “Apsaras,” a tale of an Indian temple dancer in love with the god she serves, set to Massenet’s “LElisir d’amore.”
This lovingly conceived gift of talent, lustrous throughout, was abetted by lighting design and stage management by Laura E. Glover.