The alternately opulent and dreamy sets of the Colorado Ballet’s Swan Lake further transported an audience already somewhat separated from reality by virtue of the splendor of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The effect was made complete by the fine accompaniment of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Conducted by Adam Flatt, the live music deeply enriched the experience.
In her 21st and final season as a principal dancer with the Colorado Ballet, Maria Mosina as Odette/Odile displayed a high level of intense professionalism. She performed on this opening night only, October 7th, 2016, enacting the Swan Queen with elegance and grace. The sinewy rippling of her back as she fluttered her arms in the manner of a swan was masterful.
In a company full of accomplished dancers, soloists Asuka Sasaki and Kevin Gaël Thomas are standouts. I look forward to their continued and increased exposure in seasons to come. Yosvani Ramos as Benno is energetic and sympathetic, and Christopher Moulton noteworthy as he danced the Czardas. Gregory K. Gonzales, guest dancer, is perfect in the role of Baron Von Rothbart. Though the part does not allow for a satisfying demonstration of Gonzales’s considerable athletic prowess, his imperious bearing and formidable glower are a delight.
The swan maidens have the very difficult task of maintaining synchronicity in a large group. The black and white swans’ obeisance to the Baron in the last act was perhaps the most successful effort. The multiple instances of extended immobility for the majority of the swan maidens were also well managed by the dancers. The Dance of the Cygnets (featuring corps de ballet members Emily Speed and Sarah Tryon and apprentices Arianna Ciccarelli and Mackenzie Dessens) in Act II was an especial highlight.
One of the strengths of the Colorado Ballet is its maintenance of individuality within the rigid context of ballet. While the group work is quite good and everything it needs to be, somehow hints of personality and dancer-specific skills still shine. This is especially interesting because it is so hard to quantify, yet unmistakeable. It makes watching a company performance a nuanced, layered event all the more enjoyable. It truly was a luminous evening.
Jane E. Werle: At three months of age Jane E. Werle, unable to protest, was removed from Loveland, Colorado by her well-meaning parents. In 2004 she was able to rectify this error when she relocated from Massachusetts to Boulder for graduate school. One M.F.A. and a husband later, Jane works to further the arts in the Front Range as a writer (reviewer, interviewer, curator) and enthusiast (no-shame, first-on-the-floor amateur– despite some training– dancer). Jane is also a longtime nanny and a visual artist, taking one of these very seriously and the other as a growth experience. Every child she’s cared for has experienced some form of the SDP: Spontaneous Dance Party.