Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ballet West Rides the Storm Out

Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute is governing Ballet West the way I hope President-elect Barack Obama will govern the country: by utilizing local and national talent to execute a truly invigorating sea change. Ballet West is now undoubtedly a 21st-century dance company fit to grace the world’s stage.

The Tempest—the first ballet of the company’s 2008-2009 season (the accompanying photo depicts San Jose Ballet's production)—showcases Ballet West’s new aesthetic. The new Ballet West features a commitment to detail, a love affair with modern flourishes, and a dazzling fusion of time periods that satisfies classical ballet lovers and admirers of more contemporary forms of performance art alike.

William Shakespeare wrote The Tempest around 1610 (or so). Like virtually all of Shakespeare’s work, the story stands the test of time and still has plenty of entertainment value for 21st century audiences. The story of an enchanted isle that forges a love affair offers plenty of opportunities for exquisite dancing, elaborate sets, and eye-catching costumes that, alone, are worth the price of admission. The production's run concludes with performances Nov. 12-15.

I predict The Nutcracker will be like no Ballet West Nutcracker you have ever seen. (Jenny Poplar)

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