The Arts

National Ballet of Canada Mixed Program

National Ballet of Canada Mixed Program featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Choreography by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp
National Ballet of Canada Mixed Program
Four Seasons Centre
Jun.15 to 19, 2011

I’m starting to sound like a broken record but artistic director Karen Kain can certainly put repertoire together.

Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances and George Balanchine’s Mozartiana are neo-classical ballets on the sweet side. Just when the program is threatening to spill into sugar overload, Kain tosses in Twyla Tharp’s explosive ballet/contemporary dance fusion, In The Upper Room, to create a most satisfying trio.

Other Dances is Kain’s gift to Greta Hodgkinson to celebrate the principal dancer’s 20 years with the company. Hodgkinson and partner Zdenek Konvalina are performing the charming pas de deux at every performance.

Mozartiana is another of Balanchine’s trademark visualization of music. The choreographer evokes the 18th century with his nod to period social dances.

In The upper Room is a non-stop orgy of relentless movement for 13 dancers. The score by Philip Glass builds in driving intensity until both the dancers and the audience are breathless.

The National’s summer mixed program continues at the Four Seasons Centre until Jun. 19.

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