The Ballet am Rhein’s latest offering, b.29, was a true homage to the greats, featuring pieces choreographed by George Ballanchine, Martin Schläpfer and Jerome Robbins and set to music by Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Witold Lutoslawski.
The first of the three pieces for the evening was Mozartina by George Ballanchine, a choreographer said to be the father of American ballet, whose style and influences draw heavily on the Russian composers. Mozartina is a classical piece that feels like a love letter to its female dancers. In positioning this as the first piece for the evening, it also felt like a starting point, presenting the audience with what they expected to see during a night at the ballet, before veering off in the opposite direction.
The second, Konzert für Orchester, stood in stark contrast to the Ballanchine. Martin Schläpfer’s choreography showcased the strength and power of the company, and used striking purple and black costumes and shadowy staging to convey the emotional range of the piece. Schläpfer also showed the depth of the company seemingly using every last dancer he could fine. If there is a criticism to be leveled, it’s that you want to be able to watch the piece over and over, so you have time to see what all of the dancers are doing.
The final piece, The Concert, rounded out the evening with a more humourous and comic ballet by Jerome Robbins whose reputation lies both in his work with the American Ballet Theater and his choreography of Broadway classics like West Side Story. This was an incredibly clever piece that both played for laughs (obvious and subtle) and showed the company’s capacity for building complex and engaging characters.
As this was our last ballet for the year it was great to see such a great turnout (32 tickets sold!). And it was really special to discover that for some of our members this was their first ever night out at the ballet. We look forward to offering more wonderful shows next year including a very special treat in June…
It was really a pleasure to watch their ballet & would do it again.B.29 performance was very original and pleasant to watch. The ballet, in three different thematic parts where classical and modern ballet with a comedy play, transported a lot of excitement to the audience. The ballet artists played with real dynamic and passion, very beautiful to watch live on the stage and under the arrangement of wonderful instrumental music.