Three Masterpieces features three one-act ballets by three influential choreographers, representing different eras of dance since ABT’s inception: Twyla Tharp’s Bach Partita, Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas and Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free.
Through the combined efforts of the Queensland Government, QPAC and key sponsors, ABT were able to call Brisbane home for several weeks as they performed Swan Lake last week and then the Three Mastpieces.
Last Friday evening was a decadent affair with a delightful pre-reception event to applaud those key people responsible for bringing ABT to our shores. Minister Ian Walker and QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas warmly welcomed one and all and thanked our American ‘cousins’ from across the pond for honoring us with their amazing ballet skills.
Kevin Mackenzie (Artistic Director ABT) said, “The excitement in the studios has been palpable as our outstanding artists prepare to bring these incredible pieces to Australian audiences and QPAC for the very first time.
ABT was founded in 1940. In 1980 Mikhail Baryshnikov became Artistic Director. Kevin Mackenzie took over the role in 1992. Over its nearly 75 year history, the Company has appeared in a total of 136 cities in 45 countries, and has appeared in all 50 states of the USA. In 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre became America’s National Ballet Company.
The Three Masterpieces
Each piece lasted for approximately 30 minutes with a 20 minutes interval in between. For those 30 minutes you were transported through time to experience different elements of choreography.
Bach Partita was a memorable piece in that it showed the individuals and collective strengths of each dancer through the choreography. I was particularly drawn to James Whiteside and Misty Copeland who owned the stage. Stella Abrera glided with the softness of a butterfly across the stage whilst the power of Marcelo Gomes and Calvin Royal III left me in awe.
The single violin echoed Bach’s classical Partita No. 2 in D Minor and this alone sent my senses into overdrive. Just breathtaking!
It’s difficult to single out a dancer suffice to say that technique, discipline and passion flows through their veins as if it’s born inside them.
The Seven Sonatas highlighted a pianist that played Seven Keyboard Sonatas. I didn’t connect with this piece as much however I felt that the dancers did and that’s more important in my opinion.
Fancy Free brought the QSO to life and we found 3 happy sailors vying for the arm of 2 lovely ladies in a New York bar. I was very much life imitating art and we can only imagine how life was really like in 1944. The interplay between the 3 sailors (Danil Simkin, Cory Stearns and James Whiteside) was very funny. I can see why this is was a crowd favourite.
Congratulations to Kevin Mackenzie and the entire team behind ABT. Australia loved you, Dancehub Magazine loved you and I personally can’t wait for another taste of ABT in the near future. You are always welcome to our shores.