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All Pointes West

Everyone along the Front Range who loves dance and is not familiar with the Colorado Ballet will have the opportunity this fall to experience the company's incredible talent and depth, as it takes its current production, All Pointes West, from Denver to Colorado Springs to Fort Collins to Pueblo.

The show includes two contemporary gems, one modern classic, and one all-time favorite.

Igor Vassine and Maria Mosina in the Pas de Deux from Great Galloping Gottschalk
Igor Vassine and Maria Mosina
in the Pas de Deux from
Great Galloping Gottschalk
Photo: Terry Shapiro
For openers, artistic director Gil Boggs dusts off Great Galloping Gottschalk, a piece in which he performed during his years with American Ballet Theatre. Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was a New Orleans-born composer who achieved international acclaim for his simple, yet catchy melodies, six of which form the basis of this piece, originally choreographed by Denver-native Lynne Taylor-Corbett on a commission from Mikhail Baryshinikov.

It's pure fun for the dancers and the audience alike, as it runs the gamut from fleeting romance to deep-seated commitment and from circus follies to Slavic bravado. Of particular note was the third scene, the Pas de Deux, performed fluidly by Maria Mosina and Igor Vassine to a romantic piano topped off by a harp.

Alexei Tyukov and Chandra Kuykendall in the Act III Wedding Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty
Alexei Tyukov and Chandra Kuykendall
in the Act III Wedding Pas de Deux
from The Sleeping Beauty
Photo: Terry Shapiro
The first intermission is followed by the Wedding Pas de Deux from Act III of Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, performed elegantly, if occasionally strained, by Chandra Kuykendall and Alexei Tyukov (who alternate with Mosina and Vassine here and in the Gottschalk piece). The lines in Kuykendall's gavotte solo are splendid.


Dmitry Trubchanov and Dana Benton in Ave Maria
Dmitry Trubchanov and Dana Benton
in Ave Maria
Photo: Terry Shapiro
Dana Benton and Dmitry Trubchanov tear it up in Dwight Rhoden's Ave Maria, a compelling exploration of spiritual and sensual common ground.

After the second intermission, we're treated to Agnes de Mille's Rodeo, with music written expressly for her by Aaron Copland. The dance was added to the Colorado Ballet's repertoire a few years back—staged by Paul Sutherland, who first danced the ballet in 1957 for the American Ballet Theatre under Agnes de Mille's direction—and it shines just as brightly today in its wit and innovation.

Photo of Sharon Wehner as the cowgirl in Rodeo
Sharon Wehner is one of two
principal dancers who play
the cowgirl in Rodeo
Photo credit: Terry Shapiro
Sharon Wehner (sharing the role with Dana Benton) reprises her 2004 turn as Cowgirl, whose adept horsemanship makes her one of the boys during the day, but whose bluejeans and chaps make her a wallflower at the hoedowns. One evening she puts on a dress and heads begin to turn.

Bogg's choice of material across three distinct genres makes for a stunning evening.

Remaining performance of All Pointes West include Saturday, September 19th at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs, Saturday September 26th at Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, and Friday, November 6th at Sangre de Cristo Performing Arts Center in Pueblo. 303-837-8888 or www.coloradoballet.com.

Bob Bows

 

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