By Rhoda Hanson
According to the insert in the program, “the Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company and the longest continuously operating company in North America” (59 years). The ballet was the first of four events lined up for the Entertainment Series presented by the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay. The large turnout proves that people in Cape Breton are excited about ballet. Or maybe they came out because tickets are very affordable at only $48 for adults and $40 for students & seniors for all four shows. Either way the seats were filled.
This being only the second ballet I have attended, (the first was when I was six years old), my observations are that of a general spectator. My first advice to anyone planning to attend a ballet is to dress for summer. The temperature in the Savoy was very warm to accommodate the dancers.
The show was divided into five very diverse sections. Allegro Brilliante was what I would call a typical ballet dance. The beautiful flowing mint green and peach costumes added a freshness to the movements. Allegro means quickly in Italian and the fast music and lively steps made this dance fun and exciting. The placement of the individual dancers was visually pleasing.
The highlight of the performance was Evelyn Hart whose masterful experience shone through in Grand pas Impromptu and Impromptu Pas de Deux. I attended the recital with a former member of Susan Gallop’s dance troupe who informed that most of the big stars like Ms. Hart do not dance at smaller venues, so we were very impressed to see her dancing in little old Glace Bay. Her partner Jesus Corrales showed his athletic excellence with a long series of high and powerful leaps in the Impromptu.
La Soif, the third dance was my favourite for a couple of reasons. The contemporary sensuality of the movement and the music made this by far the most intense scene in the show. The music was also played live which made the total performance more authentic. A haunting, slow flute melody, doubled only by single notes on the piano gave the listeners a sense of unresolved sexual tension between the characters in this dance. The dark lighting and lingerie-type costumes complemented the effect the choreographer was trying to portray.
The final scene, L’Etiquette was another chorus number. Humour and satire, flashy period costumes and props made this scene quite entertaining. The use of slide projections seemed an unnecessary addition. There was certainly more than enough going on in the scene to focus the audience’s attention.
I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and hope to see more of this high quality dancing presented here in Cape Breton.