dance review 88.
(photo credit: )
Dancers and choreographers
of the Opera Ballet of Paris
The most prestigious ballet company in the world presented five short dance pieces at SummerDance 2009 at the Suzanne Dellal Center, evoking the highest expectations.
The evening's program - which was composed by four dancers and aspiring choreographers - could bring out but a fraction of the potency held by the 154-strong cadre of dancers of the Opera Ballet of Paris. We in Israel never enjoyed a visit by the company, and this evening was just a titillating taste - a tiny sample of refined dancing by this small summer-vacationing group, assembled and directed by Bruno Bouche, one of the opera's highest-ranking stars.
Unfortunately, three out of five works chosen for the tour - done by company members, often encouraged to try their hand at creating dance - were a far cry from artistic accomplishment. They relied mostly on the fine performance skills of the dancers, like star dancer Kader Belarbi, who is yet a pale choreographer. Jose Martinez's ambitious piece utilized powerful music and pointed political observations, but presented rather muddled emotional melodrama, deploying overused expressions of movement.
One man saved the day: the young, upcoming choreographer Nicolas Paul, a name well worth following. His modest yet perfectly clear, well-constructed duet, performed by Adrien Couvez and Simone Valastro, was like breath of fresh air after two quite unripe works that preceded it. To our delight, he further revealed his talents in the final work: 4 figures danse une piece, danced by an inspired quartet of male dancers. It was a sophisticated, intriguing and most powerful piece with ritualistic undercurrents. Its visual values and architectural esthetics corresponded to Far Eastern complex use of written text, and its movement's lexicon relied on razor-sharp precision akin to martial arts.