Dance Review: Medea

Berta Yampolsky, artistic director for the Israel Ballet, reworked and re-premiered Medea, a short ballet she first did a decade ago.

June 30, 2008 15:48
1 minute read.
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dance review 88. (photo credit: )

The Israel Ballet Medea TAPAC May 26 Berta Yampolsky, artistic director and company choreographer for the Israel Ballet, reworked and re-premiered Medea, a short ballet she first did a decade ago. The show provided an opportunity to see three very different works by Yampolsky; the hard-edge ballet Xta, the narrative drama Medea and the lyrical abstract ballet Ni-Na. All three works are demanding in their own way, and the company exerted to keep up with the technical demands. The program was diversified, but in the end, the evening was less than inspiring, partially because Medea, supposedly the more substantial work, turned out to be the weakest link. Euripides's Medea is a hair-raising story of deep passion, jealousy turned to madness and the most horrific revenge concocted by Medea. The dramatic role was danced by Elena Rosenberg; she had rather flimsy choreographic support to lean on and build her character. She is a rather strong dancer, but her stage presence failed to come across. And running around with outstretched arms was just not enough. Unfortunately, with its outdated, one-dimensional choreography, this expressionist ballet hindered the reputation of the company. Instead of scratching the bottom of the old barrel, the company would be better off with fresher works. Xta, for instance, was an upbeat, sharp, rhythmical creation influenced by Forsyth and his followers. Most of the time, the dancers kept up with the bit and looked lively in a contemporary fashion. Ni-Na was a due salute in flowing, lyrical style to Nina Gershman, the company's only real great ballerina. The next performance is on July 1.

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