Orlando Ballet Mix it up with Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil La Nouba Theatre at Downtown Disney was held captive by breathtaking performances, unimaginable dance, and consuming artistic stimulation. The takeover merged rising and practiced talent springing from the Orlando Ballet and Cirque du Soleil to a standard reminiscent of a well seasoned New York troupe.
The evening consisted of nine inspiring acts highlighting creativity via collaboration upon an experiential platform minus the pressure typically associated with a “Choreographers’ Showcase.” Leaping directly into the action, imagination true to life was exemplified during the second act, “Prayer.” This love story, designed by destiny, was watched over by a tender and oversized moon spreading a warm comforter throughout the land, where a caricature of two rabbits eventually gravitated each other’s hold.
“Doll Tricks” toyed and threaded fancy brilliantly in front of Winston Wolfe’s remix of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” One of the highlights of the evening, again proving light, obscurity, stillness, and sound can merge into unbridled fulfillment.
Minutes later, dancers Telmo Moreira and Lamin Pereira mirrored reflection on the stage, teasing vulnerabilities until the reality of isolation entered face to face. Chorded by equilibrium, this remarkable balance verified dualities symbiotic necessity along with a dreamer’s allusive power (and potential destruction) for all to bear witness… where belonging requires no doorway.
Though all acts exemplified enchantment, the final two, “Tango Roxanne” and “Swan Puddle: The Extraordinary Untold Story” substantiated constant applause and an eventual standing ovation. Sorrow, pain, laughter, joy, and freedom transcended into an inviting audience; all becoming one throughout this ambitious voyage.
Supported by the direction of Orlando Ballet’s Robert Hill and La Nouba’s Daniel Ross, this one of a kind presentation succeeded on all levels. My only complaint, why ONLY once a year?
In addition to bringing dance, music, and story to high intensity, tonight benefited the Scholarship Training for the Enrichment of Primary Students (STEPS) program. For those unfamiliar with STEPS, this program reaches at-risk children through ballet, giving them an opportunity to learn about the performing arts.
Taken directly from the Orlando Ballet website, STEPS is designed to inspire children to stay in school and possibly even discover a career path. The program has been shown to limit the incidence of at-risk related behavior with academic schoolteachers reporting an 80% marked memory and behavioral improvement, 82% in motor skills, 85 % in academics, and 92% in self-esteem. Orlando Ballet School is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its professional staff teaches STEPS participants in a structured syllabus that recognizes cognitive, emotional and physical development.
For additional information regarding the STEPS program, visit www.orlandoballet.org/school/outreach.html.
Courtesy note: For those texting during the performance, really?
Looking forward to Orlando Ballet’s “Swans: Black & White” on March 30th, March 31st, and April 1st, I hear from a reliable source that artistic director Robert Hill will be taking a new look at this romantic saga. Without hesitation, I encourage you to purchase tickets early as the classic tale of the struggle between beauty and betrayal, and the duality of human nature, told though the elegant ballet and Tchaikovsky’s stirring score promises to be a must see.
Heading to the box office, I am,
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
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