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From the Royals shows skill of Boston Ballet


Works by Bintley, Ashton and Lander.

Wang Center, Feb. 2.


BOSTON BALLET'S recent performance of From the Royals at the Wang Center continues to build upon a well-established reputation. Saturday night, they performed From the Royals, so named because each ballet was choreographed by a member of the Royal London Ballet Company, notably Dave Bintley, Sir Frederick Ashton and Harald Lander.

Bintley's "Allegri Diversi," scored to Rossini's Variations for clarinet and small orchestra, skillfully intertwined the movements of the dancers to the mood of the music. Set in the garden of an Italian Renaissance villa, the colors suggest the season of spring. Dancing in pairs, the male and female partners displayed effortless elegance and swiftness of movement. With their almost identical costumes, the different pairs seemed like twins, flirting and enjoying each other's attention. The dance was further enhanced by clarinet soloists William G. Wrzesien and Edward Avedisian's interpretations of the Rossini score.

On a more modern note, the second ballet, "Monotones I & II," set to the music of Erik Satie, presented the imagery of shapes. Sporting olive-green costumes and dancing before a blue background, the first trio flowed together with simple, steady steps, giving the dance a hypnotic appeal. There was a hint of sadness in the music, and the hushed peacefulness cast an indescribable spell. "Monotones II" showcased the talents of Emily Gresh, whose flexibility and responses to the movements of her male partners thrilled the audience.

Finally, Lander's "Etudes," based upon the piano etudes of Carl Czerny, was a tribute to the art of ballet. Beginning with five young dancers in white tutus, the piece progressed from the simplest positions of ballet to more complicated forms. Dancers in black tutus stepped up and down, practicing their leg movements with the aid of the barre. Obviously experienced, the dancers then progressed to kicking in perfect unison.

The piece was set upon a white background, and the lighting and black costumes highlighted the dancers' legs but hid their faces. This continued to give the impression of unison, while at the same time suppressing the individuality of each dancer.

The dancers in black tutus were then replaced by the now-mature white tutued dancers, whose swift turning movements made it seem like they were skilled figure skaters twirling on the ice.

"Etudes" was a fitting end to the evening. The music grew louder to reflect the frantic pace, and the dancers treated the audience to an exciting display of the hardest steps, tricky footwork and demanding turns. Truly, this was an evening to showcase the spectacular virtuosity of the Boston Ballet Company.