Haglund has never seen a Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema screening so packed as it was Sunday afternoon for Le Corsaire. Every seat was taken and people were standing along the sides and a few were sitting on the aisle steps to watch it. Quite possibly there were more people at this movie than were at ABT’s Sunday afternoon performance at the Koch Theater. What?! You mean people would rather watch a ballet movie than sit through ABT’s Her Notes and Thirteen Diversions? Say it isn’t so! The movie was fabulous. Most of the choreography was familiar to us but the Bolshoi dancers pushed the pedal to the metal unlike what we generally see here in Le Corsaire.
Then Sunday night we all trucked up the street to the Ailey Citigroup Theater for the Hearts of Houston Benefit. Beautiful Yuriko Kajiya with Connor Walsh from Houston Ballet and the Cuban Council on Circular Abracadabra from Pennsylvania Ballet (Mayara Pineiro and Arian Molina Soca) were the highlights of a terrific evening; Daniel Ulbricht, too, whose series of brisé volé at sonic speed were quite unbelievable. All of the performers generously volunteered their artistry as did the choreographers who permitted their dances to be performed. The premiere of the Second Movement from Ben Stevenson’s Martinù Pieces, a brand new ballet that he was choreographing when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, revealed quite a storm of emotional outpouring from the Texas Ballet Theater dancers, Carolyn Judson and Alexander Kotelenets. The entire ballet will have its world premiere in March in Fort Worth.
It was either very nice or very stickin’-it-to-you (or both) of HB’s board chair to acknowledge to the audience that she understood how much New Yorkers missed Yuriko and Jared but that they were very much appreciated and loved in Houston. Sitting in a center row was ABT’s unappreciative and entrenched monarch who was moronically oblivious to the icy stares he got from ABT’s estranged patrons in attendance. And so it goes…
Next up, Marcelo Gomes and Sara Mearns Friday night in The Red Shoes at City Center. Wear red, people. Then the Gisellemobile will be on the road overnight to Chicago.