Annapolis group shows versatility in concert


Edward Stewart's Ballet Theatre of Annapolis presented its spring concert last weekend at the Maryland Hall for the Arts with a mixed program. The six highly disparate works demonstrated not only Mr. Stewart's choreographic versatility, but also the strong performance skills of his well-tuned company.

Opening the Friday night program was "Classical Variations," a ballet conceived in the grand manner of St. Petersburg. The piece borrows classical solos from various ballets and sandwiches them between a prelude and finale choreographed by Mr. Stewart. In "Classical Variations," dancers Kelly Barber, Leslie Bradley, Jennifer Dancesia, Laura Erdman, Natasha Kirjanov, Ethel Leslie and Anmarie Touloumis displayed their talents and considerable performing skills.

Also in a classical vein were the Grand Pas de Deux from "Le Corsaire," danced effectively by junior company member Katherine Lynch and soloist Luis Rolando Torres Ortiz. Although a bit rattled at first, Ms. Lynch soon relaxed. Mr. Ortiz's fine line, strong leaps and barrel turns brought well-deserved applause.

"Adage," danced by Sandra Prehoda and Jeffrey Watson, rounded out the classical works. Ms. Prehoda's strong musicality and Mr. Watson's generosity of spirit breathed life into this brief adagio choreographed by Mr. Stewart and Martin Fredmann to music by Aram Khachaturian.

Mr. Stewart's one-act ballet "The Three Faces of Eve" is based on the true story of a woman with multiple personality disorder. Despite the chilling prologue -- in which a young girl, nicely performed by Lara Tant, is forced to kiss a corpse -- the dance minimizes the conflict between the three personalities and focuses most of the energy on Eve Black, (Leslie Bradley). The ending could also use some tuning, as the abrupt conclusion throws off balance the rather lengthy prologue.

"The Four Ancient Elements" and the closing "Fiesta De Pueblo" tok and sought to create raw surges of primordial energy, but the dance simply sputtered. With Mr. Ortiz as the hub of all movement, his interactions with the women -- Ms. Dancesia, Ms. Kirjanov and Ms. Erdman -- became short bursts of interesting movement in a sea of thrashing bodies. The introduction of three vultures was silly.

The closing dance, "Fiesta De Pueblo," was filled with machismo. In the first section, Mr. Ortiz, Jeffrey Dorman, Michael Snipe and Jeffrey Watson were given the flamenco treatment by Ms. Touloumis. Danced a cappella to the sound of hands clapping, feet stomping and fingers snapping various sultry rhythms, the dance relied heavily on the performers to keep the pace going. The finale with the troupe stamping their feet while making various geometric formations had the requisite amount of festivity, but a flamenco guitar would have added a lot.

Pub Date: 4/17/96

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