Saturday, September 29, 2012

Seeing Aspen Santa Fe

I saw Aspen Santa Fe Ballet perform at the Wortham this evening.  It's been three hours since the show ended, and I'm still basking in the glow of it.  The only way I can think of summarizing it is by describing a few of the moments that stayed with me:

  • A man, spotlit from above, holds himself off the floor with one arm, his elbow tucked into his stomach.  His legs are spread, and his toes rest on the ground behind him.  He remains frozen as the spotlight dims and the scrim slowly rises, sending columns of light streaking across the floor from upstage.  He is now backlit; the lights then fade.
  • A woman runs in a circle around the stage.  When she reaches downstage center, she is caught by a man who suspends her in air as her legs continuing running.  Her lelgs freeze mid-gait, and she is lowered to the ground.
  • Six dancers lay with their backs on the floor, equally spaced and parallel to one another, their heads downstage and their legs upstage.  A man sprints from the wing stage left, touching the ground in between each dancer before disappearing into the wing stage right.  As he passes over them, the dancers contract, lifting their arms and legs up before relaxing them back to the floor.  Jumping through puddles comes to mind.
  • A woman wraps herself around a man's stomach.  The man leans over his bent left leg such that the woman's back rests on his quadricep.  Her legs stick straight up in the air.  They pause, and he slowly lifts his right leg off the ground into an aribesque.
  • A woman sinks into splits, supported by her partner at her waist.  He proceeds to walk slowly to the left, gliding her in her splits alongside.
  • A woman dances alone on stage, strutting, hopping, and twitching like a bird.  At the end of her solo, she bends over in releve, grabs her ankles, and tip-toes offstage, chased by a man similarly strutting.
  • A man leaps in the air, lands in second, and sinks into a deep plie.  He turns his feet parallel and lets his hands relax, his fingers hitting the ground on at a time.  In the silence of the theater, his fingers sound like raindrops.
  • Two men hold a woman in the air between them.  She swings one leg to the side and almost to her head, and then the other leg, much like a pendulum.
  • The entire scrim is a gradient of sky blue to day-glo green.  The women wear bright green dresses, and the men wear blue pants.  Everyone belongs.
  • A woman, tangled in the arms of a man, coils in fear of his clawed hand nearing her face.  She turns in his arms and scampers, but his grip remains, and she goes nowhere.  She turns back to the hand to find it closer, and again, she tries to escape.  She descends to the floor in a heap, and the hand freezes, undulates, and returns harmlessly to the man's side.
  • A man lies on his back on the floor, his arms supporting a woman above him, both of her legs in attitude.  A second man approaches the couple, who are spotlight from above.  He takes hold of the first man's foot and spins the couple in a circle on the floor.
  • A woman and a man embrace downstage right.  She ducks out and slowly steps back, leaving the man as the shell of an embrace.
This is to say nothing of the way the company rippled movement from one side of the stage to the other and back, or how nearly every lift they did seemed completely unique, or how silly the dancers became in the second piece as they took on animal personas, or with what fluidity all of the dancers moved, or how much they all seemed to enjoy themselves onstage.

Let's open up a restaurant in Santa Fe.  At the very least, we can see ASFB as often as we'd like.

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