Ballet Review: The Shakespeare Suite

By: Melody Kester

Friday the 13 th by many is thought to be an unlucky day. Not so if you were attending the Ballet West’s World Premiere of The Shakespeare Suite with Return to Strangeland and Summerscape. We were all lucky to witness this event.

When the first curtain went up the image the audience saw was Beckanne Sisk, Rex Tilton and Hadriel Diniz in a striking pose. The person behind me whispered loudly WOW! From that moment on it really was WOW. This piece by Jiří Kylian was absolutely brilliant.

Extremely technical, difficult and unusual moves and holds were woven throughout this piece. The dancers were the focus with just a few autumn leaves in the back of the stage on the floor, along the backdrop. The pianist Jed Moss who accompanied the dancers in Return to Strangeland was flawless in his performance. As the evening continued Summerscape was next on the playbill. This piece by Merce Cunningham was a striking contrast in costumes, music and moves. Again with a minimal back drop of colored dots on a wall, the dancers were the focus; they wore costumes with colored dots and moved to the very modern symphonic music by Morton Feldman. Again precise and difficult moves were the norm. It was fun to see some of the corp dancers move into the spotlight during this piece.

Last but not at all least was The Shakespeare Suite. This was a fun ride through many of the characters in Shakespeare’s plays. With the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn it is upbeat and contemporary and the costumes followed this theme. Alexander Macfarlan as Hamlet was a huge hit. What an amazing evening of dance. The curtain calls were numerous as they should have been.

Ballet West’s Shakespeare Suite continues this Wednesday April 18 th thru April 21 st with a matinee on the 21 st . If you are looking for an evening of incredible dancing and music that is not your traditional ballet this is something you should not miss.

Salt Lake Magazine
Salt Lake Magazine
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