KINGS OF THE DANCE OPUS 3
Author: Celia Ipiotis
Date: February 25, 2012
Publisher: EYE ON THE ARTS, NY
It doesn’t 't take much to get a crowd's attention when the headliners are five frequently shirtless, attractive, physically fit male ballet dancers. In this year's installment of The Kings Of Dance Opus 3 (presented by Ardani Artists Management) at City Center, Guillaume Cote (National Ballet of Canada), Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theater), David Hallberg (ABT and Bolshoi Ballet), Denis Matvienko (Mariinsky Ballet), and Ivan Vasiliev (Mikhailovsky Theater) whip across the stage in eye- popping jumps and leaps twisted around loop de loop midair turns, crystalline beats and frisky winks.
Doused in premieres by Mauro Bigonzetti, Edward Clug, Nacho Duato, Marco Goecke, Patrick DeBana, Jorma Elo, Edward Clug, and Marcelo Gomes, the mixed repertory opened with a jaunty number that teases out aspects of each dancer's performance persona. There’s Hallberg's lyrical classicism, Gomes’ charming virility, Cote's sensual elan, Vasiliev's youthful exuberance and Matvienko's mystery. Dressed in suits, they exude a cool, urbane spirit in Bigonzetti’s jazzy work framed by funky hand/arm gesticulations that carry over in one form or another throughout the night.
Wearing black ruffled culottes, Hallberg draws up serpentine arms and articulated legs referencing flamenco dance in Duato’s slim solo. Cote demonstrates a supple torso and direct audience contact; Matvienko searches for quieter moments while Marcelo Gomes punches out commanding technique and stage presence followed by Vasiliev’s undeniably exciting air-born jumps and turns.
The final ensemble piece by Gomes “KO’d” offers some nicely detailed choreography that highlights his pals’ grace notes and high points. Despite the thin choreography, these five men are genuinely good sports and world-class dancers. And now—when will the Queens of dance materialize?