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DANCE REVIEW: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet starts Pillow season with a bang

It was striking how each choreographer had a clear vision of how they wanted to incorporate light.

Becket — I was very curious to witness Aspen Santa Fe Ballet for the first time. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. They were perfect, impeccable dancers, both individually and as a group. I could see that each dancer was feeling the music right out past every finger, every toe. As a group, the dancers even synchronized breathing in a way that affected the movement.

Seia Rassenti and Katherine Bolanos in Alejandro Cerrudo’s ‘Silent Ghost.’ Photo: Christopher Duggan
Seia Rassenti and Katherine Bolanos in Alejandro Cerrudo’s ‘Silent Ghost.’ Photo: Christopher Duggan

Some of the pieces, in particular “Silent Ghost” with choreography by Alejandro Cerrudo, certainly called for a fluidity that, at it best, (and it certainly was) can only be achieved through a dancer fully committing to the movement and breathing with his or her whole body. All the dancers had it.

Each of the three pieces “Silent Ghost,” “Re:play” with choreography by Fernando Melo, and “Huma Rojo” with choreography,by Cayetano Soto, was unique. However, one of the interesting aspects of the program was that light played an important role in all three. A dance performance, especially in a theatre, is the sum total of the dancers, their physicality, and the movement they create, but also of the use of space, music, and light. Each piece called for special lighting effects specifically designed to focus on one spot to create layered movement. It was striking how each choreographer had a clear vision of how they wanted to incorporate light into the dance.

The last piece on the program, “Huma Rojo,” was different from the rest, not only because it was witty, light and bright, but also because the movements were much more staccato than the others, focusing more on the hips and upper body than the legs and feet. I appreciate silly choreography. If dancing is fun, the audience can see the dancers enjoying their work. That alone is cause for the standing ovation the audience enthusiastically gave the company.

The Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet has begun the Jacob’s Pillow season with a bang of exuberant energy.

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Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will be performing on the main stage at Jacobs Pillow, Friday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. For tickets and information, consult the Berkshire Edge calendar.

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