Muscat: Some ballet companies are renowned for elegance and precision, but the National Ballet of Uruguay, should be known as a company that brings energy, charm and fun to the stage.
The company, under the artistic direction of Argentine dancer Julio Bocca, offered a diverse program that highlighted both its classical ballet training and its Latin roots when it made its Omani debut at the Royal Opera House Muscat on Wednesday evening. The first part of the show included two pieces of modern ballet and one more classical, while the second featured tango-inspired ballet.
The first piece "Double Corchea," by Venezuelan choreographer Vicente Nebrada, featured 26 dancers all dressed in black and white leotards that were somewhat reminiscent of Star Trek uniforms. With quirky, often mechanical, movements, they filled the stage with expressive interactions, interesting lifts and loose, relaxed dancing.
Captivating and impressing the audience was a graceful and sweet pas-de-deux (dance for two) by Maria Riccetto, in a delicate yellow and green tutu, and Ciro Tamayo, in an Aladdin costume, called "The Corsair – Pas d'Esclave," by Anna-Marie Holmes. The two were romantic and energetic while showing off elements of very classical ballet, such as pirouettes, dancing on pointe shoes, and soaring leaps.
From classical ballet to hypnotic, fast and modern dance, the company then presented American choreographer William Forsythe's piece "In the Middle of Somewhat Elevated," which featured movements that are a bit off-balance and look almost uncomfortable, but are simply fascinating to watch. Again, the dancers performed with a freshness and pizzazz that was delightful.
The performance concluded with a series of dances that were a fusion of ballet and tango. While tango is primarily associated with Argentina, many claim that the dance actually originated in Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital. The choreography, "Tango & Candombe," was created especially for the National Ballet of Uruguay by Ana Maria Stekelman, from Argentina.
Filled with sashaying hips and rolling shoulders, elegance lifts and fast footwork, it was rhythmic, sensual and definitely a crowd-pleaser.
One of the joys of attending performances at the ROHM is seeing a variety of companies that one may not otherwise see and the National Ballet of Uruguay was definitely a treat. The company has a youthful energy and freshness that was truly enchanting!