‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ AND MORE FROM LVBC
By: Hal de Becker
Las Vegas Ballet Company is a troupe of youthful dancers and students dedicated to performing and preserving the ballet classics. Together with youngsters from Kwak Ballet Academy (KBA) it recently presented Act III of the Tchaikovsky/Petipa master-work ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center.
Act III is primarily a divertissement of various dances in celebration of the wedding of Princess Aurora and Prince Desire. It is often danced as a separate work under the title “Aurora’s Wedding”.
The production was staged by Yoomi Lee LVBC’s ballet mistress and, with its artistic director Kyudong Kwak, its co-founder.
As expected, there were occasional choreographic adjustments to accommodate the current skills of the young dancers. However, Ms. Lee retained much of the original choreography particularly in the solos of the Fairies and elsewhere.
Aurora is a challenging role and Zoey Addison was impressive in it. Her handsome prince was Voytek Ogloza an accomplished classical dancer. In addition to elegant partnering and strong technique -- five pirouettes, perfect double tours -- he possessed the appropriate regal bearing.
Yerin Baek as Lilac Fairy, Grace Jaramillo and Samuel Kwak in the Bluebird pas de deux and Mark Early as Puss in Boots and Grey Wolf acquitted themselves well.
Outstanding were Stephanie Bell as the flirting, clawing White Cat and Natalie Cates as trusting Red Riding Hood. Both danced and acted their roles stylishly and convincingly.
Except for the tiny tots all the girls performed on pointe. The five Fairies were danced by Katherine Candelaria, Samantha Chang, Daniela Burgos, Shannon Yee and Alexandria Kim. They turned well, displayed fast footwork and had attractive port de bras (arm movements).
The large ensemble dances were performed with unity and gave the dancers ample opportunities show their skills. In their brightly colored tutus they illuminated the stage.
The 15 little tots didn’t merely hop and run around. They executed real ballet steps and poses. Their echappes, passes, and snug fifth positions attested to the serious training they are receiving from their instructors at KBA.
An original work by Mr. Kwak: ‘Memory of You’, was a tribute to one of his former teachers. It was a delightful classical ballet that featured a lyrical duet for him and Ms. Lee. As expected, they danced it beautifully and drew a well-deserved ovation.
Company dancer Summer Reese choreographed a pleasant modern piece, ‘Half Awake’ for five dancers and herself. They all adapted easily to the contemporary medium. A duet performed by the choreographer and Ms. Yee was a standout.
KBA’s annual Summer Intensive runs seven hours a day from July 5th to August 5th with specialized training at all levels and in all aspects of classical ballet as well as modern, jazz and body conditioning.