The Corella Ballet had a short but brilliant run at Spoleto Festival USA. With just three performances, they were in and out over opening weekend. However, it was a spectacular show.
Angel Corella created this company only three years ago, and it is the only classical ballet company in Spain. Corella Ballet performed four pieces total, two larger ballets, a pas de duex and For 4, originally created for “The Kings of the Dance.” With a two intermissions, the show lasted over 2 hours, but didn’t feel long/boring/snooze-fest. (Thank God.)
Simplification? Ballet seems to be undergoing an evolution in style, a shift from focusing on the story to the movement.
Movement, costume, and emotion are all elements that can be used to tell a story in dance. Over the last several performances the emphasis in choreography seems to be on movement first and conveying an emotion or a plot line second.
That being said, this shift doesn’t bother me. Paring down the superfluous movements typically associated with emotion streamlines the dance, and showcases the talent and athleticism rather than a flowery, floufy motion that is supposed to show love or loss or some other contrived emotion.
The sheer strength, force and grace theses dancers exude is breathtaking. While there were a few missteps that the audience caught, overall the execution of the choreography was near perfection.
Costuming was particularly lovely for the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, where each couple was in a different color–aqua, red, blue and pink, and the corps in a more neutral color. Complimentary colors in the tutus added a touch of fun too. I really want the blue costume for my own closet.
The pas de deux, Solea, choreographed by Maria Pages, featured Corella and his sister Carmen. Solea had a flamenco tint to the movement and Corella frequently clapped in time to his sister’s movements. Their ease and comfort on stage together drew the audience in. You couldn’t escape this, not even to look away for a second.
If you ever get the chance to see the Corella Ballet, take it. This company better be in it for the long haul, because what they have to offer is first rate. And I want more.