American Ballet Theatre: The Bright Stream
Another spring Saturday night and another delightful American Ballet Theatre production. This week it was the comic ballet The Bright Stream.
The story focuses on members of a Russian farm collective in the 1930’s and their humorous interactions with a group of visiting performers during the harvest festival. You’ve got the organizer of the festival and her husband (played by principal dancers Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo) and the dancers who’ve come for the celebration (played by Natalia Osipova and Danil Simkin) as well as the various farm workers and townsfolk. Soon enough pranks ensue as the festival organizer and the ballerina renew their friendship (despite the fact her husband is flirting with the ballernia).
There’s mistaken identity as the ballet dancers change roles. Simkin was impressive playing the ballerina. As far as I know, men don’t typically dance on pointe and he did quite a bit of that, along with some other typically female moves. Osipova also had to execute some typically male moves and did so quite well. This is all part of an elaborate prank on some elderly dacha dwellers who are smitten with the new arrivals at the collective. Susan Jones, in the role of Anxious-toBe-Younger-Than-She-Is Dacha Dweller, was very entertaining as she tried to woo the ballerina-playing-the-ballet-dancer.
It was wonderful to see such a light-hearted, fun ballet. I’m glad we saw The Bright Stream this year. We didn’t catch it last year, which was its ABT premiere year.
Next week our 2012 ballet season continues with Onegin, which features a score from Tchaikovsky and a plot of double unrequited love.