Atlanta Ballet: Gennadi’s Choice

Gennadi’s first choice for the evening was Marius Petipa’s “Paquita” with some tweaks for this particular staging. The costuming and stage design were both traditional, with tutus, tight pants, and a backdrop of a staircase in a grand ballroom. This is a piece that really lays bare the capabilities of a company: the legs and feet of the dancers are very exposed and there is a lot of coordinated ensemble work that makes any missteps pretty visible to the audience even if they aren’t familiar with the piece. There was some muddiness from the corps, with a dancer here and there being slightly off and one particular dancer seeming to be permanently a fraction of a beat behind the rest. The principles and demi-soloists, however, were all excellent, making the overall performance beautiful and enjoyable. Rachel Van Buskirk, in particular, handled the technical demands of the titular role most impressively. Unfortunately, the tech crew began fading the lights and lowering the curtain just before the final pose, so we only had a brief glimpse of the ending image.
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