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Barcelona Ballet at New York City Center

Barcelona Ballet Palpito Photo Erin BaianoBarcelona Ballet at New York City Center was really bad and, in spite of that, I enjoyed it and found it extremely entertaining.

The Barcelona Ballet (formerly Corella Ballet) was founded by American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer Angel Corella to become the premier classical ballet company in Spain. It is a young company excepting Corella and his sister. Their technique needs some work and their grasp on the choreography was not quite there. With my absolutely perfect seats in the newly renovated City Center, it was evident that the dancers need more time to mature.

Barcelona Ballet Bruch Violin Concerto No.1The first piece, Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 with choreography by Clark Tippet, was a beautifully staged classical piece that was executed the best of three pieces. It was light and pleasant though Corrella’s sister, Carmen, was a thorn in the dancers’ side with her height and stiffness.

The second piece, For 4, was choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon for the principal male dancers at ABT known as the “Kings of Dance.” The piece was great but the dancers were not comfortable with the contemporary choreography. It seemed alien to their bodies.

The final piece, Pálpito, had its world premiere choreographed by Rojas & Rodriguez. It should have been a dream come true – to see flamenco and ballet combined – but my bewildered moments outnumbered my moments of excitement and awe. The lighting, the music, and the costuming were a saving grace to the cliched dance story in which the main character (Corella) finds himself lost and in search of his soul. The finale left me rolling my eyes with its cheesiness and bravado. It’s too bad too because the opening had so much promise with its incredible rhythm, precision and the duende spirit it exuded.

All in all, I commend Barcelona Ballet for its efforts and look forward to seeing it grow and become more refined.

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