Thursday, February 22, 2018

Dance Review: Lyons Opera Ballet- Well Worth the Wait!

Lyons Opera Ballet (c) Michel Cavalca It’s been over fifteen years since the Lyons Opera Ballet graced the stage of the Joyce Theater. Now back with a very impressive line up of works by Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, and Maguy Marin; the Lyons Opera Ballet company’s performance is well worth the wait!

With a program of such riveting and renowned choreographers coupled with beautiful dancers you can only expect an amazing show.  Lyons Opera Ballet company is a breath of fresh air to the ballet scene.  This program really highlights the dancers’ versatility, sound technique, and artistry.  It is a quite a relief to see classic works that allow you to focus solely on the beauty of the dancers’ performance.

Are You a Dancer Photo No Animation The show opens with Cunningham’s Beach Birds, a beautiful work depicting the physical nature and behavior of birds.  This wonderfully crafted piece fits very nicely on the well-sculpted, supple bodies of the company.  They each had a way of softening their strong lines to fully portray a birdlike quality. The dancers move with such poise and grace that the only image that comes to mind is…yes…birds!

Lyons Opera Ballet (c) Michel Cavalca Next in line is William Forsythe’s Duo, performed by Dorothee’ Delabie, and Amandine Francois.  Two words to describe this duet: fiercely fabulous!  Aside from the wonderfully sensual and athletic Forsythe vocabulary, these two women really eat up this duet and leave you in sheer awe of their cool and seamless performance.  Having seen very little of Forsythe’s work my feeling at the end of the piece is one of pure inspiration.

Lyons Opera Ballet (c) Michel CavalcaThe evening concludes on a climatic note with Maguy Marin’s Grosse Fuge.  This is one of those dances that leave you with a newfound respect for dancers and our craft.  In this piece, set to Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, Marin develops an eccentric vocabulary that personifies each and every part of the music.  Marin’s ability to make the audience see what they’re hearing is what makes this dance so euphoric and visually orgasmic!  The dancers relentlessly push alongside Beethoven’s driving melodies until the dance fully exhausts them.  Grosse Fuge is definitely a must-see if you’ve ever questioned the athleticism of dance.

There’s nothing better than seeing a beautifully diverse group of dancers show their versatility in style and technique in one show.  If you’re looking for a combination of stunning choreography and amazing dancers then keep your eye out for Lyons Opera Ballet.  I personally can’t wait to see what’s in store for their next season.

All photos © Michel Cavalca

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Official Dance Review by
Simone Sobers
Performance:  Lyons Opera Ballet
Choreography:  William Forsythe, Merce Cunningham, Maguy Marin
Venue:  Joyce Theater
Show Date:  Tuesday, March 9, 2010

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