Too Much of a Good Thing? ABT Gala's many romantic duets

May 13, 2012

The ABT Gala is always very different from the NYCB gala. Whereas NYCB usually unveils a premiere or two (this spring they got lucky with Benjamin Millepied’s Two Hearts) plus a sturdy Balanchine ballet, ABT offers a sampler in the form of excerpts from the upcoming season’s rep. Tonight, we’ll see parts of Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions along with pas de deux from Manon, Giselle, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, and Swan Lake. The dazzling roster includes these delectable pairings: Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes, Polina Semionova and David Hallberg, Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella, Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev, Julie Kent and Roberto Bolle, and Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky. It’s all very exciting.

The problem at ABT’s spring gala last year was that there was so little variety—almost all the pas de deux were on the romantic, swoony side—that each of the superstar couples tended to blur. Also on the program will be performances by the JKO school and the ABT Studio Company (which I included in a recent blog). This was true last year too, but I am hoping that these promising but less experienced performers will add just the breath of fresh air that the gala needs.

If you can’t be there but yearn to see fantastic classical dancing by one of ABT top stars, take a look at our behind-the-scenes video with David Hallberg. It’s improvised classicism at its best!

Wendy Perron