Sunday, October 18, 2009

"The Athletes of God"

"Dancers are the athletes of God." - Albert Einstein

Last night we saw the first show of what, if memory serves, is the 22nd year of being season subscribers to the Sacramento Ballet. For the first time, the season kicked off with a choreography competition, and also for the first time, a program was held at Sacramento's historic Crest Theater.

It was a great show, but what made it particularly memorable was that we had seats in the front row. The stage was 12 feet in front of us, and on a couple of occasions, the choreographers made great use of the facility by having the dancers jump onto stage from the front, or use the front as a "prop" at various stages of the dances. On those occasions, the dancers were so close that I would reflexively pull my feet back, for fear that I was going to trip them.

We have good seats when we see the company at the Sacramento Community Theatre, but seeing them "up close and personal" was a revelation. Hearing them breathe, seeing the perspiration fly off of them, and seeing the expressions on their faces as they were performing added a dimension to the performance that I've never really felt before. The fact that each choreographer had only six days to work with the company made the program all the more impressive. I'm no expert, but if there were any flaws in the performances, I sure couldn't see them.

The Crest only sits 975, and even with that the show was not sold out, which is a shame. The company had to cancel most of its season last year because of financial issues, and I hope we're not going to see a repeat of that disappointment. Because this was a terrific change of pace, and a terrific show.

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