Santa Clara Performing Arts Foundation Key on Arts Blog
The beauty of ballet is enchanting and the Santa Clara Ballet capitalized on the movement of this art form and the warming of the weather with its Spring Enchantments production on June 2.
The afternoon started with "One Upon a Dream," a segment featuring may of the company's younger dancers. From there, it went into "From Barre to the Stage," beginning with a barre routine from slightly older students and then progressing into a stage showcase of their skills.
The show then moved into scenes from Coppelia, with choreography by Benjamin Reyes (modeled after Arthur Saint-Leon). This was the first chance for the audience to really see what the school has to offer.
After a brief intermission, SCB performed the opening scene from Les Sylphides.
The DanceWright Project of San Francisco performed an interesting dance "Alter Egos-Trios," with one dancer fighting her demons (other dancers). This was a modern dance performance full of drama and intensity.
Dance Attack Studios of Los Gatos followed with "Aranjuez," an ethnic themed performance with a Spanish feel where the dancers created memorable lines with their bodies.
But, what followed was the highlight of the enter performance. Copious Dance Theater in San Francisco mesmerized with its "Taka" dance. The beat of the drums and the movement of the modern dance was spellbinding. As the dancers flung themselves across the stage, fell into each other's arms, and created captivating imagery with their bodies, a story unfolded. The costuming, the music, and the combination of male and female dancers was simply stunning. An entire show by this company would almost be too much as the visual appeal was so superior to anything else on stage.
That's not to say the other performances were bad - each one was pleasurable to watch, but the Copious segment really made the show. This should have been the finale, but sadly it only led up to the second intermission.
The finale was an SCP performance of the family favorite, Peter and the Wolf. Combining delightfully fun costumes, humor, and ballet, the final segment of Spring Enchantments was the perfect way to introduce children to the art of ballet. Amber Bill (the duck) lucked out in her role as the character received the most laughs and was most likely the favorite of the children in the audience. Mikhail Guz as Peter (Guz was also a soloist in the Coppelia and Les Sylphides segment) was also a highlight of this performance - his energy, athleticism and ability to dance throughout all three SCB scenes is to be commended.
The show, which ran a little over two hours was lovely. Except for a few minor missed cues (from lighting and sound) and extended delays, it was what Santa Clara Ballet needed. Outside of the holiday Nutcracker performance, not much is seen from the storied ballet company so it was nice to see SCB do something in June to remind the community that classes are ongoing and the school produces quality ballet performers.
Key On Arts
An occasional blog of the Santa Clara Performing Arts Foundation.