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On a double bill with George Balanchine’s “Who Cares?” (1970), the French choreographer’s most famous work brings Ballet San Jose’s 25th anniversary season to an entertaining and satisfying close dance shoes from england uk sale. The program continues at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday. The sexually explicit “Carmen” made Petit’s wife, Zizi Jeanmaire, a star. Even by today’s considerably looser standards, the lengthy Pas de Deux between Carmen (Alexandra Meijer) and her latest victim, the unfortunate Don José (Jeremy Kovitch), remains a shocker. The eroticism and frankness of that steamy encounter have lost little of their impact. Though excellently performed, I found it difficult to watch this scene, which turns the viewer into a voyeur..
Petit based his ballet on Prosper Mérimée’s short story and George Bizet’s rousing opera score. The setting remains a Seville cigarette factory, whose workers all smoke. In this production they come across as a tough, self-involved underclass with no illusions about anybody, including themselves. Outsiders get eaten alive. The women, with big hair and tiny skirts, use staccato pointe work like stilettos. Stomping patterns rise to thunderous effect. Sitting with arms crossed, they become an impenetrable wall dance shoes from england uk sale. Chairs are weapons but also prisons. Petit’s theatrical instincts find their best expression in the dangerous, stylized, life-is-cheap ensemble passages..
The circus-like bandits (Ramon Moreno, Shannon Bynum and Akira Takahashi), and the final “procession” spice this “Carmen” with dollops of humor and wit. But it remains at its core a tough, nihilistic work, deeply in the throes of France’s post-World War II pessimism. Ballet San Jose wrung every ounce of theatrical truth from this “Carmen” at the Friday opening, though in Meijer’s first solo she projected little of the role’s smoldering sexual allure dance shoes from england uk sale. It was in the long, difficult Pas de Deux that she morphed into a dangerous femme fatale, who would ultimately burn herself up. The performance was a major dramatic accomplishment for a dancer primarily known for her refined technique..
At first, playing the petit bourgeois Don José, the excellent Jeremy Kovitch seemed pathetic in the way he let himself be humiliated. Yet during his solo with a knife, practicing for the murder he has resolved to commit, you see the anguish of a decent man trapped by his obsession. In Don José final fury, Kovich gave him the strength of an avenging angel, as well as a modicum of dignity. Maximo Califano’s foppish toreador Escamillo excellently enlarged upon the carnival-esque tone simmering underneath “Carmen.” dance shoes from england uk sale.
The program opened with the sunny “Who Cares?”– a good, but not great, Balanchine love letter to America, particularly to Broadway and George Gershwin. Perhaps most admirable is the easy grace with which the choreographer integrated soft-shoe routines into classical ballet and the evident respect he had for Gershwin’s music, heard in a first-rate orchestration by Hershy Kay dance shoes from england uk sale. Though spirited and committed, the performance sometimes fell short in Balanchine’s brisk, intricate footwork, particularly on the part of the women in the ballet’s first section..