A big push for Friday night’s (November 1) performance of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) was the new initiative “Project Plie” begun “…to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and to diversify America’s ballet companies,” according to ABT. Misty Copeland, an African American ballerina, now a soloist with ABT, is a key representative in championing this cause. Copeland and the dancers of ABT presented an evening of works by Michel Fokine, Twyla Tharp and Mark Morris, (October 30 – November 10) at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Fokine’s Les Sylphides (1940 for ABT) was a taste of tradition and extravagance as only the ballet can offer these days. The many sylphs of the corps de ballet in perfect unison, lingering on en pointe or holding an exacting pose for what seems like an eternity, was truly lovely to see. Hee Seo was exquisite in her various roles. A nicely abrupt change came with Tharp’s Bach Partita (1983) where they tested how they could play with gliding across the stage en pointe, move their hips, flex their ankles and challenge tradition. Stella Abrera clearly stole the show. Morris’ Gong ((2001) closed the program with a confluence of duets, groups of men or women that not only presented his musicianship, but his way crafting a work to show each dancer at their best. Nice!
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."