LETTERS TO EDITOR
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Last February Julio Bocca, whose flying leaps have long thrilled ballet buffs, dipped his dancing toes into the world of Broadway theater when he made a limited appearance in Fosse. Bocca, who became a Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre in 1986 is also an artistic entrepreneur, having formed his own ballet company in 1990 in order to show in his own country and abroad the artistry and technical proficiency of young Argentine dancers.
International engagements have kept Bocca and his remarkable dancers leaping and whirling across stages throughout the world -- which for four brief nights includes New York's City Center.
Julio Bocca & Ballet Argentino
While we don't regularly cover ballet and anything of such brief duration, this performance is of particular interest since we've had two long-running tango revues which were classified as theater rather than "straight" dance events. Unlike those odes to that most popular of South American dances by mature dancers, the vibrant Tango Argentino group is young, with Bocca probably its most senior member. The evening is also much more broad-based than the Broadway Tango shows.
The first and longest section is traditional ballet which happens to be performed by an Argentinian Company. It starts with a gorgeous Grand Pas De Deux from Don Quixote . This vision of pinks is followed by two pieces bathed in pale blue: Adagietto danced to Mahler's Symphony 4 and Suite Generis danced to Handel's Concerto in G Minor and Hayd's Concerto in E Flat. To conclude this section there's an imaginative Sinfonia Entrelezada, inspired by Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona and Sonnets XLII and XXX.
The Piazzolla Tango Vivo follows the intermission. It is a lusciously inventive eight part dessert choreographed by Ana Maria Sickelman and with live accompaniment by the Fundacion Astor Piazolla Quintet and the music of the one and only Astor Piazzolla. Dressed in satiny black (Think Bob Fosse's dancers!) and with the clever occasional use of simple props such as a chair and a bench, Bocca and company give new meaning to how far you can take the Tango.
Mr. Bocca has had a number of ballets choreographed for him. With the success of Fosse and Chicago, maybe someone ought to write him a dance driven musical.
JULIO BOCCA AND BALLET ARGENTINO
Directed by Julio Bocca
Assistant Director: Andrea Candela
The Company: Daria Budarina Vadimova, Cecilia Figaredo, Ana Clara Gossweiler, Julieta Gros, Luciana Paris, Rosana Pérez, Lorena Sabena, Christian Alessandria, Sergio Amarante, Juan Pablo Ledo, Miguel Moyano, Benjaman Parada, Pablo Torres
Lighting Design: Miguel Cuartas
Sound Design: Gustavo Dvoskin
Running time: 2 hours with Intermission
City Center (West 55th St., between 6th and 7th Aves) City Tix (581-1212), www.citycenter.org
October 11-15, 2000
Reviewed by Elyse Sommer based on performance