As we watched the production on Thursday (Dec. 19) at the Civic Theatre, my companions and I were struck by the old faded sets and costumes. The choreography was even less inspired than I remembered from 2011.
You’ll want to wash the storyline, the gags, the characters in snow…But If you’re a Christmas fanatic, Lawrence Welk fan club member, and still enjoy the film from 1954, this musical is your big mug of eggnog.
We are mesmerized by soft penche –bends at the waist – and juicy turns where muscled legs slip out of the hip joint. Next, they speak under their breath and flutter on the balls of their feet until their backsides wiggle like firm Jello. What a wonderfully strange and humorous moment. And the tension grows. Will they ever touch? How will this end? Wham – they strike with powerful blows and slam their bodies onto the floor, not like the wrestlers on TV, but for real. You can relive it via video here.
The panting sound you hear is me rushing to get this review written when you still have two chances, tonight and tomorrow afternoon, to see “Ballet on the Edge,” City Ballet of San Diego’s annual show of contemporary work. Last night’s opening offered not one but two star-is-born moments – a premiere by up-and-coming dance maker Geoff Gonzalez and a show-stealing turn by apprentice company member Laura Kaufman.
The slogan of [the] movement initiative1375641721-large is “Dare to move,” and daring is clearly bred in the bones of founders/directors Caryn Glass and Ami Ipapo – both are veterans of Streb Extreme Action, the Brooklyn company known for its bruising physicality and aerial work that makes your heart catch in your throat.
Viewers hiked on a muddy path to a wooded area for a dance at Sue Bierman Park. The grass was wet and to our left, tucked away in the shrubs, was a makeshift tent. Clearly, there was a human being sleeping under there. Was that part of the performance? No, and yes.