City Ballet of San Diego opened its “Balanchine and More” with “Who Cares?,” George Balanchine’s 1970 ballet set to nine Gershwin tunes. Lighthearted and flirty, the piece was a delicious kickoff for a program demonstrating the extraordinary care that has made City Ballet a stellar company whose dancers gobble up challenging repertory … and do it to a live orchestra.

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In last weekend’s “Balanchine Masterpieces” program, the music proved as thrilling as the dance—especially Mark Polesky at the piano. Polesky brought brightness and verve to the Stravinsky and richness to Hindemith’s changing moods. And that was on an electric keyboard! The dance was equally stunning, from the moment the Spreckels Theatre curtain rose on a chorus line of dancers in sparkly lipstick-red.

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As Albrecht’s deception was revealed, Breschi squirmed with a delicious caddishness I hadn’t seen in this role. And when he got on his knees and begged Giselle’s mother (Kimberly Roberts) for forgiveness, wow! She rebuked him with such sharp gestures, I thought she was going to rip him limb from limb—and I hated Albrecht so much, I wanted her to do it.

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