Love Stories: Four dance pieces, one stunning show

Love Stories: Four dance pieces, one stunning show

Holler Poodles…

I’m not sure why I keep getting asked to review ballet performances … I know as much about ballet as Kim Kardashian knows about subtlety. However, if you want an everyday wo(man)’s perspective, then I’m your gurl, drag queen, goddess, patron saint to the arts etcetera etcetera.

When I heard this performance of the Atlanta Ballet was entitled “Love Stories,” I wasn’t sure what to expect. It could be interpreted in so many different ways. After seeing their previous performance of “New Choreographic Voices,” admittedly, my expectations were high.

Requiem for a RoseThe first piece of the evening “Requiem for a Rose” choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa was visually stunning. Rose-colored billowing skirts adorned each dancer and added to the drama of the piece. Brandon Nguyen (former cover model for Fenuxe) was a definite standout as well as Kelsey Ebersold. While the dance was very interesting, I found myself in my head questioning the music choice. For me, there was a definite dissonance between the music and the dance, but that could have been Ms. Ochoa’s intent.

The second piece “Wedding Night Pas De Deux from Madame Butterfly” choreographed by Stanton Welch was sparse, yet beautiful in its simplicity. Tara Lee and Jonah Hooper were beautiful. There were audible gasps from the audience at some of the extensions Tara was able to achieve with Jonah. Just beautiful!

Swan LakeThe two standout pieces of the evening for me were the last two of the evening. Get in line gay men! “White Swan Pas De Deux” from Swan Lake was absolutely breathtaking. Guest artists Domenico Luciano and Dominic Walsh were stunning in this piece. To see two males perform this dance was shocking and exciting at the same time. More than that, there was a tangible connection between these two dancers. The choreography by Matthew Bourne was exquisite. You could feel the emotion emanating from each dancer as their bodies told the story. The precision of their movements in unison was spectacular. I highly encourage you to see it!

Prayer of Touch“Prayer of Touch,” choreographed by Helen Pickett, was impressive not only for the level of difficulty, but also because the dancers executed it flawlessly. The same precision exhibited by the guest artists was also evident here as their unison was spot on! I was really moved by their long lines and the sometimes frenetic, intricate movement. What was clearly evident was the synergy between dancers, choreographer, and music. In my opinion, this was the most difficult dance I’ve seen them do and it was also the best! Kudos to the Atlanta Ballet!

Love and lashes,

Mary Edith Pitts


Photos by C. McCullers

To purchase tickets to Love Stories, visit the Atlanta Ballet’s website. Saturday night performances are NiteOUT at the Ballet, special for the LGBT community. 

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