Reception and Performance: American Ballet Theatre
There is something magical about seeing an iconic ballet performed to perfection. That was the case this weekend when New York’s American Ballet Theatre performed the romantic classic Giselle at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University here in Chicago.
On Friday night, I had the pleasure of hosting a pre-performance reception at Russian Pointe Dance Boutique, where about 100 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they mingled with representatives of the American Ballet Theatre.
Then on Saturday, I had the privilege of seeing the stunning Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg perform the roles of Giselle and Albrecht.
Giselle is a demanding part both physically and emotionally. To do it right, the lead ballerina must be able to act like a charming, country peasant who has fallen madly in love in the first act, and then transform in the second act into an otherworldly spirit who has died of a fragile broken heart. Osipova fulfilled the role beautifully, with flawless dancing and heartfelt facial expressions that perfectly captured her character.
Another highlight of the evening was meeting American Ballet Theatre’s resident choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky, who is presenting the company’s new production of The Firebird next week in Costa Mesa, California.
Although American Ballet Theatre has been visiting Chicago regularly for the past several years, this marks the first time that the acclaimed company has performed at Auditorium Theatre. In fact, Brett Batterson, executive director of Auditorium Theatre, announced in February that American Ballet Theatre has signed a six-year contract with ABT.
I am looking forward to welcoming American Ballet Theatre back to Chicago again soon!