What a fantastic performance last night by the SOBT students... I can never watch (or listen to) Serenade without being swept away by how lush and gorgeous it is, and last night was no exception. I found myself thinking how easy they made it look, which is exactly the point, and is also evidence that these dancers are on top of their game, technique-wise. The opening of the ballet always, always, always gives me the chills, and sitting in the audience last night I also had a feeling of such excitement FOR the students out there, about to have their first experience of dancing Serenade. It's a ballet that I feel cements a bond between all the dancers through time and around the world who have felt that soaring thrill, along with the deep majesty and magical, mysterious beauty that performing Serenade brings.
Serenade wasn't at all the only success of the night--- the evening was programmed perfectly, balanced with levity, humor, intruige and a lot of astounding dancing. Dr. DaVinci's Undersea Adventure arguably stole the show, but truly every piece performed was a perfect showcase for the students' work. I love the mandolin dance from Romeo and Juliet, but I wish the audience could appreciate more how difficult it is! Same for Valse Fantasie-- they appear so light and bubbly, which again is the point, but are both so, so plain old hard to do. But the kids never even showed a moment of it, proving not only that they've been rehearsing for months and have built up some serious stamina but also that they know how to perform.
One of the most poignant moments was the presentation of the Elena Carter Scholarship to Daniel Guerra, a young student at OBT. There he was, in his little Pollution costume for the Undersea Adventure, given this big honor in front of all these people, and he probably had no idea that he'd even been noticed for his talent and drive before.