Posted by: trailerpilot | 09:28::2009

Review: Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna

Ana Laguna and Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Place." Photo by Bengt Wanselius.

Ana Laguna and Mikhail Baryshnikov in "Place." Photo by Bengt Wanselius.

In discussing Mikhail Barsyhnikov, one must get a few superlatives out of the way: legendary, brilliant, sublime — those kinds of words. In a bespoke solo like Alexei Ratmansky’s “Valse Fantasie,” for example, a soft stride across the floor to toy with an imaginary reflection required almost no exertion, but his tuned balance of precision and humanness in this opening pantomime instantly re-proved the volumes of experience and praise that followed him onstage.

This deft and enjoyable work gave us Mr. Baryshnikov in an ultralight alloy of the heavy metals he’s danced throughout his career. Shades of his storied Albrecht and Basilio are blended with the sexy sass of the Tharp years and the command of sculpture he demonstrated in moderns like Paul Taylor’s “Aureole.” To Mikhail Glinka’s oft-choreographed B-minor Valse-fantaisie, itself quintessential, a set of softly-twisted airborne shapes and witty musicality gave both Ratmansky and Baryshnikov something to do, which isn’t to dismiss “Valse Fantasie” but to say that the history of dancemaking is built upon these little leaps and gestures and to combine them intelligently is really all there is. It was danced to perfection. Click here to read the entire article at SeeChicagoDance.com

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