My review in the Chronicle:
“You don’t take on a role created for Mikhail Baryshnikov and expect to instantly leave your own stamp. So it has to be counted a small triumph that Company C Contemporary Ballet’s Kevin Delaney tackled the lead in Twyla Tharp’s “The Little Ballet” at the Cowell Theater on Saturday and delivered a clean, respectable performance.
Yes, Delaney was clearly more concerned with getting through the steps than phrasing them, and yes, his interpretation needs a richer sense of spontaneity. But the sheer form and stamina required to make it through this ballet’s minefield of filigreed turns, jumps and beats must make it one of the most taxing male roles ever created. Delaney’s strong technique never flagged, and the lines of his body were always fully integrated from finger to toe. Perhaps the greater artistry will grow when Company C repeats this program at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts in two weeks.
“The Little Ballet” is Company C’s fourth Tharp acquisition and by far the most classical. There are few of the usual Tharpian pop flourishes in this little ditty set to Glazunov. Instead of the typical Tharp jazziness, a trio of women in vaguely Russian folk dresses threads through, a bit too primly Saturday. Ashley Ivory also had a demanding assignment alongside Delaney for the pas de deux and held herself elegantly, but she ought to ride the movement more through the swoops and sweeps of their partnering.
The rest of this packed program offers solid choreography in which these gifted, likable young dancers can develop.”
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