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My review in Monday’s Chronicle:
“This may be sacrilegious to admit, but there have been moments during Diablo Ballet’s past two budget-woe-beleaguered years when I’ve asked myself, “How urgent is it to save this little company, really?” On Friday at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, I felt the shame of that ungenerous thought, and happily. The hardy Diablo performers danced with total panache in excerpts from “Who Cares?,” one of George Balanchine’s most deceptively breezy minor masterpieces, yet one of his most stylistically demanding.
This was Diablo’s finest hour in many moons, and it was sheer pleasure.
It seems the talented troupe members finally have the right people cracking the whip again. Artistic Director Lauren Jonas is reportedly spending less time in the office as interim executive director and more hours in the studio, and the results show. Just as crucial, one guesses, was the oversight of former San Francisco Ballet principal and now Oregon Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Christopher Stowell, who coached this staging. The Diablo dancers clearly lapped up his attention to meticulous artistry.
“Who Cares?” may sound like a fail-proof package – Gershwin tunes, chorus line girls in short skirts, starry-eyed romanticism – but without the right details, it falls flat, as anyone who saw San Francisco Ballet’s most recent rendition can attest. Diablo made it an irresistible souffle.”
Click here for the rest of the review.