Performing Arts: Dance
June 6, 2022
The Valentina Koslova Dance Conservatory’s Studio Company premiere took place at Symphony Space last Saturday night. A fledgling group of committed dancers between the ages of 15-19, danced several classical excerpts and one contemporary piece by Koslova herself.

The evening began with a short excerpt of the rare, recently revived Petipa ballet Ruslan and Ludmila based on the 19th century Pushkin poem. Costumed in pretty blue-green long chiffon dresses and tiaras, some jitters and shyness were evident in some of the young corps de ballet dancers, as they warmed up to being onstage. The soloists danced with assurance and Courtney St. Cloud’s circle of jumps was impressively buoyant in this excerpt reminiscent of Ondine and Les Sylphides all in one.

The classical excerpts showed the different personalities and levels of the dancers. Emma Tatum was charming in the Walpurgis and Fille excerpts, and Jullian Schubert danced a technically assured Black Swan variation. Mary Elsener and Albert Davydov danced the first act Don Q pas de deux with pizazz but needed more technical precision while The Napoli excerpt should have more stylistic clarity.

Clement Guillaume’s energetic presence and technically strong variation in the classical Graduation Pas de Deux complemented his strong partnering of the tall and delicate Katherine St. Jean.

Kozlova’s choreography Overcome, created twenty years ago in the wake of 9/11 wrapped up the evening. Revival of the piece included assistance from alumna Lyla Medeiros, whose mother designed the costumes. The bouncy, sleeveless black dresses moved nicely with the sharp gestures and moving, emotional solos to uplifting gospel music. It was a joyful way to end the program.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Nicole Duffy

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