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Review: Daniel Ulbricht and Friends a charismatic dance

| Monday, Oct. 18, 2010

The electricity in the Byham Theater in the Cultural District was palpable and audible Friday night when New York City Ballet principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht and Friends presented an outstanding dance concert featuring the choreography of George Balanchine. Many of the young dancers in attendance had had the opportunity to study with Ulbricht during the preceding week.

"Tarantella," to music by American composer Louis Gottschalk, provided a light-hearted curtain-raiser, with Balanchine's wit and musicality creating endless opportunities for athleticism with finesse.

Balanchine's "Diamonds" pas de deux and a pas de deux from "Apollo" were far more substantial, with a more deeply involving elegance and a far greater range of choreographic invention. Excerpts from "Who Cares" to music by George Gershwin, fabulously played live by pianist Arkaidy Figlin, provided the fun-filled finale.

It was an intoxicating evening even for the non-dancers in the audience, because the performers truly put their charisma at the service of art.

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