CBT’s beautiful on stage dancer, Stephanie Bussell has again won the fans’ hearts. Following is Post and Courier’s art critic, Dottie Ashley’s review of yesterday’s Brown Bag and Ballet opening show.
Stephanie pirouetted through the Kirov Academy of Ballet, the Boston Ballet School, the Bolshoi Academy at Vail, and performed around the world. In the daytime, She can be found in my rehearsals of the company . On occasional evenings, she has moonlighted as dance part of Cabaret Kiki, working alongside such dangerous strangers as the multi-talented Bivins brothers (Jump, Little Children) and chanteuse Cary Ann Hearst. ( And yes – Stephanie is a beautiful person as well both on stage and off–actually every single one of the dancers are beautiful ) Upcoming in this blog is a feature article about her written by Molly Hulett.
Ballet and Lyle Lovett work
By Dottie Ashley
Post and Courier Reviewer
Sunday, May 25, 2008
“Ballet Lover” was on the North Carolina license plate of a car parked in front the Charleston Ballet Theatre’s studio on King Street during CBT’s Brown Bag and Ballet performance at noon Saturday.
Obviously balletomanes were in attendance, as at intermission audience members were discussing when they had last seen this trio of dances. The favorite seemed to be “Nine Lives,” which premiered at the Boston Ballet in 2004 featuring Daniel Pelzig’s splashy choreography that never grows stale.
Joining a cadre of male dancers, strutting their stuff in cowboy outfits, are four women in dressed in satin trimmed in glitter, wearing opera hose and black pointe shoes. The work was proof that classic ballet can be effectively used with any music, even Lyle Lovett’s country-western tunes.
Simmering with sexuality, from her opening shoulder shrug to her final leap, was Stephanie Bussell in “All My Love Is Gone.” Her partner Alexander Collen displayed his terrific strength as he caught Bussell in her leaps into his arms. It’s not easy dancing with a bombshell.
In the comic “She’s No Lady, She’s My Wife,” Melody Staples was striking with her powerful kicks and partnered well with the on-target Steven Hammell. Spinning on one foot and playing air guitar was Jonathan Tabbert in his solo “She’ Hot to Go,” while the pixieish Muller played against type as an abused wife in “Black and Blue,” with versatile Trey Mauldwin as her down-and-out lover. Jennifer Balcerzak Muller showed her versatility in “Dracula” as the prim Lucy, who is fascinated by the forbidding vampire, compellingly danced by Roy Wei Meng Gan, whose splits were flawless.
The ensemble showed great flair in Ravel’s “Bolero,” starring Stephen Gabriel and Melissa Weber in this mesmerizing work.
Charles Leocha of Travel Lady Magazine offered his comments about our the audience favorite ‘Bolero”.
Who would expect world-class ballet in an unimposing building resembling an old Woolworth’s? The Charleston Ballet Theater only seats about 180 people in a simple, low-ceiling space with stark black staging, but their “Bolero” transformed the place. As the familiar music intensified, more dancers appeared in pairs. Eventually ten ballerinas, in bright red, and six male dancers, wearing black and white, were spinning together across the dance floor which then seemed to compare with Moscow’s Bolshoi or Naples’ San Carlo.
Brown Bag and Ballet performances run through June 7.
This program repeats on June 5. Today’s show features Who Cares?