Violence or Beauty?

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Nadia Mara in Bennyroyce Royon's "Me in Your Fall." Atlanta Ballet's Wabi Sabi at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photograph by Kim Kenney.

Nadia Mara in Bennyroyce Royon’s “Me in Your Fall.” Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photograph by Kim Kenney.

Bennyroyce Royon’s “Me in Your Fall” was the most exciting piece of the evening. Very rhythmic, built on swift, contrasting movement and sudden directional changes; derived from ballet, jazz, and hip-hop; with moments of introspection, moments of conflict, and moments of accord, this ballet instantly drew me in and kept me enthralled. The duo was obviously having a great time, and the dancers’ joy was contagious. Every time I see the company perform, I seem to find a dancer who has suddenly found his or her element. This time it was Brazilian native Alexandre Barros. He and Nadia Mara owned this ballet and left the audience clamoring for more.

Heather Myers’ world premiere, “Lost Rite” was a complex work to familiar Bartok music. I was pleased to see that the choreography was more unpredictable and experimental than the first two pieces on the program. The ballet incorporated ancient tribal rites, dark peer influences, and the evening’s glimpse into the violent side of human nature. Christian Clark and Jackie Nash capably anchored the ballet. Unfortunately, darkness was beginning to overtake the Garden, and the subtleties of the choreography were sometimes lost in twilight.

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