To open, Derek Dunn takes on the seven-minute solo originally choreographed for Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vestris, titled after and inspired by the French dancer Auguste Vestris.
Filmed fifty years after its premiere, Vestris is an audio and visual study of the Baroque essence. Donned in an adjusted-for-ballet justacorps and white wig, Dunn captures with facial expression and stylized gestures emotions that range the comedic to coquettish to angry. In between each vignette he recovers to poker face composure before virtuosically jumping and turning into his next act.
Next we travel to the Romantic period for Pas de Quatre for which Yakobson retains the ethereal quality portrayed in the Jules Perrot version which we most closely associate with this title. The four ladies in their sylphide-esque costumes and flowers adorning their hair dance the entire first movement joined hand-in-hand.
Ji Young Chae, Ekaterine Chubinidze, Maria Baranova, and Nina Matiashvilli are then each given a moment in the spotlight. Contrary to what is often expected from a series of variations, these don’t feel distinct. All have a light, airy, spirited quality that camouflage some of the incredibly difficult pointe work. The dancers admirable tackle these steps all the while maintaining the delicate, nuanced port de bras.