City Ballet of San Diego's "Carmen" Review

City Ballet of San Diego Performed "Four Seasons" and "Carmen"

"Carmen" at the City Ballet of San Diego

Photo by Julia Hiebaum

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This past weekend, City Ballet of San Diego performed two stunning pieces at Spreckels Theatre downtown: Four Seasons (Vivaldi) and Carmen (Bizet).

The production began with Four Seasons, performed to Antonio Vivaldi most popular score, with the arrangement prepared by Max Richter. The production was world premiere of Geoff Gonzalez's fast-paced and innovative new ballet, which beautifully embodied the spirit of all four seasons, from the light-hearted and fast-paced "Spring" to the soulful "Winter," as dancers leap through falling snow. Though all four dances (and the interlude between fall and winter) work together as one, the individual seasons feature enough personality and strength to stand on their own.

City Ballet of San Diego
Photo by Chelsea Penyak

Though the choreography is quick and complex, "Spring" is closest in form to a classic piece, featuring a corps, a duo, and a pas de deux. "Spring" features petal-like short green skirts and quick, frenzied choreography to Vivaldi's music, including a pas de deux performed by longtime City Ballet dancers Erica Alvardo and Derek Lauer. "Spring" exudes the excitement of a new year, new possibilities.

Which makes the burning red lights, feverish violins, and wild energy of "Summer" stand out even more. From the perfectly polished trio (Emily Dietz, Katie Spagnoletti, and Karim Yamada) to "Summer's" softer moments during the Ariana Gonzalez and Brian Heil pas de deux, "Summer" is a vibrant dance from beginning to end.

City Ballet of San Diego

"Fall" features only three dancers (Ryosuke Ogura, Sean Rollofson, and Kaylee Skeleton) who intertwine together for a picturesque performance. Skeleton was seamlessly supported by Ogura and Rollofson through turns as the trio glided across the stage.

After a brief interlude, featuring barefooted dancers and contemporary choreography, Four Seasons concludes with "Winter," a cold piece with magical snow that envelops the dancers. Featuring Lucas Ataide, "Winter" brings Four Seasons to a hopeful conclusion that resonates with the beginning of "Spring."

Lighting for Four Seasons was produced by Stephen Judson, while the colorful costumes were designed by dancer Karin Yamada.