Saturday, February 16, 2013

An Evening in Paris at the Pittsburgh Ballet, Moulin Rouge

An Evening in Paris at the Pittsburgh Ballet

by Good News Reviewers, 
Helene Vidovich and Martin Thomas

Valentine’s Day on the bank of the Seine, overlooking the Eiffel Tower, was extra special this year. The Benedum had a full-house of sweethearts. There was an expectant tingling of electricity in the air as the Pittsburgh Ballet Corps took to the stage.

The inside and outside of the Moulin Rouge were nicely delineated by dropping a semi-transparent scrim painted with a façade of the establishments on the street. When this was dropped, the backlights and silhouettes were visible, but somewhat obscured. The use of the scrim, the colors and fabrics of costuming, the array of lights and the quartet of musicians, were layered together to take us back to Toulouse Lautrec and Impressionistic France. What a time it must have been...although it was also before penicillin.

It was fun to watch the painters dancing and spinning with their easels on wheels, one-foot-on and one-foot-off. We watched a band of gypsies as they spun and twirled, showing off their expert moves, as they auditioned for the Moulin Rouge. It was romantic and a feast for the eyes as the costumes, stage-set and dazzling lights blazed in a kaleidoscope of colors. The swirling petticoats were magnifique and occasionally led to a peek of little red-ruffled gutchies. I am quite sure the Theatre could have made at least as much selling Moulin Rouge dresses at intermission as it did selling tickets. Do we get a press discount with that?

A special treat was a cameo appearance of Sally Wiggins. And, as mentioned before, "Pittsburgh has a tremendous amount of talent." Whether musicians, tailors, set and lighting designers, builders or dancers, the ’burgh has at least, if not more, of its share of artistic ability. 

Not professional reviewers just everyday Pittsburghers availing themselves of Pittsburgh Cultural and Dance Events by as Mark Freeman says,  "Being a Tourist in their Hometown."

Helene Vidovich, Freelance Cultural Reporter
Martin Thomas, Videographer ~ Troubadour

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