DANCE REVIEW | BALLET INTERNATIONALE
The New York Times
By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: April 6, 2005
Indianapolis is lucky to have a resident dance company that not only performs the old Russian classical tidbits and their ilk but also does so with the affection, reverence and purity of Ballet Internationale, which made its New York City debut on Sunday afternoon at the Brooklyn Center at Brooklyn College. That kind of repertory and performing has been largely left up to drag ballet troupes of comparable heart and panache. But there was not a single pratfall or hairy-chested ballerina here, only committed, quietly exciting dancing.
Eldar Aliev, the former Kirov Ballet principal who has directed the Indianapolis company since 1994, has assembled a group of largely Russian-trained principals and soloists. But unlike many Russian guest dancers who come here, these are young and vibrant and at the start of their careers. With the added influence of Irina Kolpakova, the gifted Russian ballet coach and assistant director of the company, the Americans in the troupe may be getting an exceptional education in performing.
The afternoon's only disappointment was the oddly staccato leg work of many of the lead women. The men were more charismatic. One of the program's greatest revelations was Ogulcan Borova, who turned in a powerful performance in the razzle-dazzle war horse pas de deux "Diana and Actaeon," performed with a stylishly crisp Irina Komarenko. (How could we jaded balletomanes ever have been sick of these chestnuts? And how did Eldar Aliev get today's sophisticated young dancers to commit themselves so thoroughly to them?)
Mr. Borova was also an immensely touching, nuanced José in the stylized drama of Alberto Alonso's "Carmen." Another standout was Nourlan Abougaliev, so implacably evil as Zuniga in "Carmen" and possessed of such charming ballet manners and clarity in "Carnival in Venice," danced with Ms. Komarenko.
Chieko Oiwa and her soft skirt rippled effortlessly through "Le Corsaire," partnered by a prowling Alexei Tyukov, who danced the beefy Escamillo in "Carmen." Karen Scalzitti-Kennedy was not only surprisingly nuanced as the tough Carmen but also lyrical in the "Melody" adagio, performed with Mr. Tyukov. And a good deal of the charm of the "Carnival in Venice" trio came from the floppy-Pierrot virtuoso dancing of Alexander Alexandrov and Selahattin Erkan, performing with an insouciant Burcu Surmeli. May Ballet Internationale soon return.
Eldar Aliev choreographer, Eldar, Aliev.