Such Pushy Ballerinas

Dance elitists and simple lovers of fancy footwork will be pleased with the pieces that made it to Miami City Ballet’s Program II. With both a nod to the “pink ballets” of the Nineteenth Century and a wink at vaudevillian high jinks, the performance ties together pieces from dance notables George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp.

Tharp’s trend-setting Push Comes to Shove is sandwiched between two Balanchine pieces: La Source, which drips with tutus and classicism, and Western Symphony, a charmingly plotless cowboy ballet. Although Balanchine is a time-honored fixture in the Ballet’s repertoire, these works are actually among the choreographer’s least-performed pieces. All the same, the delicate restraint of La Source, with its uncomplicated pastiche of romantic-era divertissements, provides effervescent family fare.

Western Symphony is also a crowd pleaser and sports a pair of principal dancers (a lovesick cowboy and a saloon floozy) capering around to exuberant folk ditties like “Red River Valley” and “Oh Dem Golden Slippers” among a cast of dancehall girls and rugged baddies. Perhaps the primary treat of the evening, however, is the Miami City Ballet premiere of Tharp’s Push, an unpretentious, lighthearted fusion of classical ballet and jazzy steps, accented with plenty of cabaret-style humor.
Fri., Jan. 13, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 14, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 15, 2 p.m.
 
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