After enduring Dance Theatre of Harlem's problematic productions and dutiful performances of 19th-Century ballet classics, even conservative balletomanes might wish the company to dance something splashy and unconstricted instead--say, an all-Geoffrey-Holder program.
Well, no need. The Tuesday "Swan Lake" (Act II) in Pasadena Civic Auditorium may have been grim--but the Harlem principals on Wednesday held major interest.
On Tuesday, tiny Judy Tyrus worked diligently at the steps but often passed through positions without completing them; moreover, the length of her tutu made her legs look even shorter, diminishing her line. Nor did her febrile emotionalism find much of a complement in the dramatically callow and technically rough performance of Joseph Cipolla opposite her.
On Wednesday night, though, Stephanie Dabney gave a radiant, polished, individual performance: dancing of maximum stretch and aplomb matched by refined musicality and histrionic sophistication.