The suffering savior/victim in Gerald Arpino's 1968 ballet "The Clowns" requires a dancer capable of powerful emotional projection and imposing technical flair--qualities abundantly evident in Mark Goldweber's performance Thursday in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Dancing in an otherwise familiar Joffrey Ballet cast, Goldweber seemed less the born clown than his predecessor (Edward Stierle) and more the spunky waif-in-clown's-clothing.
Indeed, once clown society began running amok in the ballet, the sober, deeply childlike way that Goldweber watched the increasing insanity gave all the cruelties inflicted on him the weight of genuine experience rather than the sense of a ritual reenactment. In this context, his outbursts of anguish had great freshness as well as force.
Goldweber's dancing, too, proved admirable for the skillful integration of character elements and bravura feats. A fine performance in every respect.
"Birthday Variations," "L'Apres-midi d'un Faune" and "Three Preludes" (all previously reviewed) completed the program.