More than any other Petrushka in the new Joffrey Ballet revival of Mikhail Fokine's classic, Mark Goldweber is credibly a creature caught between two states of being. His despair thus comes from a deeper predicament than failure to win the Ballerina, and his reappearance at the end of the ballet represents more than an act of triumphant impudence. It is liberation.
Performing the role for the first time, Goldweber put lots of bounce in the dancing, maximum clarity in the mime passages Wednesday in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Some of the rapid puppet motion could have been sharper and the character's defiance of the Old Showman needed more of an edge, but this was already a fine portrayal.
Returning to the roles of Ballerina and Moor, Beatriz Rodriguez and Philip Jerry displayed an energy and involvement missing from their performances last Friday. However, their best dancing came in the "Love Songs" second duet: physically daring and emotionally powerful to the maximum.
In the second solo of this sardonic William Forsythe essay in sexual politics (possibly the nastiest showpiece ever choreographed), those emotional values became subordinated to spectacular technical feats: Leslie Carothers at her most superbly pliant and remote.
The male solo found Tom Mossbrucker throwing away the movement drunkenly, but managing to miss nothing--except, perhaps, for the impact of the final walkaway. A persuasive, distinctive interpretation, though Mossbrucker's character sobered up awfully suddenly in the finale.
Gerald Arpino's "Suite Saint-Saens" completed the program.