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DANCE REVIEW : Julio Bocca: Shaky Ground All Around

October 27, 1994|JENNIFER FISHER

The earth seemed to move during the Tuesday performance of Ballet Argentino, its second mixed program at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

Unfortunately, this is not meant poetically, but as one explanation for all the small stumbles, tiny tilts and general shakiness.

Take star player Julio Bocca, in a suite of dances from Act III of "Raymonda," by Lidia Segni, after Petipa. No sooner had he traced out his technical territory with nifty double tours and airy grand jetes, than he tripped out of bounds into a shadow upstage. Indeed, Bocca seems to be a victim of his own virtuosity, flinging himself into impressive aerial maneuvers, out of which he often crashes. An ace pilot's flight plan gone awry.

His partner, Eleonora Cassano, had fewer shaky moments, but her cool grace and high, pretty extensions could not make up for missing musicality.

The best "Raymonda" section was an elegant pas de quatre, crisply danced by Fabiana Bianchi, Erika Cornejo, Silvina Mazzuza and Silvana Vaccarelli. Then, in two solos, Natalia Magnicaballi and Cecilia Lucero were charming, despite missteps. And you get extra points for conveying charm while a raspy taped score reduces Glazunov's lush melodies to tinny tunes.

For "Dos Mundos," slightly better recordings of excerpts from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and tango music by Astor Piazzolla were meant to set up "two totally distinct worlds." Choreographer Julio Lopez was done in by using the same energy and (uninspired) vocabulary for both worlds.

Bocca was jazzy and arched in anguish, while trying to win Cassano with "the passion of tango." Intermittently, an automaton corps boldly clasped hands overhead, wiggled and spun to the passionate Vivaldi. Confusing, yes, and--because of its melodramatic stalking, and non-sequitur semi-nudity--not a little silly.

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