American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky’s new production of ‘Whipped Cream’
-Reviewed by Ms. Carbs McSugarfree
For anyone who makes proper food and nutrition the central axis of their professional life such as myself, the new ABT ballet, ‘Whipped Cream’, could be an absolute nightmare.
Here’s how the ballet would rate on a nutrition label
Caloric Value: As far as set and costume design by Mark Ryden goes, this is high calorie. Each backdrop contains hidden whimsical details, multi-layered enterances like a decadent trifle with secret boxes and doors the dancers emerge from and disappear through. Costumes come in all shapes, sizes, and manners of immobility like most useless sugary calories not at all necessary beyond aesthetic appeal. You eat with your eyes first, right? Every single costume, from corps to star, and each backdrop and set piece was a feast for the eyes and imagination. Even if the constant flapping of the Long Neck Piggy’s ears was a little distracting,
Sodium Intake: The Doctor role, danced by Alexei Agoudine, provided a nice cantankerous, salty personality amidst all of the sugary sweetness. His staggering and stealthy performance was both comical and provided a bit of a threat to the protagonist. He’s probably not the best Doctor- what with the alcoholism and affected balance under that massive head- but he did even out the good and bad forces of the characters while still remaining funny and likeable.
Caffeine: Hee Seo as Princess Tea Flower is definitely not an herbal rememdy. With her brisk pointe work and occasional descent to sitting on the floor in a classical tutu, she seemed more like a caffeine and sugar crash in process. Her dancing was flawless in the first act and then we don’t see her again until the later pas de quatre where she basically has to be carried everywhere by Prince Coffee. Perhaps we should change her name to Princess Redbull, even if these aren’t part of a balanced diet.
- Summer Dance Camp snacks and meal tips from a teacher’s perspective
Solid partnering came from Cory Stearns as Prince Coffee, a regal steadfast presence amongst so many flighty characters. Stearns brought a mature presence to the stage, appropriately so since drinking coffee makes one an adult. Just ask every over-worked over-caffeinated New Yorker.
Blaine Hoven is one of the few who could pull of the dopey role of Don Zucchero in that white tights and baggy white tunic ensemble. The more ridiculous the character, the more precise the demands of the sissone, the entreche six, the reflex to freeze with a clear picture. Hoven was up to each challenge, executing each step with crystalline articulation. Not sure he needs any more sugar, as it seems to be making his toes curl. Or that could just be the extreme arch of his feet. Calories from sugar= a lot.
Why are there so many props for each character? The Marzipan Men had bow and arrows, the Sugarplum Men had spears, the Gingerbread Men had shields and those round hammers. Each group struggled to stay together and the frenzied details of each costume plus props plus complicated choreography made for a messy stage picture. Just like the real world of food, too many additives are equal to weapons of destruction.
The five cupcake children in the parade of costume confectionary were joyously buoyant in those bouncing geometrical costumes. I suspect gelatin is at work here and I think we all know where the horse from act 1 went.
The nurses..yeah yeah, beautiful dancing and all that but where’s the reality? When they went to give The Boy a shot with their oversized syringes, they merely showed the stabbing action without delivering any medicine. They might all have beautiful fouette saute, but they all failed medical school. It’s very important to get all of the hospital-y details absolutely correct in a ballet where big-head alcoholic doctors capture children in an all-dancing sweet shop. Because of their fake nursing, they are rating high on the aspartame scale.
Princess Tea Flowers four attendants– the fiber of the ballet. Not only because they have the most gorgeous green tutus (I want one!) but because of the challenging attitude relve en tournant section at the end. This is roughage that most bodies cannot absorb.
Misty Copeland as Princess Praline– incredibly brisk petite allegro and luscious pas de deux showcased strength and stamina in a delightfully sweet performance. Definitely the protein of the show, even if it was coated in sugar.
The 3 liquors dances by Catherine Hurlin, Duncan Lyle, and Roman Zhurbin proved that it may be a bad idea to mix beer and wine, but whatever these three were go together like a wonderful cocktail of personality and technical pazzaz. Hurlin gave a stand-out performance, a burst of energy like a jolt of vitamin C. If I had known it was possible to get this feeling from a buzzed beverage (Mademoiselle Marianne Chartreuse) I would have given up oranges a long time ago.
Jeffrey Cirio as The Boy– I’m pretty sure he’s diabetic by the end of this ballet. Given the resulting illness from his massive sugar consumption, and then going back for more at the end, he’s definitely at least stupid. Could be both stupid and diabetic (takes one to know one). The dancing, especially his solo work in act 2 with brilliant menege and those exciting Russian split jumps, was fast, charming, and exciting in a heart-pumping kind of way. Probably very high in cholesterol.
Other outsiders mock-reviewing the ballet:
- Heifer Poultrypig, a confused foodie, reviews Louisville Ballet’s Swan Lake
- A Pirate Capt’n Reviews ABT”s Le Corsaire
- Lady Gaga reviews Missouri Ballet Theatre’s Midsummer
- Kim Kardashian review MBT’s Cinderella
- Olive Garden lady, Marilyn Hagerty, reviews Pink Floyd
Overall, the ballet is a one-hundred percent serving of a daily intake of fun, frivolity, and fancy. And sometimes this is both good for you and just what the doctor orders.
Join me tomorrow for a buffet of new paintings in the shop inspired by this colorful and wonderful masterpiece.