February 10, 2013, the Sacramento Ballet Company presented the Great Gatsby at its matinee performance. The performance educated, energized and delighted the audience.
Through dance the ballet company illustrated how the convergence of drama, intrigue and changing morals in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third novel ended in senseless tragedy.
The famed author tells a story that show how youthful love, playful infatuation and moral restlessness within a wealthy society group can end in tragedy. The time is the rollicking jazz era of sex and alcohol in the 1920’s.
The dancing was excellent.
The ballet company showcased the attitudes and the mannerisms of the wealthy with smooth foxy trots, class cohesion through group closed precision high kicking, their predatory prowling while avoiding to become prey and their hostility towards the less fortunate through tango-like movements; and finally their grace through smooth and exact swing techniques.
The music was superb.
The orchestra energized the auditorium with Ragtime and Dixieland sounds. A bossy tuba and a snappy snare drum metered the classic jazz beat of the period. Not to be out done, a jubilant clarinet raced the scales with sounds of joy. All within me danced. Applauds and calls flowed from attendees to appreciate the joyful swing music. During other tunes, the clarinet called forth feeling of pain with sustained sounds that whined and stretched into a wail.
The performance began ten minutes late. Management announced the late start accommodated the many last minute ticket purchasers. The inconvenience was worth the wait. In the language of modern competitive sports, the Sacramento Balllet Company left it all on stage. The exuberance and chatter of the departing crowd suggested a bright future for this dance company ‘s future performances.