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Baltimoreballetonpointewithrecentperformance

ThesomewhatlightattendanceattheBaltimoreMuseumofArts
presentationofBalletBaltimoresPaquitalastSaturdaywashardly
unexpected.ThemajorityoftheHopkinspopulationwaspackedjustamatter
ofyardsawayinShriverHalltowatchtheQuarterfinalsoftheInternational
ChampionshipofCollegiateACappella(theICCAs).While,admittedly,the
lureofcuteboyssingingincoordinatedoutfitscanbestrong,thestrange90s
esqboybanddanceroutinescanleavesomethingtobedesired.
TheballetPaquitaissetinFrenchoccupiedSpainandfollowsthestoryofa
noblegirlwhoisabductedbygypsiesinheryouth.Ofcourse,sheagesintoa
beautifulyoungwoman,desiredbyanumberofmenwhoproceedtomakea
completemessofthemselvesandtheircountrysgovernmentastheyattempt
tokilleachotherforherhand(ok,somaybe90esqboybandslookspretty
goodincomparison).Despitethedramaofthemanchildren,thenotonly
beautifulbutcleverPaquitamanagestocomeoutontopandsaveherone
trueloveaFrenchnobleman.Conveniently,Paquitathendiscoversthat
sheisactuallyofnoblebirth(andmostlikelyrelativeswithherlover)and
theirmarriageisactuallyendorsedratherthanforbidden.
Theballetendswhenthecoupleiswedandeveryoneliveshappilyeverafter.
WelleveryoneexceptforPaquitasotherlovers,thecouplessicklyinbred
children,andNapoleonforwhom,thePeninsularWar(resultingfromhis
invasionofSpain)isoftencitedashisgreatestblunder.
Thoughluckilytheentiretyofthestorywasdescribedintheshowsprogram,
itwasdisappointingthatmuchoftheexcitementofPaquitawasleftforthe
audiencetoimagineasthecompanywasforcedtoperformaveryabridged
version.Thiswasduetothefactthattheentirefirstactoftheshowconsisted
ofashowcasegivenbyvariousstudentsoftheBaltimoreBalletSchool,as
wellassomeofthecompanymembersandsomeguestperformers.
Theintendedformatofthedualfunctionshowwasunclearatfirst,and
membersoftheaudiencewhomighthavebeenattemptingtospotsome
semblanceofaplotprobablyendeduphopelesslyconfused.Theshowcase

variedgreatlyinstyle,withthedancespresentedrangingfromexcerptsof
largerworks(suchasCarnivaloftheAnimals)tooriginalchoreographed
moderndancepieces,toseeminglymoreculturallyeclecticstylesofdance.
TherewasevenashortpieceperformedtothetuneofBellasLullabyfrom
Twilight,whichprobablyservedtoalertanypreviouslyunawareaudience
membersthatthiswasnotmeanttobepartofPaquita.
Perhapsitcouldhavebeenmadeclearer,bothintheonlineadvertisingas
wellasintheincrediblyshortspeechgivenpriortotheshow,thatthisshow
wasnotactuallyaperformanceoftheballetPaquita.Hadthestructureofthe
showbeenbetterarticulated,itmighthavepreventedtheaudiencefrom
feelingasthoughtheyhadmistakenlystumbledintosomeoneelsesballet
recital.Which,giventheticketprices(withnoadvertisedstudentdiscount),it
ishardtobelievethatanyonebutaparentwouldhaveshelledoutthe$35to
attendtherathershortproduction.
Thatsaid,someofthedancersweretrulygifted,andmanyofthepiecesin
theshowcaseweremoving.Itwasclearthatalotofhardworkhadgoneinto
theproduction.Infact,werethereamorereasonablestudentpricingoption,
BaltimoreBalletattheBMAwoulddefinitelybeaperfectlyviableoptionfor
studentslookingforsomeSaturdaynight,prepartyentertainment.