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Blankenship Brings Spectacular Night of Ballet to Vibiana

By Jeannine Denholm
Published: Tuesday, June 02, 2009, at 08:03AM
Swan Lake Jeannine Denholm [Flickr]

Uplifting Swan Lake performance in the center of Vibiana

Venice may have lost the Blankenship Ballet Company but their loss was Downtown's gain as the company packed Vibiana on Saturday for a spectacular night of dance.

The standing room only crowd watched as dancers tempted the audience with classical, modern and saucy ballet numbers with a Cuban flair. General seating on all four sides just inches from the dance mat on the floor gave a unique perspective to view the dancers in a very intimate way.

There were many times audience members in the front row held their breath during an arabesque that came inches from their faces. Being able to see the dancers feet and straining muscles during certain movements didn't detract from the performance but made it difficult to ignore the difficult choreography.

Dozens of dizzying pirouettes were followed by death defying shoulder lifts so graceful it was hard to believe the dancers weren't performing on a much bigger stage. And the elaborate costumes of feathers, sequins and taffeta shined under the bright historical lights inside Vibiana.

Evenings like these are very important to the growth and image of Downtown. You may be able to see ballet anywhere, but Vibiana is truly the kind of an event space that almost becomes another character in the performance. It was also a wonderful opportunity for hundreds of Angelenos not familiar with Downtown or its changes to see the former church lit up in all its glory.

For more details on the story behind the Blankenship Ballet Company of Venice's move check out the LA Times' recent write-up.

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