It may have been for two nights only — Friday and Saturday — but Acosta was the real deal. Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” is a ballet that did not originally offer a lot of spectacular dancing to its male lead of Prince Siegfried. (Legendary French-Russian choreographer Marius Ivanovich Pepita, who did the definitive “Swan Lake” in 1895, had a Siegfried, Pavel Gerd, who was 57 at the time.). But modern versions have made Siegfried more of a dancing role. Still, “Swan Lake” remains primarily a ballerina’s challenge of dancing two very different roles — Odette and Odile — even though, psychologically, the story turns around the prince’s inability to recognize falsehood when it stares him in the face.
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Tilson Thomas, who recorded the piece with the London Symphony Orchestra, was impressed. In 2004, after the album’s release on the Deutsche Grammophon label, he spoke to this writer about Costello’s “very musical mind.” He said, “And the thing that most impressed me is that he was actually writing this piece with a pencil and really trying to understand every note and how it all works. I really liked his whole feeling of curiosity about music…. It’s quite far out there in terms of the tonalities. It’s pastel-colored, and really quite remarkable.”.
“It has been great coming in each week and getting feedback from all of them,” said Irvington’s Ayushi Prusty, “They really help you to grow as a singer and dancer.”, Almaden’s Kristen Champlin, a first-time competitor, said the experience was a very positive one for her, “It has been so much fun and I’ve made a bunch of new friends, I also had the chance to learn choreography, which I hadn’t done before, It was nice to be able ballet shoes size 4 toddler to dance and not fall on my face,” she joked..
Depending on her husband’s travel schedule (both work for biotech firms), Defeo says the couple takes private classes twice each week. Such devotion pales in comparison to the Defeos’ participation in the group lessons. “We’re there every day,” she admits. “We go every evening after work. It’s a lot of fun, we get to meet a lot of people, and everyone’s really nice. The other thing is that it’s a really good way to decompress from work. You have to pay attention, and focus on what they’re teaching you, so for 45 minutes that’s all you’re thinking about. It’s like going into a little Zen state.”.