Review: The Sacramento Ballet rocks the house 'Wild Sweet Love' Special

Posted Feb 14, 2014 by W. Mark Dendy
The Sacramento Ballet brought the audience of the Community Center to its feet on opening night of its Valentine's weekend program with a flawless performance of Trey McIntyre's “Wild Sweet Love.”
The Sacramento Ballet performed  Wild Sweet Love  for this Valentine s weekend.
The Sacramento Ballet performed "Wild Sweet Love" for this Valentine's weekend.
"Wild Sweet Love" was the last of a three ballet event. First up was "Wunderland" followed by the world premiere of "Acceptance."
Artistic co-directors Ron Cunningham and Carrine Binda, once again demonstrated to the world that Sacramento, often known as a farm town, is rich in culture with a world class ballet.
“Wild Sweet Love” is set to modern music - favorites by the Zombies, Lou Reed, Roberta Flack, and Queen to name a few.
Ava Chatterson opened and ended the show, her talent, simply amazing.
Lighting was a key in setting the tone for this ballet that sometimes featured silhouettes against the brightly colored backdrop. In the opening scene, Chatterson in a wedding gown appears against a blue spotlit background.
Chatterson drew the audience onto the stage, not only with her movement, but with her facial expressions. She was captivating.
Lauryn Winterhalder and Stefan Calka were natural together and executed a pas de deux in which they appeared to move through the routine effortlessly, in spite of performing in the two ballets prior to the final show of the evening I even saw the more serious Calka smile.
Sarah Hicks danced with Christopher Nachtrab, both with their infectious smiles and enthusiasm for performing, each showing great form . In another segment, Nachtrab enjoyed the stage with Rex Wheeler and Maggie Rupp in a romp that was hilarious.
The scene that was most moving was when Winterhalder, Calka, and Chatterson all shared the stage. Chatterson standing to the side as Calka and Winterhalder performed their romantic interludes. On several occasions Chatterson “split up” the pair of love birds and each time took command of the stage.
And in the finale, it was all Chatterson. After performing a powerful solo dance, Chatterson remained in command of the audience. As Queen's “Somebody to Love” played, Chatterson held the audience in captivity to the very end as the entire company encompassed her, lifted her up and brought the show to a close.
There is no question in my mind, as a reviewer, that a new phrase need be coined:
“The ballet isn't over til the lady Chatterson dances!”
The audience was brought to its feet for a very long standing ovation.
And there is no better way to celebrate love than with your significant other at the ballet.
Three shows remain.
February 14, 7:30pm
February 15, 7:30pm
February 16, 2:00pm
Get your tickets before they sell out! Tickets for all shows can be purchased online or at the Ballet box office.