Julio Bocca's Ballet Argentino presents a wide ranging program from exquisite classical ballet to fiery tango at The Orange County Performing Arts Center.

In the Grand Pas de Deux from "Don Quixote," Bocca as Basil partners with Lucianna Paris as Kitri. They pirouette, he lifts her, she kicks a leg out, he spins her around. The passion builds as he lifts her high, and swings her down. He spins and leaps while she's on pointe, drops to the flat of her feet, crossing her legs, rising back up, and bounces up and down like that a few times. They leap and spin, almost in competition. It's like any spin you can do I can do double. It's almost like the dance equivalent of the Siegfried/Brunnhilde duet in "Siegfried." It's one of the most dazzling exhibitions of pure athleticism in dance I've ever seen. Julio Bocca is also one of the most athletic dancers I've seen. He leaps high and seems to hang in the air for a beat. It's really a beautiful piece of dancing.

"Adagietto" is choreographed by Oscar Araiz to music from Mahler's "4th Symphony." Cecilia Figaredo and Christian Alessandria move with serpentine grace and smoothness in this deliciously sensuous Pas de Deux. He holds her tenderly and totally in his arms. He
slowly lifts her over his head, with his back to the audience. She leans back, facing us, and stretches her arms out in supplication. She rolls back. He picks her up on top of him and they both rise up in love. While he's on his back on the stage she rolls on top of him. With only their hands and feet touching he lifts her straight up above him. They move up to their knees, he lifts her and holds her in a sitting position. She stretches her legs straight out in front, then straight back. He lifts her high, she kneels on his shoulders and leans forward over his head. "Adagietto" is one of the most sensuously beautiful pieces I have ever seen.

"Suite Generis" is choreographed by Alberto Mendez to music of Handel and Haydn. It's a
Pas de Trois for a ballerina and two male dancers. It's structured in five parts and presents the conflict and triumphs of the lovers in different situations. One of the dancers lifts the other, then they both lift her. She stands straight up on one leg in the hand of one guy. She rolls over to the other and both hold her, laid out flat over their heads. She dances with one, while the other dances alone on the other side of the stage. One guy slides her in front of him and they exit. When they return he lifts her high and they pass her back and forth between them. Julieta Gros, Sergio Amarante, and Benjamin Parada are lithe and lissome, witty and smooth in this beautiful "Suite Generis."

"Sinfonia Endtrelazada" has choreography by Mauro Bigonzetti to Mozart's Symphony K. 201, and is based on Shakespeare's comedy "Two Gentlemen of Verona" and Sonnet's #30 and #42. We have Julio Bocca with Cecilia Figaredo, and Benjamin Parado with Luciana Paris, and the corps de ballet. It opens and closes with a big amplified voice reading a narration. We explore the emotions of the lovers as the guys lift the girls, they leap and spin. Five pairs of girls kick their legs up, out, and spin. We have some beautiful lighting effects and the only ensemble dancing in the first half of the program in this lively exquisite piece.

Act 2 is Astor Piazzolla's Tango Vivo choreographed byAna Maria Streckelman. The muisc is performed by the Fundación Astor Paizzola Quintet. The work is created as a suite with solos, duets, trios, and quintets. It's a sizzling blend of modern dance with hints of classical ballet, firmly rooted in tango. There's a darkly lit group of dancers toward the rear of the stage. A softly lit girl comes out and spins, slides down on the floor, and rolls. The tension builds as she's joined by two guys. She dances with one, while the other leaps and twirls around the stage to balance them against him, and all against the group. The rythmn picks up and a girl does a lively dance. She's joined by a guy who lifts her, sets her down, and she jumps into his arms. Six guys in black with hats provide the backdrop as she does a scintillating solo.

Three men move like clockwork as they leap, kick, and cartwheel. They're replaced by five girls with big sweeping arm movements, splits and spins. One spins off and does a solo, and the others join in. They all come together and form sort of a human pyramid.

Julio Bocca uses a table as a prop in "Invierno Porteño." He slides under, rolls over the top, kicks his legs straight out, and raises himself up on it. He does a handstand, slides over and under it. He's joined by Luciana Paris. They lie back on the table in a slow, passionate burn. He lifts her and rolls her. The company wraps it up in a steamy number as they jiterbug, cha-cha, and tango with some classical ballet moves in this sizzling production by Julio Bocca's Ballet Argentino at The Orange County Performing Arts Center.



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