EQUUS- Maryland ballet

“Baltimore rarely is the site of world premiere, but Wednesday night's opening of “Equus by the Maryland Ballet was worthy of any opening night anywhere.
Choreographed by Domy Reiter-Soffer, the ballet was marked by exciting, energetic dancing, an intense musical score composed by Wilfred Josephs, and excellent dramatic presentation. Louis Perrella as the boy, Alan Strang, portrayed his character with vivid emotion and superb technical dancing ability. Clark Tippet as the psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, displayed a seamless movement as well as restrained emotional character of the doctor. Reva Pincusoff as the girlfriend –Jill Mason was excellent, as was the company's lead Horse Sylvester Campbell as Nugget. The Ballet exudes with passion and great choreography with unforgettable scenes that adds to the extraordinary evening.
(Carol Sorgen- The News America ).

“Equus: The Ballet is a winner! This award winning psycho-thriller play by Peter Shaffer became a ballet presented by the Maryland Ballet as a world premiere last night. The choreographer is the internationally known Domy Reiter-Soffer and the music by Wilfred Josephs, which is a winning combination.
This hot- off- the- press ballet was neurotic, erotic and exotic. The dissonance of the music and the tension of the dramatic action matched the violent anguish of outer bodies twisted by their inner torment. Music, Dance and drama-all three stirred the soul. Equus is a fine vehicle for Clark Tippet, in the role of the psychiatrist, and for Louis Perrella, as the disturbed boy Alan Strang, Riva Pincusoff, as the romantic stable girl and Sylvester Campbell as Nugget the principal Horse all succeeded to bring their role into high class performance.
The impressionistic blue- grey and green décor, designed by Reiter-Soffer, served all three areas where the ballet took place: a psychiatric hospital, The Strang's Family home stable and a field at night. The Dramatic action of the ballet is the psychological probing and analysis by the psychiatrist of the peculiar young boy whose religious upbringing and passion makes Gods of horses. Louis Perrella was powerfully convincing as the rigid noncommunicative boy who is hypnotized. Through flashbacks, the boy relives his horrible experiences, and both the doctor and the audience discover Alan's anguished father inflicting physical and psychological pain on his son.
Alan's love of horses, seen in his preoccupation with T.V Westerns while the family grows to disturbing intensity. Alan has his first sexual encounter with a girl in front of his God like horses. Subsequently, Alan blinds the horses with a spike to rid himself of the guilt and the aggression within him. The horses figures were embodied through long jumps and strides twitching necks and pawing legs of half- horses half-gods. The ballet ends on a disturbing note as the psychiatrist after witnessing Alan's sexual passion, he becomes twisted in inner torment as the boy finally walks calmly back to his parents. It is indeed a thought provoking ballet with magnificent performance of the cast”.
(Chrystellet T. Bond- The Sun-Baltimore)


“The choreographic event of the year so far, was the Maryland Ballet's production in Baltimore at Maurice Mechanic Theater of Domy Reiter-Soffer's “Equus”, based on Peter Shaffer's Play. Starring Clark Tippet and Louise Perrella in the roles of the psychiatrist Martin Dysart and the disturbing boy, Alan Strang. The Ballet captured the emotional intensity of the drama, transcending every detail and striking a note of contemporary tragedy that has not been seen in ballet since the days of Tudor. I was left with the strong feeling of being present in a moment of Ballet history”.
(Susan Foote-Washington Post).


“A ballet version of Peter Shaffer's Broadway hit play “Equus” was premiered by Maryland Ballet last night. Choreographed by Domy Reiter-Soffer with an original score by Wilfred Joseph. The result, “Equus” the ballet is an astounding transformation of play into ballet, perhaps the first Broadway drama since “Streetcar” to make such a change in form. If the play was psychological expressionism and the film version psychological realism, then Reiter-Soffer lifted the complex story of a barren-soul psychiatrist and psychotic but transfigured boy into mythic proportion. Reiter-Soffer works in the vain of Tudor dramatics and Tetley physical energy, highly difficult but effective choreographic method of rendering psychological situation. Josephs provided the underpinning with colorful dramatic score that never once failed to support the action onstage.
Like the play the ballet pivoted around two virtuoso performances: Martin Dysart, the psychiatrist danced by Clark Tippet, and Louise Perella as Alan Strang, the boy who falls into his care after blinding six horses, with violent adolescent psychotic.
Clark tippet dancer at ABT was never one of my favorite dancer but the amazing depth and control, his dancing and acting were proof of his talent. The doctor's empty life was rendered in a poignant, original solo that Tippet danced with an empty chair for his patients. Perrella was astounding, his sheer physical capacity as a dancer was enormous, but it was that element coupled with his total immersion in the psychosis of the boy that rendered his performance unforgettable. Nudity was suggested, but the demonic fury of the ending, with the terrified horses- six male dancers in stylizes makeup- had enormous impact of the play. Supported by the screaming orchestral fabric for the animals. Perrella also had a long pas de deux with his horse-god “Nugget” (danced with absolute animal magnetism by Sylvester Campbell) that must be one of the finest duets for two men, it was a moment of sheer dance genius. This is a work for a company like ABT that could turn it into an audience hit”.
(Barton Wimble- New York Daily News).

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