The AVA Ballet Theatre presented an entertaining evening on July 20 with its annual production of “Vortex: The Ballet That Rocks” at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater as part of Reno’s 31-day Artown celebration.
Featuring a company of young dancers, along with guest principals Kathleen Martin and Ronald Tilton from the CW Network’s “Breaking Pointe” television show, the AVA Ballet presented a show that spanned the musical spectrum from 80s metal and James Bond to Britney Speaks and Lady GaGa to Bollywood, with an array of musical styles, costumes and emotions.
Metallica opened and closed the production with a combination of classical ballet to head banging set to “Metal” and “Devil’s Dance.”
Martin and Tilton showed off their impeccable skills with the achingly romantic “Goodbye” by Sia and the passionate and provocative performance set to Rihanna’s “Angel of Silence.”
The sequence “Pandora” featuring a New Age musical ensemble with the ballerinas dressed as fairies and several beautiful performances by the principles, the company and two wonderful solos by Eri Nishihara, part of AVA’s cast.
The company kicked up the mode with an upbeat Bollywood number that had the audience cheering and a beach party performance to Katy Perry’s “Undeniable,” complete with a Jeep onstage.
The 80s returned with a performance of the opening number of the James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only” complete with the shadows of the dancers cast onto long rolls of fabric to the whoops of the audience.
The final numbers transition from the upbeat “Transformed” by Lady Gaga to the moving “Words of Wisdom” by Paul McCartney and John Lennon to Britney Spears and Rihanna’s “Diamonds in the Night.”
Look for the AVA Ballet’s performance of “Nutcracker” with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra from Dec. 13 to 15.