Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre’s inspiring ‘The Best of Khachaturian’

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Review by
Radomir Vojtech Luza

If you wanted to see an evening of inspirational and enlightening ballet in Los Angeles, you should have been in the audience on Sunday, September 17th at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, when Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre presented “The Best of Khachaturian,” an evening of ballet set to the music of the iconic Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian.

Directed with passion, precision and power by Artistic Director Natasha Middleton and Assistant Director Ruben Tonoyan, the show began with a stirring new ballet entitled “Remember” dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide.

Middleton’s choreography leapt off of the stage and touched us, the audience, deeply and profoundly with a bold, biting and brazen artistic fervor.

“Remember” worked miraculously as did Khachaturian’s melodic and rhythmic Cello Concerto in E-minor, which underscored the piece.

Act I ended with a brilliantly danced excerpt from the full-length ballet “Spartacus” with sensitive, athletic and physical choreography by Yuri Grigorovich, coached by Ruben Tonoyan.

The selections from Act II’s “Masquerade” made a powerful impact with a whirlwind of colorful and electric choreography, music and costume design.

“Masquerade” served as a grand introduction to the night’s most energetic, fearless and flawless tour-de-force, selections from “Gayane.”

“The Saber Dance” and “Lezghinka,” the most famous musical passages from “Gayane,” ended the 90-minute evening on a wonderfully high and joyous note.

Were Khachaturian still alive, he might just have been inspired enough by the response to the show to pen a new instrumental piece scored for ballet.

To learn more about Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre, which is located in Burbank, visit online at or call 818-972-9692.


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