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National Ballet of Georgia's Vallarta Performance
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September 5, 2011
I have enjoyed several local performances at Teatro Vallarta, but it was thrilling to see such a serious group of performers who were obviously international masters of their craft.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Last night I had the pleasure of attending The National Ballet of Georgia's performance in Puerto Vallarta's beautiful Teatro Vallarta. It's a shame the company is not able to put on more than just last night's show for the people of Vallarta as the performance was both visually and culturally wonderful.

When I first began seeing the posters advertising that a Ballet company from Georgia was coming to town, I (pardon my ignorance) assumed it was referencing the American state of Georgia. For whatever reason, the idea of a ballet from the southern state of Georgia was not very exciting. When I learned, however, that The National Ballet of Georgia is an internationally acclaimed company from the country of Georgia (located just below Russia for those like me who slept through global-geography), I realized we were in for a special evening.

I have enjoyed several local performances at Teatro Vallarta (which were well done and certainly entertaining), but it was thrilling to see such a serious group of performers who were obviously international masters of their craft.

Both the men and the women of the company seemed pressed from their respective molds - uniform in height in build, their movements perfectly timed and in sync with each other. Adding to the excitement of watching a group of people in a state of intensified harmony was the seemingly endless amount of intricate and vivid costumes, which changed in impossible frequency.

The costumes ranged from culturally modest garb to that of royalty, which allowed the theme of the dances to flow effortlessly through scenes of traditional celebrations to that of noblemen competing for the attention of a princess at court.

Highlight routines depicted men at war and involved intricate knife-fighting with what were obviously real blades of solid and sharp metal. In one scene, soldiers seemed to be competing in a test of skill and bravery as they, one after another, outdid the previous competitor by throwing knives in pattern (which were sticking into the stage) all while spinning and twirling at incredible speeds.

Giving the entire performance life and rhythm, was the tiny orchestra of only four players - two men playing accordions, one man playing a traditional drum, and one man who played a flute-like instrument. Together, their sound was interesting and almost what I would consider Arabic. They played without pause throughout the entire performance and until the dancers broke giving the musicians a chance to showcase their skills, I'd almost forgotten that we were listening to live music and not a recorded track.

Sadly, the theatre was only about half-full for the performance. What we lacked in numbers, however, we made up for in applause as the performance's conclusion was met with a thunderous standing ovation, which lasted through several rounds of bows.

If The National Ballet of Georgia is any indication of the caliber of talent that PV's new Teatro Vallarta is capable of attracting, I sincerely urge readers to make a point of supporting the theater in any way possible as it was a real pleasure to be able to watch such lauded company of artists perform here in paradise.