The Natural City Man blog hasn't turned into Italian Ballet Dancer and all-around hunk, Roberto Bolle's official fan website but this week it might as well be. He seems to be the only game in town and the gala he produced at City Center in New York City on Sept. 17, 2013 was exceptional on all levels: the dancing was brilliant and the Gala was chock-full of interesting dance pieces that you don't see done-to-death by other ballet companies. American Ballet Theatre's Artistic Director, Kevin MacKenzie was sitting in the row behind me and I hope he took note of how a ballet gala should be put together, given the dismal affairs that his Spring Opening Night Galas have become of late.
Last night's Roberto Bolle And Friends Gala could have been subtitled "Men Dancing Without Shirts" and in Roberto's case, sometimes without tights, too. In the opening Excelsior Pas de Deux Roberto stopped the show (and my heart) wearing only a skimpy, clingy pair of gold briefs that were high cut on the sides to display an ample amount of Roberto's cheeks! In the closing piece, Roberto almost appeared to be nude with his back to the audience but alas he had flesh-colored trunks on. They left little to the imagination, as did the tight trunks worn by Jason Reilly in the Mona Lisa ballet excerpt. During that ballet, one was almost able to tell what religion Jason belongs to!
Herman Cornejo appeared as one of Roberto's "Friends" and he has the distinction of being the only male dancer of the evening who danced with his shirt on! He and Maria Kochetkova were brilliant in the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deus, one of my favorites from the evening.