ambition and glamour in washington ballet’s ‘balanchine, ratmansky, tharp’

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the washington ballet in alexei ratmansky’s “seven sonatas.” (theo kossenas/ media4artists)it’s no small thing to reorganize the modest washington ballet as a company built to serve great works of art. if ambition is a species of madness, to quote spinoza, then the troupe’s artistic director, julie kent, is indeed quite struck with folly, in a deeply interesting way. kent’s ambition for the company springs from confidence and creative thinking, and she is decisively moving ahead in her plan to compete with the best one day. that day is still distant, but the current program at the warner theatre, “balanchine, ratmansky, tharp,” shows progress underway. on view are familiar repertory works — balanchine’s “allegro brillante” and twyla tharp’s “nine sinatra songs” — and a strong first essay of alexei ratmansky’s beautifully complex “seven sonatas.”be aware, however, that the warner theatre’s sound system is where recorded music goes to die. both “allegro brillante,” the most successful work on the program, and “nine sinatra songs” suffered from this. (happily, “seven sonatas” featured live music, which came across splendidly.) in “......

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