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DANCE REVIEWS : RADOJEVIC TRIUMPH

Shortly after Danilo Radojevic became a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, a few angry balletomanes called The Times to insist that a rave review of Radojevic was a mistake--that the diminutive blond virtuoso on stage could have been nobody other than Mikhail Baryshnikov. Rad-jo- who ?

During the Ballet Theatre “Nutcracker” intermission, Saturday afternoon in Shrine Auditorium, you could again hear Baryshnikov being praised for what Radojevic had danced. Small wonder.

As the Nutcracker-Prince in an otherwise familiar cast, he surged into the Mouse Battle with thrilling, high-velocity attacks, became devastatingly playful in the pantomime recapitulation of the plot, soared effortlessly through the “Waltz of the Flowers,” carefully dispatched a brilliant turning combination in his solo--all the while embodying the nobility and tenderness of a true storybook hero.

Perhaps because of his recent back injury, Radojevic’s lifts seldom looked easy or even smooth on this occasion. But the daring one-armed support in the Act 2 adagio wasn’t scanted. Far from it.

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Radojevic almost always seems to set exacting standards for himself--and this “Nutcracker” showed him again to be an exciting, distinctive artist: a star dancer of growing depth and refinement. He belongs in nobody’s shadow.


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