Music: Plaster Bonbons

New York's Joffrey Ballet is often matchless for sheer glitter and sensuous invention. But virtuosity pursued for its own sake can be a vice, and showmanship pushed too far becomes a snare and a collusion. Of three new Joffrey offerings this spring, two, Confetti and Solarwind, are depressing cases in point.

Confetti, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is, among other things, a "plaster bonbon." The definition is cruelly apt as a description of Gerald Arpino's creation, which turns three couples loose to the overture of Rossini's Semiramide. Arpino's brilliant passages of dance invention and his dancers' great innovative skills leave the...

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