Alice Renavand in William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated,” at the Paris Opera Ballet, 2012. Photograph by Anne Deniau, Opéra de Paris.
“In the Middle” perfectly captures the intimate, prickly, ambiguous relationships of dancers who grow up together but must never forget that their friends are also their rivals. When performed by other companies, this wary surveillance, the bravado that masks fear, is often enacted as a vaguely sulky aggressiveness. But when Alice Renavand and Aurélia Bellet eyed each other warily, it was immediately clear what was at stake: center stage.