Despite hosting a dozen dance troupes and choreographers from around the world in one weekend of performances, the Dance Salad Festival can always be counted on for the last several years to present very high-caliber performances and choreography. So it was unexpected to see some performances and choreography this evening that didn’t seem to belong to the same level of quality as the rest of the program.

Of the companies that impressed — National Ballet of Canada, Ballet of Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders and Stuttgart Ballet — the most captivating was the ensemble from Gärtnerplatz in highly original works by two different choreographers Marguerite Donlon (“Made in Love: Minutemade”) and Jacopo Godani (“Versus Standard”); Donlon’s was charming yet also technically impressive, fusing together a multitude of genres and dance styles, sometimes in a single movement or gesture!

A special mention needs to be made of Drew Jacoby — always an impressive dancer and a new addition to the Flanders company — who immediately drew attention in Sidei Larbi Cherkaoui’s “Fall” due purely to her extremely artistic athleticism.