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Pacific Northwest Ballet

Director's Choice Program

by Dean Speer

March 15, 2008 -- Seattle, Washington

Several critics have already written elsewhere that they found this to be a curious program.  I concur that it was curious in that it presented a programming challenge -- how to make four dances that come from an essentially similar aesthetic palette compare/contrast and play off of each other? 

I believe each dance would have been better served if they had been spread out over the length of the season, rather than presenting them on the same bill.  They needed ballets along with them that were quite different. 

"One Flat Thing, Reproduced" would have been more outstanding and fun had it been on the same program with something, say more 'traditional.'  Instead, it came across as a dire 16 minutes.  I liked its "take no prisoners alive" attack and energy, but after sitting through three somber ballets, it wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been.  Perhaps if it had opened the program... 

"Für Alina" was about isolation, as was, in a sense, Paul Gibson's "Sense of Doubt."  Both were dark.  While the former didn't have the latter's 'running' theme, it did have reaching, yearning.  Each were tortured souls. 

Each of these works, without a doubt, was beautifully and forcefully danced.  Who could forget the many principal dancers attacking each phrase of Forsythe’s piece with such gusto? 

Of this dance portrait evening, Dove's "Vespers" was choreographically the strongest.  At least these tortured souls seemed to find respite at the end.

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