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 Post subject: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Pacific Northwest Ballet's 2010-11 season opens with a Director's Choice program of two works by Jiri Kylian: "Petite Mort" and "Sechs Tanze; plus Nacho Duato's "Jardi Tancat" and the PNB premiere of Jerome Robbins' "Glass Pieces." Performances are scheduled from September 24 through October 3 at McCaw Hall in Seattle. Here is a link to the detailed program information on the PNB website:

Director's Choice Program

Casting is now available at the following link:

Casting


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Moira Macdonald previews the program in the Seattle Times.

Seattle Times


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:31 pm 
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Moira Macdonald reviews the Friday, September 24, 2010 opening night cast in the Seattle Times.

Seattle Times

Michael van Baker in the Sun Break.

Sun Break


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Kristen Legg reviews the "Director's Choice" program in The Examiner.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:55 pm 
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Jean Lenihan reviews "Director's Choice" in Crosscut.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:16 pm 
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Alice Kaderlan reviews "Director's Choice" in the Seattle P-I.

Seattle P-I

Sandra Kurtz reviews "Director's Choice" in the Seattle Weekly.

Seattle Weekly


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:23 pm 
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Amy Mikel reviews "Director's Choice" for seattlest.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:24 pm 
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R. M. Campbell reviews the Friday, September 24 opening night in The Gathering Note.

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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:55 pm 
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Deborah Stone reviews the program in the Woodinville Weekly.

Woodinville Weekly


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 Post subject: Re: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice (September 2010)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:20 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Barefoot at the Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Director’s Choice” Program
Saturday, 25 September 2010, 7:30 p.m. Performance
McCaw Hall, Seattle, Washington

by Dean Speer

What is modern dance? How do we define it? For that matter, what is ballet and how do we define it? These questions and more converged on and off stage during Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Director’s Choice” bill which featured three works that were performed in bare feet and one in ballet slippers and pointe shoes.

Modern dance means something different to North Americans than it does to our counterparts in other parts of the globe. For us, it tends to have some specific meanings such as – typically barefoot dancing that traces its roots to Denishawn, Martha Graham [who, by the way did not like the word “modern” and much preferred “contemporary”] or even Merce Cunningham -- and which rarely includes any of the ballet vocabulary. Others tend to embrace the word “contemporary” which can include modern dance but also ballet that’s of a “now” mode and which may or may not be done in bare feet or typical ballet wear and which might include modern dance movement, ballet vocabulary, or a “fusion.”

These days, I believe perhaps the best way to define for ourselves “Is it modern dance?” or “Is it ballet?” is to look at what kind of training it takes to well execute the respective demands of the choreography.

Using this criterion for this program, I’d classify the pieces on PNB’s first repertory program as follows:

1. “Petite Mort” modern dance
2. “Sechs Tänze” ballet
3. “Jardi Tancat” modern dance
4. “Glass Pieces” ballet

Numbers one and three could be performed by some very well-trained modern dance companies, while numbers two and four require those that have been truly trained in the ballet and have the right kind of technique.

The second and last are the newest acquisitions to PNB’s repertory with “Sechs Tänze” being a companion work to Jiri Kylian’s “Petite Mort” and it’s fluffy and silly. “Petite Mort” has some visual humor, particularly with the use of the iconic rolling period dresses but its overlay is serious.

“Jardi Tancat” by Nacho Duato is not only his first choreographic output but is perhaps his best. I’ve seen a few of his works; they look similar, seeming to come from the same movement palette. PNB has been doing Jardi for 14 years and it was very satisfying to see a seasoned cast of veteran performers and to welcome Jeffrey Stanton back to full dancing – Ariana Lallone, Rachel Foster, Carrie Imler, Stanton, Batkhurel Bold and Olivier Wevers.

I was distressed and disappointed (to say the least) to learn via press release that Peter Boal has decided not to renew Ariana Lallone’s contract for what would have been her 25th anniversary year with the company. What long-term negative consequences could result from giving her one more year? Lallone’s performances from day one have had a special resonance to them and I’m certainly going to hang on every gesture and appearance she makes in the ensuing months. She is certain to be sorely missed.

We also welcomed back Maria Chapman after a too-long absence – about a year – in the central pas de deux of Jerome Robbins’ “Glass Pieces.” She appeared in good form and Stanton, as her cavalier, provided complementary support which is one of his many strengths.

“Glass Pieces” is my favorite choreographic work done to minimalist music. He knows just how to do it, does it well, and is prudent about length – not too long but long enough for development and to let this unfold. I’ve enjoyed this ballet when I’ve seen it elsewhere and I’m very happy that PNB has been able to bring it in; an important acquisition and one that audiences will continue to enjoy.

With the exception of the composer, Maria del Mar Bonet, singing her own songs on a recording used for “Jardi Tancat,” each of the evening’s dances were accompanied by the mighty PNB Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Allan Dameron.

In conclusion, a very strongly danced program by a dedicated and committed cast in dances that bridged the modern and ballet genres. Works that were light to semi-weighted and a dandy lead into PNB’s 2010-11 season and to its next repertory program of “All-Tharp” works in November.

_________________
Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


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