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 Post subject: Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
I saw a curious program at PNB this weekend. Billed as the Director's Choice, it featured four intense works by resident choreographer Paul Gibson, NYCB's Edward Liang, Ulysses Dove and William Forsythe.

My favorite was probably Dove's "Vespers," a percussion-driven work for six strong female dancers. It was rough and tumble but elegant and sensual at the same time. However, a minute longer and it would have been too long for me.

Forsythe's "One Flat Thing, Reproduced" comes from his later post-ballet repertoire -- you know, the kind that one may dub "grunge ballet" in a good sort of way. The company performed it admirably but I can't help comparing them to the hard-pounding dancers of the old Frankfurt Ballet.

Before seeing the program myself, I couldn't imagine AD Peter Boal artistically bold enough to actually make it happen! But I'm hoping in the future, he goes the extra step by having choreographers like Forsythe actually create new experimental works on the company!


Last edited by Azlan on Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
Director’s Choices
Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Director’s Choice Program
Saturday, March 15, 2007 evening show
Seattle, Washington

by Dean Speer

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 programing challenge -- how to make four dances that come from an essentially similar aesthetic pallette compare/contrast and play off of each other?

I believe each dance would have been better served to have been spread out over the length of the season, rather than to have presented 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 dure 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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Dean Speer
ballet@u.washington.edu


Last edited by Dean Speer on Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Dean Speer wrote:
"One Flat Thing, Reproduced" would have been more outstanding and fun had it been on the same program with something, say more 'traditional.'


Or if one were to go into the show with an idea of what to expect. When I saw "One Flat" performed by Forsythe company, it was in a program of similarly "grungy" works but it was still exciting to me because the dancers were really going for it and I was expecting exactly that kind of style from Forsythe. PNB, OTOH, in my mind, is still a ballet company first and I am still programmed to expect to see some "traditional" or "neoclassical" ballets on a program.

The audience on the night I went loved it though! So, maybe it's just us jaded folks that has an issue with it?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Some reviews in the papers:

“Director’s Choice” Isn’t Real Ballet
By Sandra Kurtz, Seattle Weekly

PNB's "Director's Choice" program features contemporary works
By Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic

PNB repertory goes from mild to wild
By R.M. CAMPBELL, Seattle P-I


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