Review – Spectrum Dance Company: Donald Byrd’s “Sleeping Beauty Notebooks” – The Moore Theater

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After sleeping through a lot of Saturday (interrupted mostly by going to brunch at Charlie’s – home of Seattle’s best Monte Cristos and FABulous people watching), we met up with Ampliatum at Maekawa and had dinner. Then it was Sleeping Beauty Notebooks at the Moore. While at the theater, I received my come-uppance for teasing Sara about going fangrrl on Neil Gaiman, as I ran into Peter Boal, the new artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet, in the lobby, and proceeded to get completely giddy talking about their new season.

The show itself was very hard, at the level of a Pinter play, unashamedly requiring a high degree of dance literacy from the audience. (For example, it reset the “Sleeping Beauty dances with each of the princes” from the actual ballet with her as a taxi dancer and the boys as a bunch of fighting Mafioso-types; I recognized the choreography – with its “guy leads her en pointe around in a circle and lets go just long enough for her to put her hands over her head – from the version PNB put on a while back, but missed the reference.) I mostly followed along but found some sections irritating and others just confusing. (The “Christening Banquet Orgy” scene was clearly original and decidedly lively, I give it a thumbs-up.) It cemented my desire to go see the Royal National Ballet next time I’m in London – I need more great dance in my life, and the opportunities here (except for PNB) are generally only “good.”

(This review is for a performance that took place October 8th, 2005.)

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