Posts Tagged ‘Peter Boal’

Review – Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Past, Present, and Future” – Seattle Opera House

November 3, 2005

My sister made it into town safely at 5:30 today, and off we flew to Queen Anne for a quick trip to Tup Tim Thai and then a visit to Pacific Northwest Ballet, as had said she wanted to see “that dancer you were so excited about” and I was more than happy to oblige. Tonight’s show was a series of short pieces entitled “Past, Present, and Future.” “Concerto Barocco,” a Balanchine work set to Bach, was the first piece and a grand way to start off the evening. I know I’ve seen this at least twice before, and I’m convinced that every time I see more. Patricia and Carrie were the female leads, Carrie extra vivacious tonight, but I wound up being entranced by the corps and their endless interweavings and twinings of arms and legs and selves. It seemed to me that they were occasionally the least bit off, but basically I was completely sucked in and just sat their shining with the glorious beauty of it all.

Piece two was Nacho Duato’s Jardi Tancat (“Closed Garden”), which is an unusual piece for PNB insofar as it’s performed to recorded music (by Maria del Mar Bonet). I can’t really understand what she’s singing – it’s in Catalan, so I can only pick up a few words – but it all seems to be about sadness and struggle and loss. The three couples seem to be sowing, and carrying children, and grieving, and embodying the transient nature of existence. Arianna Lallone was in this piece, but oddly she was not in the “lead” role of the red dress (Carrie again, oddly enough, perhaps Peter Boal trying to challenge her with some non-traditional work) – she was wearing a grey dress and had less movement. But, oh, the movement! As the women fell and were barely caught (and still allowed to continue their falls) and swirled, and caught each other’s skirts and cried in them – I just sat there with the hair prickling on my head, amazed at how beautiful it was. I can’t believe how many times I have seen this and how much it just still blows me away. Mara Vinson (“who?”) and Batkhurel Bold (hawt!) were amazing together, just utterly unified. To me, it seemed like maybe it was a case of the less-“star” dancers performing better because they had less ego involved. It made me all excited to see some ballet in London, too.

As for the rest of the night – I liked that Geoke’s male solo “Mopey” used music by the Cramps, and afterwards I said of the dancer “he made an old lady’s heart feel warm tonight” (yummy!). “Hail to the Conquering Hero” had Carrie out for a third time in the evening for a very fleet-footed solo, but the pleasant Handel (er, except for the trumpet soloist, who was off-key more than once) made me quite relaxed and reminded me that it has been a long week and I have not been getting enough sleep. So off we went into the night, stopping by Larry’s for some failed gourmet shopping (raspberry sauce not to be found, cinnamon chips also a no-go, peanut butter Twix bars apparently being much easier to acquire than I expected) and Easy Street for some music (the new Ladytron, Blondie’s Parallel Lines, and the cast recording of Spamalot), then … home, ready for a quick shower and time to go to bed. I’ve got a rough day coming at the Korean spa in Tacoma and I need to make sure I’m ready for my hour long massage at noon.

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

October 9, 2005

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.)