Far from the traditional ballet often seen onstage at McCaw Hall, PNB dancers have taken on three premieres, each of which pushes them to the limit of a dancer’s strength and stamina.
A Million Kisses to my Skin, choreographed by David Dawson to Bach’s Concerto No. 1 in D minor, is stark and stunning. Nine dancers revel in the sheer delight of movement without the restrictions of costume and set design. Dressed in leotards alone, the extension of their movements is highlighted. The piece brought the audience to their feet for a standing ovation.
Next, Cylindrical Shadows by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa pays homage to the unexpected death of a close friend. Dressed in brightly colored loose clothing, the dancers work together like a machine, mechanically reacting to each other’s movements while interacting emotionally. It is tragic and beautiful, especially as it concludes with Henry Purcell’s aria “When I am laid in earth” from Dido and Aeneas.
The company included a world premiere as its last new work for the evening, with Mating Theory, choreographed by Victor Quijada to original music by Jasper Gahunia. The piece is an interesting combination of street dancing and modern dance with classic ballet.
Several PNB members were in more than one of the premieres, each of which was a complete workout. Lucien Postlewaite danced in all three, making each of them worth the cost of admission.
I highly recommend attending the pre-performance lecture by PNB Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to the performance. The information he relays gives clarification and background to each premiere, adding to the enjoyment of the performance.
Pacific Northwest Ballet is located at 301 Mercer St., in Seattle. Parking is located across the street from McCaw Hall.
For more information, visit www.pnb.org.