Rather Ambitious

Review of All Premiere at Pacific Northwest Ballet by Jennie K.

PNB's All Premiere showcases four world premiere works on one program. Although it seems rather ambitious, the ballet company manages to pull together four distinctly beautiful pieces.

Andrew Bartee’s arms that work
Photo © Angela Sterling.

First in the program is arms that work with music by Barret Anspach and choreography by Andrew Bartee. Most striking is the set design by Bartee and Norbert Herriges. The stage is brightly lit and there's a gate-like structure dividing the stage in half. The dancers pull at the bars of the gate throughout the piece, creating an interesting effect that makes the work seem much more interactive. Mark Zappone's minimalistic costumes draw attention into the movement of the dancers' bodies as they glide across the stage. There is a delicate and airy quality about the work that makes it incredibly peaceful to watch.

Margaret Mullin’s Lost in Light (with former TeenTix Crush of the Month Laura Gilbreath!)
Photo © Angela Sterling.

Next is Lost in Light, with music by Dan Coleman and choreography by Margaret Mullin. In the midst of a pitch black stage, lights point to the center; the dancers shine in the spotlight and seem to reach out to it and yearn for it. Each pair of dancers are very coordinated and it is beautiful to see the interaction between the male and female counterparts. The poignant melody of the piece is well matched by the dancing.

Third in the program is Kammermusik No.3, with music by Paul Hindemith and choreography by Seattle-born choreographer Mark Morris. The stage is a gradient of pink and purple, creating a stunning visual effect. The cello soloist, Page Smith, put on an excellent performance of a technically intricate piece. There is always a mix of hard and soft on stage with the dancers, and there are almost militaristic undertones throughout the entire work.

Mark Morris’s Kammermusik No. 3
Photo © Angela Sterling.

The last work in the program is "Sum Stravinsky" with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Kiyon Ganes. The stage is brightly lit, almost as if it is winter time with snow covering the ground. The dancers' costumes are in shades of "Balanchine blue" which further enhance the winter-time effect. The work ends with a picturesque pose of the dancers and the audience is left feeling cleansed: almost as if the purity of the piece has directly affected them.

Kiyon Gaines’s Sum Stravinsky
Photo © Angela Sterling.

The four new works premiered on the PNB stage are beautifully crafted and performed. The feel of contemporary ballet is prevalent, and it's an interesting break from the classical ballets styles that the public is most used to watching. It is most definitely an impressive show.

All Premiere is closed
The Nutcracker

This year's TeenTix-eligible Nutcracker performance is Thursday, December 27 at 5:30. For more info, go here.

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