The Perfect Beginner’s Performance

​Review of Pinocchio at Pacific Northwest Ballet by Ivy R.

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The most common excuses my friends give me when I ask them to accompany me to the ballet are the following:

  1. “It’s too long!”
  2. “I never understand what’s going on!”
  3. “It’s boring!”

But Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Pinocchio is the perfect beginner’s performance to gain an appreciation for ballet. Only running a little over an hour, it eliminates the inevitable fidgeting that often accompanies long periods of sitting. Pinocchio opens with a colorful set and costumes transporting you to a circus-like atmosphere in which you quickly forget you are indeed at the ballet. Pinocchio tells the classic childhood fairytale with upbeat music, humor and, of course, energetic and remarkable dancing (which is the real treat of coming to the ballet).

As ballet is theater without words, it is understandable how many feel lost when it comes to performances they are not acquainted with. Yet Pinocchio eliminates this problem the moment the red curtain opens at McCaw Hall with a full narration of this classic fairytale. Even the Japanese exchange student I brought along fully understood and enjoyed the show.

Finally, addressing the last -- and possibly the most aggravating -- misconception of ballet, "boring" is a word no one will find in their vocabulary during or after this show. Pinocchio has memorable characters in elaborate costumes showcasing their quick footwork and astonishing flexibility and strength -- maybe even inspiring you to take some ballet classes yourself. With Pinocchio, I guarantee the assumed “Is it over yet?” will be replaced with “Oh wow, it’s already over?” and hopefully incentive to buy tickets to the next PNB show.

Pacific Northwest Ballet
March 16 - 22

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