Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

PNB’s New Works — and a dancer’s test of endurance

A Million Kisses to my Skin (David Dawson), Cylindrical Shadows (Annabelle Lopez Ochoa), and Mating Theory (Victor Quijada) showcased Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers extraordinaire in the March program in Seattle. Virtually all lead dancers were featured in this program with big (and much) dancing. The dancers’ remarkable development showed.

Dawson’s piece is pure delight — a retrospective of and perspective on every piece of dance vocabulary he knows. The choreography is acclaimed as “expansive.” Right. It is all about (expansive) arms. When querying the choreographer during the intermission, he claimed that, in his pieces, the dancers’ arms give out way before any stamina or endurance threat to another body part. The arms are huge, and never ending. Dawson’s work is a choice endurance test — just this side of circus…and all the more palatable because of its bold, spectacle quality.

Ochoa’s pice about disturbance and survival, about finding one’s position in a mêlée of cultural crash and burn is utterly thrilling — as performed by Olivier Wever’s Whim W’him, and now, PNB….Quijada’s new work is the rule of clean, cool, and hip — and a pleasure to watch.

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