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Light and shadow rule a new work at PNB

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Lighting designer Randall Chiarelli’s ability to evoke emotion through light and shadow beautifully supported the newest work premiered at Pacific Northwest Ballet in March.

Throughout his decades at PNB, dancers often have said that Chiarelli's work lets them swim in light while performing. No where is that more evident than in "Memory Glow," the first work created by Alejandro Cerrudo for PNB.

In this piece, eleven dancers float in and out of the darkness as glowing lanterns create their own patterns on the McCaw Hall stage. In his choreography, Cerrudo seemingly invites the audience to make up their own stories about past encounters and chance meetings. A lingering stroke of the hand or bend of the leg as the monochromatic costumed couples once again are engulfed by darkness keeps the mood dreamlike throughout.

The world premiere of Cerrudo ‘s work was part of PNB’s Director’s Choice program this month. Artistic director Peter Boal called the choreographer’s work “filled with fresh perspective, crisp musicality, and a hint of mischievous humor,” when announcing his selections earlier this year.

The Spanish-born dancer and choreographer Cerrudo trained at the Real Conservatorio Professional de Danza de Madrid and danced with Victor Ullate Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, among others.

Along with the new work, the company presented polished remounts of three audience favorites: Susan Stroman’s “TAKE FIVE… More or Less,” Susan Marshall’s “Kiss,” and Molissa Fenley’s “State of Darkness.”


PNB’s next production will be George Balanchine’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, opening April 11. With costumes and sets by beloved and much missed Tony award-winning Martin Pakledinaz, this work also features the evocative lighting designs of Chiarelli.


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