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Directors Choice at PNB is a wonderful sweep of human emotion

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Carla Körbes and James Moore in Susan Marshall’s Kiss, being presented as part of DIRECTOR’S CHOICE, March 14 – 23, 2014.
Photo © Angela Sterling.

Directors Choice at PNB

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This years director's choice is wonderful selection of contemporary pieces including “ Take Five, More or Less” “ Kiss” “ State of Darkness” & the world premiere of “ Memory Glow”.

Take Five... More or Less is a jazzy ensemble piece by Tony Award winning Susan Stromam. Set to the music of Dave Burbeck & Paul Desmond the pieces sets the tone of a jazz club at night with dancers vying for each others affections.

Kiss was by far the crowd favorite. With two dancers participating in an emotionally intoxicating aerial pas de duex that leaves one speechless. Choreographer Susan Marshall is able to weave in 7 minutes a story of the brief and fleeting moment of a romantic exchange and all of the longing and passion that goes with it.

State of Darkness caught my attention early as a piece that features only one dancer, male or female.

The piece is set to Igor Stavinsky's “Rite of Spring” and in the beginning gives the feeling of the dancer not being entirely human, but more animal.

As the piece progresses one begins to ask themselves if the state of darkness really the fact that a singular performer takes on the physically demanding task of a 39 minute ballet. As the dance comes to a close you can see the rapid breathing and the beads of sweat forming and you can't tear your eyes away as Jonathan Porretta pours every bit of himself into the movement.

The final piece of the night was the world premier of Memory Glow by choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo. This piece is set on a stage where the floor lights become members of the cast. Dancers glide beautifully across the stage in pas de duex as well as the delicate pas de six. Minimalist costumes and music let the dance speak for itself as a wonderful new piece.

This Director's Choice series was a wonderful sweep of human emotion. It allows the audience to loose themselves in passion and madness. While there are a few things to be desired from some of the pieces, everyone would benefit from letting themselves be lost in the splendor of this series.