dance.broadwayworld.com

Pacific Northwest Ballet at City Center

Related: Pacific Northwest Ballet, Carla Korbes, Seth Orza, Peter Boal, Balanchine

Pacific-Northwest-Ballet-at-City-Center-20010101

Pacific Northwest Ballet is and should always be welcomed in New York. It has a long history with the works of George Balanchine, so what better way to present its opening program than with three classic Balanchine works. Although we have seen these ballets millions of times in New York, what balletomane doesn't like to shop, compare, argue or discuss?

Concerto Barocco, that great ballet set to Bach's Double Violin Concerto, opened the program, and I can say with honesty that it works better on the smaller City Center stage than on Koch stage. The dancers don't have to worry about getting to their places on time and can actually relax. Plus the intimacy of the stage perfectly renders the ballet's supreme exposition of agile feet at work. Although it is easier to spot the ballet's mechanics and maneuvering, it is also easier to just sit back and delight in the ballet's cool and bracing atmosphere. Was there ever a ballet that is seems so serene yet is something of a killer for the dancers?

Barocco presents other challenges. At the Koch it seems as if the dancers are not on the music, but behind it. This undermines the entire ballet and makes me wonder if the ballet is not rehearsed properly or if the dancers just can't mark the music. This, luckily, was not the problem at this performance. Laura Gilbreath, the lead dancer, and Lindsi Dec, the female soloist, show how the close coordination between choreography and music adds new layers of meaning: intimacy, elation and tranquility. This is what Balanchine referred to as "seeing the music." Most times we don't see it.

Barocco's pas de duex in the second movement posed a problem for me. Gilbearth's physique and line did not match that of her partner, Batkhurel Bold. Gilbearth is tall and lean, Bold is shorter than his partner a somewhat stocky. What should be physically symmetrical became distorted and unbalanced. Perhaps I was hoping to see a dancer who complemented his partner. But partnerships in ballet rely not only on temperament, but physique. Here a different male partner would have been useful.

Apollo was given an excellent performance. Like so many I keep wondering why Seth Orza and Carla Korbes never received the recognition they deserved when they were with New York City Ballet. Orza is a dancer with a genuine virile presence. I would call him more of a European Apollo in the manner of Peter Martins and Peter Boal rather than a gangly American Apollo as embodied by Jacques d'Amboise. This is someone born to godhood. His stance, his look, his muscularity revealed a divinity conceived on Mount Olympus. Carla Korbes as Terpsichore was a perfect match for this Apollo. She did not have to teach him how to dance; she just had to partner him to bring out his radiance. Their pas de deux was one of equals: A god and a muse embarking on a royal courtship. Maria Chapman as Calliope and Lesley Rausch also contributed excellent performances. However, this is a ballet for a man and a woman not of this earth. The performance bore this out splendidly.

Related Links
American Repertory Ballet to Present Fall Repertory Preview for Oct 2014 'On Pointe'American Repertory Ballet to Present Fall Repertory Preview for Oct 2014 'On Pointe'
September 11, 2014
The Kansas City Ballet Names Grace Holmes as the New School DirectorThe Kansas City Ballet Names Grace Holmes as the New School Director
September 10, 2014
The Kansas City Ballet Announces New Artistic Staff and Company MembersThe Kansas City Ballet Announces New Artistic Staff and Company Members
September 04, 2014
Joffrey Ballet Introduces Three New Dancers to CompanyJoffrey Ballet Introduces Three New Dancers to Company
September 03, 2014
Pennsylvania Ballet Dismisses Long-Time Artistic LeadersPennsylvania Ballet Dismisses Long-Time Artistic Leaders
August 29, 2014


About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts
Barnett Serchuk Editor-in-Chief of Broadwayworld Dance.



REVIEWS
BWW Reviews: FALL FOR DANCE Kicks Off with a High Energy Evening at the DelacorteBWW Reviews: FALL FOR DANCE Kicks Off with a High Energy Evening at the Delacorte

Become a Fan, Follower & Subscriber

FROM THE EDITOR
BWW Reviews: Dances Patrelle Presents ROMEO AND JULIETBWW Reviews: Dances Patrelle Presents ROMEO AND JULIET
by Barnett Serchuk