Pacific Northwest Ballet at City Center

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.

Agon was the last ballet on the program, and I found it rusty and unfocused. I was hoping to see the ballet in its original form: not the beautiful bodies we see today but the urgency and embattlement that the music and choreography so clearly insinuate. But this was not the case here. Bodies, limbs and arms seemed unsure-where was the contest battle between bone and spirit? Not here.

Pacific Northwest Ballet is definitely a fine company. And under Peter Boal it has a first-class artistic director. Everything should be in place to make this one of most outstanding regional companies. If it failed to hit the mark in New York this time, in the words of Betty Comden and Adolph Green: "we'll catch up some other time." And I hope it's soon.

On a final note I would like to ask City Center's management to please turn down the heat. Opening night was stifling--which isn't good because heat sits on your head and will put you to sleep. Not something you want when you see a performance.

Photo Credit: Lindsay Thomas