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Review: PNB: PLOT POINTS at McCaw Hall

Rep 4, 2021-2022

Review: PNB: PLOT POINTS  at McCaw Hall

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Rep 4 for the 2021-2022 season is "Plot Points", a quadruple bill of mesmerizingly inventive works that includes a PNB Premiere by Justin Peck and a World Premiere by Robin Mareko Williams. The production was live for seven performances, March 18th through 27th at Seattle Center's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall and will stream digitally from March 31st through April 4th. You can watch the digital presentation as many times as you like while it's available. However, please note that an "audience advisory" warns that this program "contains violent themes, gunfire sound effects, and strobe lighting." Also, David Parson's Caught is not part of the digital performance.

The Mareko Williams piece, "Before I Was" to music by Macie Stewart & Sima Cunningham (formerly known as OHMME), is sure to become an audience favorite with everyone who appreciates PNB's consistently superb execution of works that are not in the traditional classical ballet canon. As the program notes by the choreographer remind us, "There is an intrinsic luminosity and wildness that lives in children. . . Built inside of the piece are flashes of reflection, sensations of push and pull, and a stoking of the little fire inside that may return us to moments of fullness, awe, and abandon."

Crystal Pite's "Plot Points", an exploration of the subject of screenwriting inspired, "by our insatiable need for story", is set to Bernard Herrmann's eerily compelling music for Hitchcock's "Psycho". Pite herself calls the score "hauntingly beautiful", but for me it brought forth chilling yet not unwelcome moments of recollection from the film.

The third piece that is included in the digital presentation is Peck's "The Times Are Racing", staged by Craig Hall and accompanied by "USA I-IV" from the album America by Dan Deacon. Program notes courtesy of New York City Ballet remind us that although ballet has "traditionally been a world apart - a place where bodies are idealized, performing impossible feats with what looks like uncanny ease - Peck invites the audience to identify with the dancers and suffuses his architectural creations with hints of recognizable intimacy." Perfectly said! This "sneaker ballet" for 20 dancers in streetwear designed by Opening Ceremony is bursting with impetuous and joyous energy. The dancing invites us to enter, if only in our minds, the entirely relatable realm created by the choreographer.

You can purchase your digital tickets here for $35: https://order.pnb.org/22-digital/plot-points. You'll definitely be glad that you dd!



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