and there are still tickets left for the Monday, 10 September repeat presentation at 3pm.
We who've been following PNB for a while will be surprised to learn from The New Yorker that "[u]nder Peter Boal’s direction, this dynamic company has become a major interpreter of Balanchine." I realize that if no one hears a tree fall, etc. etc., but the blurb-writer might have looked back in his or her own magazine's archives to refer to Arlene Croce's review, "The Regions in Brooklyn" from April 23, 1984, (also pp.189-194 in "Sight Lines") where she wrote,
Towards the end of March, Pacific Northwest Ballet made its local debut at the Brooklyn Academy. In the newest of the many companies that are being raised around the country on a foundation of Balanchine's teachings, and, as its Brooklyn performances proved, it is also one of the strongest. In only seven years, two former New York City Ballet soloists, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, have managed to build a company in Seattle that can put on an easeful and glowing Chaconne with two different casts...
Deborah Hadley, American-born and bred, was [Michael Auer's] ballerina and would probably be ballerina material at New York City Ballet. Without being Suzanne Farrell, she was entirely Balanchinean, and her Chaconne was rich in rhythmic intelligence, in plastique, in dynamic variety.
These are incipient company virtues. They bolster the Balanchine "look" -- the open backs, the high, fully energized legs, the speedy toes with the body's weight centered right over them. Though technical standards are not uniformly modelled on Balanchine's, everyone moves expansively, with fluid positional changes and clean multiple pirouettes.
The way Adam Miller danced the Melancholic variation underscored its links to Apollo's solos--something we should be able to see more often and think about. (Not that the links show Apollo to be melancholic, or Melancholic to be Apollonian; they show Balanchine to be economical.)
Writing for the New York Times Jack Anderson disagreed.
I also realize that in 1984 Brooklyn and BAM did not have the cachet they have now, so performances in Brooklyn might as well have been in Seattle for many. (Or as "Sex and the City"'s Steve said to Miranda, "'Broken, broken, broken'... You mean 'Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn'...") But fast forward a dozen and a half years later to PNB's first City Center appearance in 1996, Anna Kisselgoff lauded the company ("The pickings have been unusually slim on the ballet scene this fall. But the Pacific Northwest Ballet from Seattle, which made its Manhattan debut on Tuesday night at City Center, would stand out in the richest of seasons.") and "Divertimento No. 15."
While many of us appreciate what Peter Boal has brought to PNB -- artistically, including the dancers that followed him, and the national attention -- Francia Russell was hand-picked by Balanchine as a stager before Boal was an embryo, and Balanchine was the company's calling card before he was a member of NYCB.