Reviews of Pacific Northwest Ballet's new mixed bill.
Those who’ve previously seen Pite and her Kidd Pivot company at On the Boards will be familiar with some of her extreme movement choices. But those kinetic experiments are really amplified by the sheer scale of Emergence. Created four years ago for the National Ballet of Canada, the work features almost 40 dancers in a stunning investigation of group behaviors and “hive mind,” drawing images from the insect world. Ballet often uses unison movement to create a sense of rising momentum, but here the collective action is more threatening than exhilarating. At several key moments, the dancers count in sotto voce as they snap from one position to another—a thoroughly eerie effect.
The Queen Anne News
Pite has 39 dancers moving in perfect rhythmic synchronicity to Owen Belton’s ominous computer-processed score, peppered with the scarily militant sounds of marching and droning bees. The dancers’ movements and the choreography are fascinatingly insect-like, with twitching shoulders, praying mantis arms and the unstoppable single-mindedness of the hive mind. En pointe has never been so terrifying as Pite’s line of black-masked female dancers marching in unison across the stage, almost effortlessly repelling attacking males.