School Performances and Next Step

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This coming weekend are the last performances of the PNB/PNBS season. On Friday, 13 June at 7:30pm, there will be six premieres of works choreographed by company dancers -- this year Andrew Bartee, Angelica Generosa, Jahna Frantziskonis, Margaret Mullin, Matthew Renko, Price Suddarth, and Ezra Thompson -- on Professional Division students.


On Saturday, 14 June, the School will present its annual School Performance at 2pm and 7pm. Unfortunately, the link from the Calendar is resolving to "Page Not Found." The afternoon performance focuses on the lower-level kids from the Seattle and Francia Russell Center kids, but if I remember correctly, also includes upper level and Professional Division performances. The evening program focuses in on higher level students and the Professional Division.

One work that will be performed in the evening at least -- and, since there seem to be two casts, possibly in the afternoon as well -- is Kyle Davis' rendition of "Sylvia" with music by Leo Delibes. Davis generously allowed a small number of invitees to watch tonight's rehearsal of the complete Act III, and I was lucky to be asked by an invitee.

For anyone who loves classical ballet, this is a must-see. Davis is doing something quite rare now: he is moving large groups in sophisticated and architecturally impressive ways in a classical ballet. The last time I saw anyone attempt this was Mark Morris in his "Sylvia" for San Francisco Ballet. (Ratmansky takes a different approach to people-moving in "Don Q," where there's less real estate for the cast of thousands.) There is plenty of lovely choreography for the seven principals, including a rather spectacular solo by a rather spectacular Aminta, but it's the approach to the corps that was music to my eyes.

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Davis is doing something quite rare now: he is moving large groups in sophisticated and architecturally impressive ways in a classical ballet.

Super. I'm so glad to hear this! Unfortunately I can't attend, but please give us a brief review.

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That has to be a general request, because I cannot be in Seattle this weekend :(

Or double :( :(, because I saw a rehearsal for Next Step today, and there are six works that all deserve to be seen. There's a fine range of music and styles, using from two to six people per work. Ezra Thomson performs on guitar for his series of pas de deux set on two dancers. (I don't know if he wrote the music.) Matthew Renko's is a classical work for three ballerinas, with an extended solo for each. Andrew Bartee created a four-movement work adding dancers as it progresses. Price Suddarth's piece is a classical, for two couples ending in an extended pas de deux. Margaret Mullin's music is my favorite -- parts of two Bartok string quartets -- and her piece is for two women who are very different physically, and it's fascinating to watch the differences between them. Jahna Frantziskonis and Angelica Generosa collaborated on a work for three couples.

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