PNB in London in July
Posted 07 June 2002 - 05:03 AM
"In a change to the original programme, the Mixed Bill showcases diverse choreographers including one of the 20th Century’s greatest, George Balanchine’s Divertimento #15.
Other works include Jardi Tancat, choreographed by Nacho Duato and composed by Maria del Mar Bonet, Le Corsaire Pas de Trois choreographed after Marius Petipa and composed by Riccardo Drigo, and Peter Martin's Fearful Symmetries, composed by John Adams. Further details to be released shortly "
PNB haven't been over here for a couple of years - can anyone update me with views on the rep (any reason for the change in plan ?) , any changes in personnel, dancers to look out for, and so on ? I haven't booked for this yet, and I haven't heard much about Silver Lining. Any feedback welcome.
I think this is the same Fearful Symmetries as NYCB brought to Edinburgh last year.
Posted 07 June 2002 - 05:47 AM
"Silver Lining" is Kent Stowell's to music of Jerome Kern -- I THINK it's dances set to a collection of songs rather than a narrative ballet, but I haven't seen it, so I may well be wrong.
I'm sure "Fearful" is the same you saw at Edinburgh. The Nacho Duato is, for me, pleasant to watch, but unmemorable. Several people who began watching modern dance several decades before I did pointed out that there are many sections of it that are, er, very similar to sections in dances by Graham and Limon.
We haven't seen the company in a few seasons -- it didn't come to the Balanchine Celebration here two years ago, which was a pity. . They're still one of our best Balanchine companies, by all reports. I don't know how that repertory will go down there, but I'm sure there will be some good dancing!
The company's url is www.pnb.org Click on Company to see a list of dancers, with photos, as well as a list of current repertory.
Posted 07 June 2002 - 08:46 AM
One of my favorites in the company has been Louise Nadeau. I've only gotten to see Olivier Wevers, who posts here on occasion, in rehearsal
Posted 26 June 2002 - 08:09 PM
I actually got to see a portion of the performances that they are taking to London on Monday night. The company performed for a regional arts organization about 80 miles out of Seattle and performed Divertimento #15, only 8 minutes of Jardi Tancat (see below), and Fearful Symetries. The Jardi performance for eight dancers was cut short due to an injury early in the performance. This piece starts out very slowly (for example, no music in the 1st section, followed by rhythum sounds in the 2nd, an unaccompanied singer in the 3rd, and singer with guitar in the final sections).
The Divertimento (one of my favorite ballets) performance was wonderful. The conductor wasn't going to slow down for anyone so this was one of the quickest performances I'd seen. Even at the fast pace the corps was together and sharp and the principals and soloists shined. Melanie Skinner just keeps getting better and better. In addition, the casting for the different minuet sections showed a sensitivity to the strengths of the individual dancers.
Peter Martins is not one of my favorite choreographers but the performance Monday was (up until the anti-climatic ending) exciting. It was high-energy bravura stuff. The crowd ate it up.
You're right, this is not likely going to be a typical rep. for Sadler's Wells but we'll see how broadminded the audiences are.
Posted 26 June 2002 - 08:12 PM
Posted 27 June 2002 - 01:35 AM
Sadly, the mixed programme (which was orginally billed to include Agon and a work by Lynne Taylor Corbett - a name new to me) hasn't sold very well at all so far, which is a surprise because PNB were very popular and well received on their last visit. A pity. But I hope to see them.
Posted 04 July 2002 - 07:56 AM
Silver Lining, the Kent Stowell ballet to songs by Jerome Kern that opened Pacific Northwest Ballet's London season on Tuesday, did not go over well with the local critics—to put it mildly.
Based in Seattle—"Suicide capital of the USA" said an American friend on Tuesday night—Pacific Northwest Ballet has come back to Sadler's Wells, opening a week's season with Silver Lining. This is a danced tribute to Jerome Kern, and as the evening-long piece trailed its inexorable way over the stage, topping oneself seemed a not too unappealing means of escaping yet another reprise of yet another tune as yet another beaming line of grinners capered and kicked and exuded bright-toothed merriment. After a two-and-a-half-hours of over-anxious charm, winsomeness, galvanic kicks, and the attentions of a soprano of singularly penetrating timbre and of an earnest baritone, plus rumbustious orchestration, I was ready for any exit available, even unto the gas oven.
- Judith Mackrell in the Guardian
Name recognition may be one of the most dismal gods of the ballet box office, but it is also the most powerful. That is why Swan Lake, Sylvie Guillem and Tchaikovsky will always sell more tickets than an abstract setting of Hindemith. This is the only charitable explanation for Pacific Northwest Ballet's full-length Silver Lining, which has name recognition in spades. A score consisting entirely of Jerome Kern songs, and a setting that presses every nostalgia button from the 1920s and 1930s, are a guaranteed crowd-pleasing combination. It is just too bad that the choreography by PNB's artistic director Kent Stowell turns out to be such feeble pastiche.
Pacific Northwest Ballet from Seattle has a similar position in US ballet culture as, say, Birmingham Royal Ballet has in ours—a regional company that makes a claim on top-class status from the individuality of its repertoire and the strength of its dancing.
But with provincial individuality comes the risk of provincial mediocrity too, and PNB has miscalculated badly by opening its London visit with a home-grown evening by its artistic director, Silver Lining, even if it is based on the delightful songs of Jerome Kern. Silver linings come in clouds, and this is the equivalent of a large, grey, wet one.
- Debra Craine in the Times
Silver Lining, now presented as the company?s signature work, probably sounded like a good idea on paper. String together tunes by one of Broadway?s greatest songsmiths, set them to classical-lite choreography, throw in a dash of chorus-line sparkle and nightclub sensuality and, hey presto, you have a hit. Or so Kent Stowell, artistic director of this Seattle-based company, must have thought. But with little imagination and even less choreographic flair, the resulting ballet is a tawdry, opportunistic rehash of hackneyed forms, a tired little affair that hopes a smile and a well-turned leg will be enough to keep you happy in the theatre for two hours (plus interval). Stowell?s classical writing is full of clumsy phrasing and cheap sentiment, and on opening night the 48 dancers (especially the women) looked as if their bubble had burst before they even arrived on stage.
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