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Thursday, April 1


dirac

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A review of Pacific Northwest Ballet by Moira Macdonald in The Seattle Times.

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Seattle-based artist Donald Byrd’s “And the sky is not cloudy all day,” danced by six PNB men in full cowboy regalia, is inspired by the choreographer’s musings on the idea of the West; a place of myth and masculinity. Performed in front of an image of an endless prairie, dancers appear and disappear like magic (filming ballet does bring its gifts), with two soloists finding different, less rigid movement when they remove their cowboy hats. Despite some lovely, fluid dancing from Kyle Davis and Dylan Wald, the ballet doesn’t quite hold together; the ensemble work, in particular, seemed unfocused. But the quiet of its ending was moving; perhaps, like many works created during this very challenging era for artists, this piece needs a little more time to grow.

Sondra Forsyth's review for Broadway World.

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Even so, the PNB premiere is sheer pleasure, with the upstage curtains partially opened to reveal a Western vista and the dancers alternately entering and exiting through it. A bit of video magic - one of the upsides of a digital season - lets us feel as though the cowboys really are going into the scene. As for the choreography, which has moments that for me were clear nods to Agnes de Mille's "Rodeo", it's a fun and high-flying showcase for the considerable talents and skills of the PNB men. The music, by minimalist composer John Adams, seemed jarring to me at first but I warmed to it as the piece continued.

 

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