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PNB 2021-22 Rep 1: Singularly Cerrudo

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Tonight is opening night of PNB's 2021-22 season!  It's the company's official return to McCaw Hall since February 2020, although there was a First Look gala on Wednesday for an intimate audience (pre-show cocktails, appetizers and post-show champage toast with artists outside).

This rep features all works of resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo:  Silent Ghost, One Thousand Pieces (excerpt), Little Mortal Jump.  Details of the show, including a Ballet Talk normally provided before the show by Doug Fullington, and casting  can be found here:  https://www.pnb.org/season/singularly-cerrudo/

The live show is only available to full season subscribers and they are performing one weekend instead of two, or four shows instead of seven.  However, there is a full season digital subscription available for $249.  There is also an option to buy this Rep 1 show for $35 - it starts streaming Oct 7 and is available for unlimited viewing for 5 days.


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Well it's now been 5 days since my last PNB show and I'm feeling just fine.  I had bought N95 masks online just for the shows and potential flights in 2022.  They are the foldable version, fit well and are actually very comfortable.  

The area near McCaw Hall has changed a lot and my favorite pre-theater dinner place has changed locations to a much smaller venue with no outdoor space.  I was able to find another place who takes reservations for outdoor seating so that was a huge win.  I wore something colorful and festive and was glad I did that as I saw and waved to a few dancers on their way to the theater.  I'm sure they knew I was there for the show; I hope it added to their excitement to return to a live audience!

My friend and I planned to arrive at McCaw Hall early as we anticipated long lines to enter with the checking of vaccination and ID cards but it was actually quite short.  There was really good coverage of seats in the orchestra and galleries, since the box office put empty seats in between parties.  And by the way, I did not see anyone wearing their masks improperly as Moira MacDonald reported in the Seattle Times.

Opening night was probably the most special opening night ever.  There was a lot of excitement in the audience.  The evening started with brief remarks by Peter Boal then Silent Ghost.  It was so great to see the dancers again but SG is darkly lit, or maybe because of lighting from above it's hard to see faces.  It was especially nice to see Lesley Rausch, I read this was her first sock ballet, and we didn't see much of her at the end of last season.  I wish I had brought my opera glasses to see the dancers faces better.  I could tell some of them had tears of joy when taking their bows.  Next was this short video while the stage crew set up for the next piece:  

The One Thousand Pieces excerpt is the first piece that premiered digitally and in my opinion that format just didn't do it justice.  Having the immense size of the stage and backdrop is really such a sight for the eyes, and you can hear the water/fog misting in the background and well as the dancers splashing on the floor.  It was a totally different experience!  I hope the entire piece will be back next season.  The piece opened with a duet by relatively new corp members Yuki Takahashi and Luther DeMyer stage right and then veterans Angelica Generosa and Kyle Davis (stage left) before water.  Liz Murphy danced in the water scenes and she just had a baby in June!  Chris D'Ariano has been doing some really nice dancing lately, he showed off his partnering chops with Leah Terada.

The one and only intermission was 25 minutes long.  It was interesting to see people I haven't seen in over 18 months!  

Little Mortal Jump was the closing piece, and it's been a while so everyone really enjoyed it.  James Moore really stood out to me in the Pablo role.  If he's done it before, I didn't see him that night.  He has such a special and unique movement quality.  The closing duet I feel like Dylan Wald's partner has always been Liz Murphy and this time it was Elle Macy.  She contracts her upper body very effectively and makes gorgeous shapes.  Everyone in the audience rose to their feet.  Concertmaster Michael Jinsoo Lim and the rest of the string quartet took to the stage and joined the dancers for bows.  It was interesting and heartening to ackwnowledge everyone for the last 18 months.  I think they all knew.

In summary I felt like I watched with much more intensity than I ever did.  If it was a sentence, I hung on every word.  I studied every movement, every transition.  The music seemed brighter and more colorful.  So even though the evening was shorter than normal, it seemed like a full evening out to me.

Oh and I almost forgot, there was a post-performance Q&A.  Opening night it featured Elle Macy & Dylan Wald.  It was very well attended.  Saturday night it was Clara Ruf Maldonado and Jonathon Batista, who were so fluid and smooth in One Thousand Pieces.  They both started out in theater, by the way.  I'm looking foward to seeing more from the two of them.

The weekend also was a farewell to Emma Love Suddarth.  Saturday evening she danced in Silent Ghost as well as the Jessica role in Little Mortal Jump.  It was so nice to see her and Price (Pablo role) dance together one last time.

Edited by seattle_dancer
added a bit to end of LMJ paragraph
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