by Gigi Berardi
Stunning, breathtakingly beautiful, and unparalleled in programing and performance, PNB’s November program, Kylian + Pite, was one not to be missed. It is easily the most memorable (non-full-length ballet) program in the almost 20 years that I have been viewing and reviewing the company.
Huge kudos to Peter Boal, ballet masters all, and the generous supporters that made the PNB premieres possible – Forgotten Land (Kylian) and Emergence (Pite). Both ballets were utterly unforgettable, not to mention the gorgeous music of the PNB Orchestra.
In terms of performance, here are just a few highlights –
Foster and Mullin as the insect creatures emerging from the depths in Crystal Pite’s Emergence
- Orza, Porretta, Bold, Gaines, and Bartee, as well as every single principal female — in anything
- Samuelson breaking out and through in everything
- Actually, all the petite mort dancers, who lived and breathed the ballet’s roles
- In Sechs Tänze, the Imler, Merchant, Foster, Kitchens crew – mesmerizing
- Forgotten Land – every single dancer made that piece come alive – haunting with a capital “H,” the dancers were aided in their other-worldliness by the literal and exquisite East Anglia backdrop
- Week 2, virtually all the corps dancers (there were a few that needed a bit more confidence, if not rehearsal) in first-time roles – Bravo, Brava, Bravi, Brave!!!!!
This program, quite simply, will live in PNB’s history as one of its finest. Of course, there’s always 2014-2015.
Gigi Berardi holds a MA in dance from UCLA. Her academic background and performing experience allow her to combine her interests in the natural and social sciences with her passion for dance, as both critic and writer. Over 150 articles and reviews by Ms. Berardi have appeared in Dance Magazine, Dance International, the Los Angeles Times, the Anchorage Daily News, The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald, and scientific journals such as BioScience, Human Organization, and Ethics, Place, and Environment. Her total work numbers over 400 print and media pieces.
Her public radio features (for KSKA, Anchorage) have been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Dance Critics Association, and is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, as well as Book Review editor for The Journal of Dance Medicine & Science. A professor at Western Washington University, she received the university’s Diversity Achievement Award in 2004. Her fifth book, Finding Balance: Fitness and Training for a Lifetime in Dance, is in its second printing. Her current book project is titled A Cultivated Life.