A chamber music ensemble playing classic rock accompaniment for a bunch of ballerinas? Pigs needn’t fly for this to happen. Tomorrow through November 15, Simple Measures and Seattle Dance Project join forces on Earth, an exciting program that includes classical music, classic rock and modern dance performed by former Pacific Northwest Ballet members. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store:
Speaking of PNB, we’re impressed by the program they put together for Director’s Choice, which opened last night at McCaw Hall and also runs through November 15. (Dance-off!) The bill features four distinct performances, ranging from reliable crowd-pleaser “West Side Story Suite” to a raw, sensual “Petite Mort” (French for “little death”). The former, surprisingly, was the low point of the night — fun, no doubt, but with miscues (the dancers should not be asked to sing).
Rather, the first half alone is worth the price of admission. “Petite Mort,” choreographed by Jiri Kylian, enthralls with its lineup of should-be Calvin Klein underwear models brandishing fencing foils, then forgoing foils for the company of a partner. (Innuendo abounds.) The dance is so intimate, it prompted my partner to whisper “That’s sexy as hell” at its completion. Had to agree.
But it’s James Moore‘s solo performance in Marco Goecke’s “Mopey” that steals the show. In the most emotionally charged 15 minutes of the evening, Moore writhes about under harsh white light, seemingly trying to free himself from the shackles of a straitjacket. This provocative piece runs the gamut from silly to nervous to ominous, and Moore captivates throughout.
Rounding out the night is “The Seasons” in its world premiere — a lovely, elegant allegory on the changing of the seasons, with noteworthy performances by PNB principals Lucien Postlewaite, Karel Cruz and Ariana Lallone.
And as we mentioned Wednesday, the PNB is offering discounted tickets for anyone 25 and under to its Friday night performances (tonight, and Nov 13). Whether you’re an old hand or a ballet novice, we recommend this varied bill, which has a little something for everyone.