Hands down, my favorite description of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual Season Encore Performance —which reprises some of the company’s most knockout acts—comes from Seattle Dances’ Rosie Gaynor: “Think of it as dim sum for dance: a bit of this, a bit of that, super tasty, not too pricey.” There’s something for everyone.
Despite the Encore name, this year’s one-night-only event features just a single piece from the past season, Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort (You know, the six-guys-and-their-six-swords piece. Oh, the blatant metaphors.)
Instead of including repeats, the lineup appears to have been crafted to celebrate the eight dancers who are leaving the company. Just don’t say they’re retiring, PNB’s Gary Tucker warned: “The dancers are not moving on to the old folks’ home!” Chalnessa Eames, Barry Kerollis, Ariana Lallone, Stanko Milov, Josh Spell, Jeffrey Stanton, Stacy Lowenberg, and Olivier Wevers will all continue on to dance, teach, or choreograph elsewhere.
The evening will include several departing dancers performing signature roles in numbers like Twyla Tharpe’s intoxicating (or should it be intoxicated?) “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road),” excerpted from Nine Sinatra Songs; and Lambarena, a rich collision of ballet and Bach with traditional African dance and music. Crowd-pleasers like Rubies, Carmen, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue will also make an appearance alongside new choreography like Rushed Goodbye by Stacy Lowenberg, and the first pas de deux from Olivier Wever’s Monster.
PNB’s Season Encore Performance shows June 12.