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Published: Friday, November 4, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Pacific Northwest Ballet tells 'Love Stories' in five dances

  • PNB principal dancer Kaori Nakamura and soloist James Moore in the balcony pas de deux from Jean-Christophe Maillot' "Romeo et Juliette," pa...

    Angela Sterling

    PNB principal dancer Kaori Nakamura and soloist James Moore in the balcony pas de deux from Jean-Christophe Maillot' "Romeo et Juliette," part of "Love Stories."

Igor Stravinsky's score for "The Fairy's Kiss," was an ode to his fellow Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky.
The music is the foundation for George Ballanchine's distillation of the ballet, "Le Baiser de la Fee."
Pacific Northwest Ballet, in its second subscription program of the season, brings to the Seattle stage the Divertimento from "Le Baiser de la Fee," and uses the tender piece to open a program, "Love Stories," made up of five dances, mostly excerpts of longer dances.
Artistic Director Peter Boal chose love and its various expressions to give thematic cohesion to his selections.
In a nod to Stravinsky, Boal looked to scenes from the most romantic and chilling of the company's repertoire, the pas de deux from "Swan Lake," and Aurora's Wedding from "The Sleep Beauty." Both dances are set to Tchaikovsky, a kind of circular reference to the opening dance.
The evening opens with a Seattle premier of "The Fairy's Kiss," a story based on "The Ice Maiden" by Hans Christian Andersen. A child, kissed by a fairy, is transported to kind of Eden on his wedding day.
In another PNB first, Jerome Robbin's interpretation of "Afternoon of a Faun," is a ballet set to music by Claude Debussy. The story loosely describes a faun encountering nymphs.
Next, Jean Christophe Maillot's "The Balcony" pas de deux from "Romeo et Juliette," is said to be cinematic. The lovers here are caught in the throes of youthful passion, passion that can have dire results.
"Swan Lake" is considered to be the greatest ballet of all, full of romance, deception and other-worldliness. The scene selected for this performance, choreographed by PNB's former artistic director Kent Stowell, showcases seduction and betrayal.
The evening closes with the final act from "The Sleeping Beauty," when Aurora and Florimund affirm their love.
PNB's "Love Stories" opens at 7:30 tonight and continues through Nov. 13. Performances are at at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5, 10, 11, 12 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 5 and 1 p.m. Nov. 13.
Tickets cost from $28 to $168 at www.pnb.org or 206-441-2424.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447; jholtz@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » Dance

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