PNB to perform works by Pite, Kylian

  • By Alice Kaderlan Special to The Herald
  • Thursday, November 7, 2013 8:49am
  • LifeGo-See-Do

To fans of contemporary dance, Crystal Pite is a goddess.

She heads the Vancouver-based troupe Kidd Pivot, which wowed local audiences during appearances at Seattle’s On the Boards. She also serves as associate choreographer for the Nederlands Dans Theater and is in demand as a guest choreographer around the world.

Pite consistently creates striking visual imagery and her highly original dances masterfully blend imaginative sets, costumes, props and music.

Her only work for a classical ballet company, “Emergence,” will have its PNB premiere on Friday when it shares the program with three works by master dance maker Jiri Kylian in “Kylian + Pite.”

“Emergence” depicts a swarm of insect-like creatures ebbing and flowing against a towering hive-like backdrop.

It was commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada for a 2009 showcase program of young Canadian choreographers and was an instant hit, bringing audiences to their feet at every performance and winning four major dance awards.

For the PNB premiere, Pite has reworked a few of the sections, allowing her to go deeper into the theme of individuals coming together to create community. The cast is huge by Pite standards — 38 dancers — and uses women in pointe shoes, another first for Pite.

“When I think of pointe shoes I think of how they distort the body and that led me to insects,” Pite said, “and then how I could set up the movement to put the pointe shoes to good use.”

Pite admits that creating “Emergence” was a challenge. Her entire performing career was with smaller troupes performing contemporary rather than classical work and her own creations had, until “Emergence,” used movement only in bare feet or slippers.

“I learned that it’s not easy for me to understand both pointe work and partnering in a classical way,” she said. “So I rely on the dancers to help me understand what’s possible.”

That spirit of collaboration is, if not unique in the dance world, somewhat unusual and the experience of working with Pite has been uniformly positive for PNB.

“She’s phenomenal in the studio,” PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal said. “She diagnoses the problems (the dancers are having), that it’s not the lower vertebrae that are moving but the upper, and helps the dancers understand what to do.”

Sharing the program with “Emergence” is “Forgotten Land,” a Kylian ballet new to PNB and two Kylian crowd-pleasers that PNB has performed previously, “Petite Mort” and “Sechs Tanze.”

Kylian is considered one of the most important dance makers of the 20th and 21st centuries and his ballets are in the repertoire of most major dance companies. Like all of his work, “Forgotten Land” is acrobatic, abstract and surprising.

“If you want a broad scope of the greatest in dance today,” Boal said, “you can’t have it without Kylian.

“Kylian + Pite” runs through Nov. 17 at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle.

Tickets are $28 to $120 online at www.pnb.org or by calling 206-441-2424.

More in Life

Co-owner Jason Parzyk carries two growlers to fill as he serves up beer at Lake Stevens Brewing Co. The first brewery in the city is celebrating one-year anniversary this weekend. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Beer of the Week: Lake Stevens Brewing Co.’s Sour Imperial

The beer has a depth and a complex flavor profile that goes beyond just another barrel-aged stout.

Legendary bluesman Curtis Salgado to play Arlington show

The Northwest blues-soul-funk-R&B living legend performs with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons Nov. 18.

This year’s Snohomish Blues Invasion has an all-star lineup

Proceeds send the CD Woodbury Trio and the Benton-Townsend Duo to the International Blues Challenge.

Schack holiday show features Northwest watercolor artists

The free exhibit also will have three-dimensional works, such as jewelry, glass, ceramic and wood.

‘Three Billboards’ rooted in Frances McDormand’s rigid role

The actress of “Fargo” fame gives an Oscar-worthy performance in this black comedy on human nature.

‘The Hate U Give’ shows the burden of being black in America

Angie Thomas’ story of a teen girl covers the challenging experience of African Americans.

A merry Christmas concert with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

The Christian music stars will perform at Xfinity Arena with Jordan Smith of “The Voice” on Nov. 18.

‘Veep’ production postponed during Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ treatment

The 56-year-old star has been documenting her breast cancer fight on social media.

The Rucker Hill house is featured in the Twin Peaks series in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Living happily ever after in the ‘Twin Peaks’ house

Everett homeowners snagged a role in the recent reboot of the 1990s cult classic show.

Most Read