PNB’s ‘Love Stories’ embraces passion

  • By Jackson Holtz
  • Saturday, November 5, 2011 10:11am
  • Life

“Love Stories”, the latest in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s subscription series, provides a taste of more than a century of ballet, all underscored by the theme of love and passion.

The collection of five short ballets is presented with two intermissions and runs nearly three hours.

Two short dances, both pas de deux or ballets with only two dancers, come as the middle portion and to my tastes were the highlights of the evening.

Jerome Robbins’ “Afternoon of a Faun,” set to gorgeous, romantic Debussy, brings to life a dream of two dancers meeting in an empty rehearsal studio. Kylee Kitchens and Jerome Tisserand were true to the concept, dancing with often blank expressions – as if they were sleep-dancing.

In a scene from “Romeo et Juliette,” choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot, Kaori Nakamura and Lucien Postlewaite proved what unbridled, youthful passion is all about. Their dancing was lovely, carefree and expressive. This scene showcases what young love is, and it was hard not to feel giddy afterward.

The audience favorite, no doubt, was Kent Stowell’s arrangement of the Black Swan scene from “Swan Lake.” Expertly danced, this scene includes leaps, spins and lots of flourishes. An athletic and classic dance that brought the crowd to its feet.

While beautiful, I had more difficulty getting into George Balanchine’s Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fee.”

The wedding from “The Sleeping Beauty,” ends the evening.

“Love Stories continues with six more performances through Nov. 13. For tickets and more, go to

PNB.org.

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