PNB’s ‘Carmina Burana’ satisfies

  • By Jackson Holtz
  • Monday, April 16, 2012 11:10am
  • Life

It’s easy to understand the enthusiasm behind Kent Stowell’s over-the-top “Carmina Burana.”

The ballet, which continues in a double-bill with George Ballanchine’s “Appolo” through April 22, is expansive, elaborate and showy.

Set to Carl Orff’s familiar score, the dancers emerge primordially under a giant wheel with the Seattle Choral Company cloaked in a loft rear stage. It takes nearly the entire Pacific Northwest Ballet company to perform the dance.

The company performed this masterfully, although the piece didn’t match my tastes. Compared to the spare and deliberate moves in Ballanchine’s early work, the dancing in “Carmina” is baroque, ornate and abundant.

I’m the odd one out in my evaluation of “Carmina.” Every time PNB has revived the 1993 production, they’ve played to packed houses. It’s worth seeing, just have your senses prepared for a lot. The music is rich and was well-performed on Saturday night by the chorus, orchestra and terrific soloists.

The athletic Batkhurel Bold was the stand out performer of the night. His “Appolo” was stunning to watch, beautifully accompanied on Saturday by Sarah Richard Orza, Maria Chapman and Lesley Rausch.

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