Pacific Northwest Ballet’s The Seasons’ Canon opens with Dwight Roden’s atmospheric Catching Feelings. With gorgeous lighting (Joey Walls) and costumes (Christine Darch), and cleverly cast dancers in shaded light, this is a breathtaking piece. Exciting strings (Bach/ Peter Grayson and Johan Ullén after J.S. Bach) and staging (with a choreographer assist from Clifford Williams)—offer a lot of action on stage. All the couples are brimming with confidence and joy. We see dancers in different duets, solos, pas de trois, the entire ensemble moving together—all to big music. Of special note is the very agile Cecelia Iliesiu, Generosa and Jonathan Batista’s fluid coupling, and Amanda Morgan, reveling in every moment. Lucien Postlewaite’s duet with Elizabeth Murphy seems to set back time, his limbs trailing beautifully as Murphy sets the pace and tone.

Peter Boal’s staging of Duo Concertante features Lesley Rausch and Lucien Postlewaite.

PNB: Lesley Rausch and Lucien Postlewaite

dancing to the wondrous violin of Michael Jinsoo Lim and piano of Christina Siemens performing Stravinsky. In this pas de quatre, both music and dance are highlighted. Indeed, at times, the two dancers pause to listen to it. The dancers bring their personal strengths—Postlewaite, his springy, airy moves in a bright soliloquy. An almost giddy Rausch responds with fast, fast bourrée feet, sweet grand jeté. Two musical dancers, playing with extraordinary music.

Crystal Pite’s The Seasons’ Canon offers unforgettable dance. Over fifty dancers on stage execute Pite’s vision, delivering every single gesture and move as if from their soul—focused, meditative. Pite asks for a lot: giant waves of dancers, rippling arms and heads and shoulders; dancers moving as one, in a mass on stage. Each coupling offers a different dynamic. The music (a recomposed Vivaldi The Four Seasons by Max Richter) virtually pulses throughout, undulating, much as the dancers do.

Crystal Pite and The Seasons' Canon

PNB: Crystal Pite’s The Seasons’ Canon

Pite offers the cleverest choreography in an exquisite alchemy. In The Season’s Canon, we see one giant contact improvisation, which demands of the audience an ever-changing focus.  Pite makes something fantastic from seemingly simple moves, with knots or chains of dancers, moving one after the other, sometimes chaotically, but the work is anything but. Pite, so dominant in dance, pleases as well as shocks—jesting with space, sound, light, and movement like few can.

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