April 15-24, McCaw Hall, Seattle

The romantic ballet Swan Lake belongs to the ballerina—Lesley Rausch—and choreographer Kent Stowell. Rausch is in control not only of her positions and movements, her balance, her expressive arms, but also of the emotions behind each move. In the ballet, we see her elated, betrayed, avenged, desolate—Rausch is both supreme actress and technician.

It was lovely to see Louise Nadeau on stage again, this time, as the Queen Mother. The interplay with her son, the striking dancer James Kirby Rogers was charming—good examples of the “in-between” moments on stage that are not just transition but compelling storytelling.

Both scenic (Ming Cho Lee) and lighting (Randall Chiarelli) are evocative of this world of ephemeral beings and all-too-human passions. Kudos, too, to the masterful Francia Russell (PNB co-founder, former artistic co-director) who staged the thrilling ballet and concertmaster and soloist Michael Jinsoo Lim, who executed brilliantly the technically-demanding violin pieces.

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