Saturday, Nov 28, 2020
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 21, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 16
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Ballet on Broadway a great evening of All-American dance
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Ballet on Broadway a great evening of All-American dance

by Sharon Cumberland - SGN A&E Writer

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET
'BALLET ON BROADWAY'
MARION OLIVER MCCAW HALL
April 14 (continues April 21-23)


Ballet dancers are usually seen but not heard. They are in charge of our eyes, while the musicians - sometimes onstage, more often in the orchestra pit - are in charge of our ears. The most we hear from the dancers themselves are the occasional squeaks of chalk on wood, or the scatter of light thumps as point shoes rotate or land on the floor in grand jetés. But the current offering at Pacific Northwest Ballet gives the dancers a voice in service of the musical theater genre. 'Ballet on Broadway' presents three interludes from shows that were popular on the Great White Way at the peak of its classic music style: Carousel, 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue' from the musical On Your Toes, and West Side Story.

This is an evening of beautiful, exciting music, classic Broadway style dance, and - for those of us who grew up with Richard Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein - nostalgia. I was singing along on 'If I Loved You,' 'Maria' and 'There's a Place for Us.' It was fun to hear the dancers singing, too though how they can sing and dance at the same time is a mystery to me. But Gene Kelly could do it, so it shouldn't surprise me that they can do it, too.

One of the most effective elements in this trilogy of Broadway dances is that each section is preceded by a short vintage film from the era of the dance itself. This simple device sets the works in their proper times and places, while giving the audience a fascinating glimpse into the past. It's an evening for the whole family - funny and colorful with both ballet and tap dancing, and the substantial music of Rodgers and Bernstein.

'Carousel (A Dance)' (2002)
Music: Richard Rodgers from Carousel (1945)
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

We first see a short clip from the ballet section of the 1956 film version of Carousel with the wonderful dancer Jacques D'Amboise in choreography adapted from Agnes De Mille's original work on Broadway. It set the tone perfectly for the dreamy whirling of the Carousel waltz that brings the entire corps de ballet onstage in circle dances and wheel formations. For those of us who know this story about a young woman who falls in love with a carny when the circus comes to town, Wheeldon's dance makes perfect sense. A boy and girl find their way to each other through the rotating dancers and perform a duet that expresses all the joy of young love when it seems as though, by some miracle, something wonderful has happened. It hasn't - the story of Carousel is the story of a failed relationship - but you can see why the love was real. My dance buddy for the evening was too young to know anything about Carousel, and found the dance vague. Who are these people? Even when the corps came out with brass poles and created the sense of a merry-go-round my buddy was underwhelmed. The revolving dancers were very touching, I thought, but it reminded me of circle dances that are truly sublime, like the Maypole Dance in Mark Morris' 'King Arthur.' This was a lovely start to the evening but only the lobby, not the great hall.

'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue' (1968)
Music: Richard Rodgers from On Your Toes (1936)
Choreographer: George Balanchine

The vintage trailer for On Your Toes took us back to a time when movies were a window to the world and dance was an exciting departure from the ordinary. We see an impresario with a Russian accent putting on a show - the audiences at that time would recognize a send-up of Sergei Diaghliev. The frantic hub-bub of an opening night is carried through on stage when Jonathan Porretta appears before the curtain in a send-up of a Ballet Russes dancer - Russian-accented, self-absorbed, demanding endless praise and attention. It's the funniest bit of the evening that sets up the plot of 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,' a stand-alone story ballet that takes place in a speakeasy. The story - a shimmy dancer, a thug, a guy in love - unfolds in a roaring party full of wild dance and clever references to Prohibition. Who better than George Balanchine, the Russian émigré, to tell an All-American story? I won't give it away, but there's tap dancing, Keystone Kops, and a hilarious attempted murder that leaves the audience cheering.

'West Side Story Suite' (1995)
Music: Leonard Bernstein from West Side Story (1957)
Choreography: Jerome Robbins

This dance begins with a documentary-style ad for the original film of West Side Story. The camera pans over a section of New York City that was doomed in the mid-fifties to be torn down and replaced by the sparkling Lincoln Center - home of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet. West Side Story was actually filmed in the neighborhood destined to be razed, so the street gangs it immortalizes - the Sharks and the Jets - were already a thing of the past. These are no Crips and Bloods, dealing in drugs and sex crimes. These are the fresh-faced boys who would have gone to Harvard - or at least NYU - if they'd gotta break. Bernstein's familiar music and the finger-snapping threats of hormone driven teenagers seem more than nostalgic now, but a refreshing re-visit to simpler times. My favorite moment was the rousing dance-off in the school gym when the two gangs of girls and boys outdo each other in their America versus Puerto Rico moves. Though the mid-century skies were ruled by Sputnik and school kids were threatened with nuclear war, it was still a hopeful time - full of American optimism and verve. It's all captured in Robbins choreography and Bernstein's jazz-based dance music.

This great evening of All-American dance uses the entire company in unaccustomed ways. They sing, they tap-dance, they do comedy, all with the same enthusiasm and expertise that we're used to seeing in more formal ballets. It's an evening full of fun that shows off some the best choreographers at a distinctive moment in the history of dance. PNB's lively, lovely 'Ballet on Broadway' is on the boards through April 23rd.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Mary Lambert gets bold and personal on new EP

And she'll be at Seattle PrideFest on June 25!

------------------------------
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Ballet on Broadway a great evening of All-American dance
------------------------------
Lush Us Gay City Arts' fundraiser with special guest Sonya Renee Taylor April 28
------------------------------
Starboy descending:
The Weeknd lands huge concert tour at Key Arena this week

------------------------------
The stereotype of the delicate Asian flower - Nadeshiko
------------------------------
Diverse Harmony hosts annual luncheon May 7 and presents summer concert June 30 & July 1
------------------------------
Western Washington University in Bellingham hosts Queer Comic Con April 29
------------------------------
Pacific Northwest Ballet presents 'Beyond Ballet - A Town Hall on the State of Ballet and Diversity'
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------
Gorillaz include Seattle show on upcoming 'Humanz Tour'
------------------------------
Celebrating Black Brilliance - Langston Hughes African American Film Festival 2017 April 27-30
------------------------------
The Horse in Motion's Wellesley Girl a futuristic conundrum
------------------------------
Witty Colossal a human monster of a melodrama
------------------------------
Emotionally dazzling Gifted a stroke of genius
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2017 - DigitalTeamWorks 2017

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News