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Wendy Goldberg
Performance Reviews
Pacific Northwest Ballet
United States
Beckett, MA

Pacific Northwest Ballet - Dove Tales: Three by Ulysses

by Wendy Goldberg
August 22, 2009
Beckett, MA

Featured Dance Company:

Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet (office)
The Phelps Center
301 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA 98109

Pacific Northwest Ballet
directed by Peter Boal
Seattle, Washington
The daring dancers of the Pacific Northwest Ballet interpret this trio from Ulysses Doves' canon with stunning strength, tremendous technique and stirring sensibility. The sheer power with which the female dancers go on pointe, and fling their legs skyward dazzles the eye. Their precision is a force to be reckoned with; not just an implement, but the meaning itself. The males exhibit a flow and fluidity, as graceful turns evolve into leaps, and gestures convey sensation.

Under the brilliant hand of the director Peter Boal, Ulysses Dove's striking, signiture movements evoke the liquid, jewel quality of instantaneous calligraphy. Each moment has the layered, lacquered quality of a pictorial symbol streaming into the master story.

The first piece, 'Dancing On The Front Porch Of Heaven' involves three female, and three male dancers. Dressed in white leotards, they begin in a circle and pair off now and again, always to return. The couples' desire for love is strong and immediate; there is no subtlety here. The women fling and fall into the men's arms, they spar with each other, they leave their men without a backward glance. Two men search each other with searing muscularity and just a hint of tenderness.

The second piece, 'Vespers' has six women, shrouded in black, grieving the loss of loved ones. They move spartanly back and forth between a straight row of chairs on stage right, and an open set of chairs on stage left, unable to find comfort. The women, seized with contractions, bend their heads into their bellies in rhythmic horror. In center stage, the dancers move with sharp, staccato gestures to the incessant, percussive music.

The last work, 'Red Angels' has four superb dancers in scarlet emerge from a shaft of light onto a black, glowing stage. They move with the aura and boldness of red figures immortalized on unearthed Greek Vases. Their swift sureness, angular bodies and confident profiles conjure up epics of conquering heros. Here we have eternal love, surviving the fury and fire of thousands of years, as the ancient myths play out before us, vivid and timeless.
Lesley Rausch of Pacific Northwest Ballet in 'Red Angels'

Lesley Rausch of Pacific Northwest Ballet in "Red Angels"

Photo © & courtesy of Angela Sterling

Stanko Milov of Pacific Northwest Ballet in 'Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven'

Stanko Milov of Pacific Northwest Ballet in "Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven"

Photo © & courtesy of Karli Cadel

Pacific Northwest Ballet in 'Vespers'

Pacific Northwest Ballet in "Vespers"

Photo © & courtesy of Karli Cadel

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