THE WEEKLY HERALD   EVERETT, WASHINGTON
Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In love with Pacific Northwest Ballet's ‘Love Stories'

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Lucien Postlewaite and Carrie Imler in the Black Swan pas de deux from Kent Stowell's “Swan Lake,R...

    Photo by Angela Sterling

    Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Lucien Postlewaite and Carrie Imler in the Black Swan pas de deux from Kent Stowell's “Swan Lake,” part of PNB's “Love Stories.”

The choreography, staging, costumes and music are all gorgeous. Elements in each of these five so-titled “Love Stories” definitely stand out.
But the moment Kylee Kitchens plants a kiss on the cheek of Jerome Tisserand in “Afternoon of a Faun” is the one moment when Pacific Northwest Ballet puts it all together, makes time stop and shows what they are all about.
Don't get me wrong.
The chorus in the divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fee” brings out the brilliance of Balanchine's choreography.
Seduction was never more manipulative than as interpreted by Carrie Imler performing Black Swan in “Swan Lake.”
The rapture of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers impassions Kaori Nakamura and Lucien Postlewaite as “Romeo et Juliette.”
The storybook magic of Aurora's wedding from “The Sleeping Beauty” is absolutely resplendent with color, fabric, pomp and circumstance.
However, backed by Debussy's romantic score and Jerome Robbins' story-sensitive choreography, it is Kitchens and Tisserand in “Faun” that distills the almost palpable essence of ballet.
The setting is three walls of a dance studio; the action is a pas de deux performed by Kitchens and Tisserend as two students dedicated to ballet.
Attraction for one another builds, threatens their concentration on dance, culminates in a kiss on the cheek from Tisserand, and Kitchens* is left momentarily perplexed.
The story is about the conflicting demands of life lived as a dedicated artist. It is a story, I am sure, many at PNB know firsthand.
Reactions? Comments? Email Dale Burrows at grayghost7@comcast.net or entertainment@weeklyherald.com.
‘Love Stories'
When: Through Nov. 13
Where: McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle
Tickets: $28-$168, call 206-441-2424 or visit www.pnb.org

*Correction, Nov. 11, 2011: This article originally said Kitchens kissed Tisserand.