McCaw Hall, Seattle, WA
May 30, 2015

Dean Speer

Pacific Northwest Ballet (with The Tudor Choir and Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union) in Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana Angela Sterling

Pacific Northwest Ballet (with The Tudor Choir and Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union) in Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana
Photo Angela Sterling

You just knew going into it, even before the curtain went up, that PNB’s Spring Show, Carmina Burana, was going to hit the gold standard jackpot.

Alexei Ratmansky is one of the men-of-the-hour in terms of American choreography and PNB is most fortunate to have Concerto DSCH in its repertory. He is sincere and thorough in his approach; nice, friendly, helpful; always prepared and professional – the very model of efficiency.

Concerto DSCH is also the model of efficiency. Swift in its exposition and clear, logical, and just right in its development and conclusion. And there’s some seriously fun dancing that also infuses light humor and tone along the way.

Angelica Generosa (filling in for Rachel Foster) was just amazing – technically brilliant and seeming to revel in the dance. This was a superb opportunity to showcase this talented dancer from the corps. The images of Lesley Rausch being lifted and turned in a horizontal, prone pose and of company dancers charging around with energy and controlled abandon repose colorfully and happily in my mind. All this in only about twenty minutes.

Kent Stowell’s blockbuster Carmina Burana is equally a showcase for the company men (who open it with “O Fortuna” and the big set wheel) and women. It is an important work that has been enjoyed for over twenty years and appreciation of it deepens every time it is revived.

One of Stowell’s great strengths is the creation of lovely pas de deux and in “Cour d’amour” (Court of Love) Laura Tisserand and Batkhurel Bold showed their lyricism with a breadth of phrasing and strength that undergirded every partnered arabesque (one of its motifs).

This jackpot of a program not only fully deployed the mighty PNB Orchestra but also vocal soloists and a large choir that was in a box suspended upstage above the action.

Carmina Burana was a fitting conclusion to the regular PNB season and one that bodes well for 2015-16.