Dance review | A regal Odette/Odile in PNB's "Swan Lake"
Kaori Nakamura and Lucien Postlewaite shone on opening night of Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Swan Lake"
Seattle Times movie critic
"Swan Lake"7:30 p.m. tonight, tomorrow and April 16-18, 7 p.m. April 19, 1 p.m. tomorrow and April 18-19, Pacific Northwest Ballet, McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; $25-$155 (206-441-2424 or www.pnb.org).
Dance Review |
When Pacific Northwest Ballet last presented "Swan Lake" in 2007, Louise Nadeau marvelously danced Odette/Odile on opening night, stepping into the spotlight following the announcement of Patricia Barker's retirement. Now, with Nadeau's retirement coming in June, longtime principal Kaori Nakamura bewitchingly opened the "Swan Lake" run, making a compelling case for herself as PNB's prima ballerina.
She's not without competition for that role — Carrie Imler, Mara Vinson, Miranda Weese and particularly Carla Körbes (all of whom will dance Odette/Odile in this run, as will Nadeau) are all capable of thrilling audiences. Nor is Nakamura a stranger to the opening-night spotlight; her delicate, fresh Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty" in 2006 won't be easily forgotten. But the punishing dual role of Odette/Odile — a haunted swan maiden and a wicked enchantress — is ballet's ultimate test, and on Thursday night Nakamura dazzled, from her first trembling pose (her Odette was all nervous fragility, with just a hint of coyness) to her sparkling standing-ovation smile.
With its showcase central role and its rows of preening swans, "Swan Lake" is a women's ballet; generally the men's roles fade into the background. Thankfully, somebody forgot to tell this to Lucien Postlewaite, who as Prince Siegfried matched hanging-in-the-air jumps with a thrilling dramatic intensity. In Act II, by the lake, Postlewaite and Nakamura created a rich physical chemistry; he, lovesick, seemed almost afraid to touch her; she, though reluctant, touchingly allows herself — you can see the inner struggle — to find shelter in his arms. Their Act III pas de deux was filled with razor-sharp turns and high drama: As Odile arched away from him and back up again, the young Prince suddenly grinned, as if catching a whiff of delicious perfume.
Elsewhere, the corps de ballet was vivid and strong in the swan scenes, and though much of Kent Stowell's choreography in Act I (and the international dances of Act III) feels like filler, Paul Tazewell's colorful costumes and Ming Cho Lee's stately sets are always a joy. But, with Tchaikovsky's moonlit music soaring (the orchestra, under Stewart Kershaw's baton, sounded remarkably fine), this production's magic came from two dancers, seemingly alone by a quiet lake — a perfect prince, and the latest in a beautiful line of swans.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
NEW - 7:04 PM
Toy-maker shifts gears into sculpting career
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.
(The Associated Press) New GM cars to get free maintenance plan General Motors, aiming to increase customer loyalty, recently announced that it will e...
Post a comment
Post a comment