Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dancing Back In Time, Into The New Year

PNB's Jonathan Porretta in Molissa Fenley's "State of Darkness"
photo by Angela Sterling
Somebody told me last week that it's customary to post "best-of" lists at the end of a year. It hadn't occurred to me, but after 14 months of writing and thinking about mostly dance in this platform, I most definitely have some favorites. So, why not write about them? Plus, thinking back on the 2014 performances that stick out in my mind gets me excited for what 2015 will offer.

One of the standouts for me: Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Jonathan Porretta in Molissa Fenley's demanding solo "State of Darkness." To say I was electrified is an understatement.

Set to Stravinsky's entire "Rite of Spring," the dance is more an expression of emotion and passion than an evocation of peasants and ritual sacrifice. In other words, not a literal interpretation but a physical response to the music.
PNB Principal Dancer Jonathan Porretta in "State of Darkness"
photo by Angela Sterling

I loved how Porretta gave himself over to the passion, fully and completely. And how his years of training and performance gave him the confidence to trust himself. (I have to say, PNB corps de ballet member Angelica Generosa's turn in the solo was also remarkable and I can't wait to see her perform again.)

Zoe/Juniper offered an evening in March at On The Boards that I really can't get out of my mind. A rumination on aging and memory and personal evolution, "Begin Again" really clicked for me. Plus, the performance had these fabulous paper cutout sets by Celeste Cooning. I understand they were lost in transit; I know Zoe/Juniper has been trying to raise funds to replace this amazing work. I contributed-you should, too.
"Begin Again" by Zoe/Juniper at On The Boards
Paper cutout set by Celeste Cooning

Rounding out my 2014 highlights, Amy O'Neal's "Opposing Forces." With her group of b-boys, O'Neal explored what it means to be male, and female. She brought an energy and a thoughtfulness that still resonates for me.
Amy O'Neal's "Opposing Forces" at On The Boards
photo by Gabriel Bienczycki
These three dances are by no means the only interesting things I saw. I always love Whim W'him, as well as the University of Washington Chamber Dance Company's annual October performances.

Looking ahead this spring, I can't wait to see the all-William Forsythe program in March at Pacific Northwest Ballet. What about you?

No comments:

Post a Comment