Review: Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker

Snow on stage!  Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers in the Kent Stowell/Maurice Sendak Nutcracker.  Photo © Angela Sterling

Snow on stage! Pacific Northwest Ballet dancers in the Kent Stowell/Maurice Sendak Nutcracker. Photo © Angela Sterling

For more than 50 years, Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” has been an American holiday tradition. The Pacific Northwest Ballet continues to make their exclusive Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker production a warm and delightfully magical onset to our wintry festivities by exuding the finest artistry from the scenic and lighting design to the richly animated choreography, and of course, the musical compositions performed by sixty-five of the most talented musicians. Nevertheless, what made this story come to life were the dancers and their interpretation of ETA Hoffman’s characters.

The cast for the opening night of PNB’s Nutcracker included a number of the company’s finest dancers along with several of its own Pacific Northwest Ballet School students. The audience reveled in watching the young students inherit the stage of McCaw Hall, some for the first time. The innocent and uninhibited way they captured the essence of Hoffman’s characters was remarkable and enchanting.

Among the professional cast, Batkhurel Bold’s representation of the Prince is passionately strong and daringly dynamic. Perfectly paired with Bold was Carla Körbes. She captivated our hearts with her exquisite and gentle adaptation of Clara. Olivier Wevers delivered an outstanding performance as his magnetic personality encapsulated that of Drosselmeyer/Pasha. Ariana Lallone was brilliantly flawless in her transcendental presentation of the Peacock. Carrie Imler was powerfully breathtaking in Waltz of the Flowers. Her performance was an absolute treasure to behold. PNB’s company of dancers executed each step with such vitality and sincerity, the evening concluded with a blissful aspiration for more.

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Carla Körbes as Clara in PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker.  Photo © Angela Sterling

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Carla Körbes as Clara in PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker. Photo © Angela Sterling

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s vivid adaptation of this childhood storybook re-establishes a dreamlike imagination in audience members of all ages. Performances will run from November 26th until December 27, 2010. Come and enjoy the magic of Stowell & Sendak’s Nutcracker.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit PNB.org.

Review By: Amanda Calderon

Vala Dancewear / Class Act Tutu Associate

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