When an out-of-town company brings Balanchine ballets to New York, part of the pleasure is seeing  different versions of familiar works. This week, Pacific Northwest Ballet presented a single evening of Balanchine: Agon, Concerto Barocco, and Apollo, all but Apollo staged by Francia Russell, who danced with NYCB in the fifties. Apollo was staged by Peter Boal, now the company’s artistic director. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.

And a short excerpt:

“One of the thrilling aspects of dance (and anything that involves the body) is that it is constantly in flux. Technique changes, steps are filtered through a company – or national – style, and choreography is remembered differently by different people. Someone who learned a ballet in the fifties will have performed slightly different steps than a ballerina dancing it twenty years later (or earlier). She will then pass on those alternate steps to a particular group of dancers under her tutelage. Not to speak of personal style. Just think of some of the ballerinas who have performed in Concerto Barocco: Suzanne Farrell, Diana Adams, Gelsey Kirkland, Allegra Kent, Tanaquil LeClercq. It’s a surprise we recognize the ballet at all.”

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