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Carmina Burana opens 1996-97 PNB season

PNB season by John Soltys
   Since its debut in 1993, Pacific Northwest Ballet's Carmina Burana has opened each performance to a packed house and closed each to a standing ovation. The opening night of this season, Sept. 24, was no exception.
   The performance is dominated by Carl Orff's powerful cantata, written in 1937 and based on a collection of medieval songs and poems from the monastery of Benedictbeuern. Orff's musical work, combining the lusty Latin writings of a group of less-than-perfect monks and a primitive, pounding score, is given exuberant life on stage by Kent Stowell's magnificent choreography.
   The giant golden wheel of Fortune, suspended above the stage, and the stunning unitard costumes give the production a surreal nature.
   Carmina Burana is not a traditional ballet in the sense of The Nutcracker or Divertimento No. 15, which is performed as a prelude, but is, rather, a total theatre experience.
   The production continues through Oct. 3. Tickets are available at PNB or by calling 292-ARTS.