Northwest NEWS

June 5, 2000


PNB's 'Silver Lining' captures infectious quality of '20s, '30s

by Deborah Stone

   Pacific Northwest Ballet concludes its season with Silver Lining, a tribute to Jerome Kern and the American music style of the 1920s and '30s. The popular two-act ballet, choreographed by Artistic Director Kent Stowell, is back for a return engagement after it premiered in 1998 as the grand finale to PNB's 25th anniversary season.

   PNB dancers capture the fun, the romance, and the infectious quality of American musicals as they shuffle, slide, and swing their way to well-known tunes such as "The Cat and the Fiddle," "They Didn't Believe Me," "Till the Clouds Roll By," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," and "Look for the Silver Lining."

   Their pleasure is apparent, as they convey the different moods and styles of the music with enthusiasm, passion, and intensity. Movements are performed with precision and clarity, always appearing fluid and smooth in their delivery.

   There are some splendid solos and duets, which are perfect showcases for principals Kaori Nakamura, Patricia Barker, Jeffrey Stanton, Stanko Milov, Julie Tobiason, Ross Yearsley, and Olivier Wevers. Of particular note were Anne Derieux's rendition of "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," an emotional and gripping performance, and the pairing of Paul Gibson and Lousie Nadeau in "Some Girl on His Mind" and "Why Was I Born?" (both intensely brooding and moody numbers).

   Guest artists soprano Valerie Piacenti and baritone Erich Parce helped set the Broadway-style tone to the show with their strong and resonant voices. Dancers accompanied them on several numbers, singing with great gusto.

   "Silver Lining" is a delightful sentimental stroll down Memory Lane, guaranteed to leave audiences on the sunny side of life. PNB's 2000-2001 season features six premieres and twelve classics, including "The Sleeping Beauty," "Coppelia," "Snow White," and "Five Tangos." For subscription information, call 206-441-2424.