April 2, 2001
PNB's stylish 'Tangos'
excites with its dramatic flair
by Deborah Stone
Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Five Tangos" is an exciting repertory of four diverse contemporary styles featuring the Seattle premieres of ballets by legendary Danish choreographer Hans van Manen and New York City Ballet's Peter Martins, along with George Balanchine's elegant "Chaconne" and Kent Stowell's classical "Pas de Deux Campagnolo."
Hans van Manen premiered his "Five Tangos" with the Dutch National Ballet in 1977 to critical acclaim. Seattle audiences were equally excited by this dramatic ensemble piece full of the power and sensuality of the famed Argentine tango. Sharp movements, rapid fire shifts in direction and backward slides were performed with a combination of Latin heat and haughty airs. Dancers executed steps with crisp precision while flexing their hands and keeping arms clasped to one side.
Ariana Lallone and Stanko Milov generated true tango heat in both their solos and pairings and male dancers Nicholas Ade, Oleg Gorboulev, Jordan Pacitti and Patrick Tulleners got to strut their stuff with style in an exciting number that mesmerized the crowd. The other featured Seattle premiere, "Fearful Symmetries," by Martins, received the strongest response from the audience for its breathtaking speed and high energy movements. Dancers appeared relentless in matching the pace of the music with their movements, but never looked frenetic or chaotic. Louise Nadeau, Jeffrey Stanton, Lisa Apple and Christophe Maraval, along with Julie Tobiason and Paul Gibson displayed great intensity and emotion in their pairings. Ballanchine's "Chaconne" is a series of ensemble numbers and variations that captures the highly romantic rococo spirit of 18th century music. This is a lyrical and flowing dance, filled with lighter than air movements that capture both tenderness and a sense of playfulness in the dancers. Stowell's "Campagnolo" set to Verdi's "Sicilian Vespers" featured the delightful coupling of Kaori Nakamura and Olivier Wevers as country lovers. Nakamura and Wevers charmed the audience with their technically demanding jumps and intricate footwork. "Five Tangos" concluded its run March 24. PNB's season continues with "Le Corsaire," opening April 12. For information, call (206) 292-ARTS.