Pacific Northwest Ballet’s streaming presentation, “Rep 2,” is satisfying viewing for grown-up ballet fans, and it might appeal to some kids too.
The streaming program starts at $29 and is available through Monday. (You could also opt for a Digital Performance Plus package for $39, with more dances.)
When it comes to showing it to kids, the fact that it is remote is an advantage over, say, a live performance of contemporary ballet. You don’t have to worry about a bored kid fidgeting and disturbing other audience members. Watch the dances in short chunks, and stop and talk about things you notice, and ask and answer questions. It might just get your kid nterested in the world of dance beyond tutus and tiaras.
And those will be coming to your screen in about a month. Pacific Northwest Ballet plans to stream a version of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” based on archival footage of the before times. It’ll have all the things we can’t have now: stages full of dancers, a pit full of musicians, and an audience full of fans.
New views of how we move
Rep 2 showcases four works by female choreographers. The two biggest pieces, “Wonderland” by Penny Saunders, and “Ghost Variations,” by Jessica Lang are world premieres. There are also extras. Kids will love the fun video of dancers getting ready. And there are couple of spots showcasing musicians from the Pacific Ballet Orchestra. (One number has four cellists playing by the lakeshore in Seward Park, as kayaks lurk behind them and ducks swim by.)
We move in a different way now. We zigzag to keep away from strangers on the street, and spend many hours coccooned with our families. So it makes sense that dancers, who dedicate their lives to expressing themselves through movement, would have insight to offer about this weird time we live in.
That shows up in the new dances. When they perform at safe distances on the enormous McCaw Hall stage, the dancers look spread out and scattered. But when two dancers come together in a duet, the intimacy is intense.
One more reason to stream this show: because of the pandemic ending live performances, the future of the Pacific Northwest Ballet is uncertain. Buying a streaming ticket is a small step toward making it possible that when we can all go to the theater again, this remarkable ballet company will be there to perform for us.