Balanchine’s Petipa

Find the family resemblances in the PNB repertory

In the same way that you can look at your family album and see your nose repeating back through generations of parents and grandparents, you can see the ancestors of a dance in the works that came before it. George Balanchine spent his youth at the Imperial Theater School in St. Petersburg, absorbing the works of classicist choreographer Marius Petipa along with his lessons in the studio. While some of these foundational ballets are still in performance today, many are only available through the arcane notation system that was practiced at the school at the time. Dance historian and Pacific Northwest Ballet education director Doug Fullington has taught himself Stepanov notation, and has restaged excerpts from some of these historic ballets; in PNB’s program “Balanchine’s Petipa” you can see them demonstrated next to their contemporary descendants, presented by PNB artistic director Peter Boal, in a dance history show-and-tell.

Fri., Oct. 5, 6 p.m., 2007

 
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