All Tharp

If her "All Tharp" program that PNB doesn’t quite run the gamut of Twyla Tharp's repertoire, but that’s only because it would take many more works to pull off that trick. In this package, we get Tharp the pattern-maker, the social commentator and the shrewd manipulator of popular culture. Opus 111, one of two world premieres in this program, opens with a pair of dancers marking time, very like Tharp’s In the Upper Room, which PNB danced last fall. But while that work jets along on the back of its Phillip Glass score, this one responds to the pastoral quality of the Brahms quintet it’s named for.The other premiere, Afternoon Ball, is all about the characters. A trio of street dwellers barely able to cope with their shifting relationships and a more affluent, settled couple -- on one level it’s a depression-era musical, albeit with a post-modern score by Russian composer Vladimir Martynov. Nine Sinatra Songs closes the program here, as it probably closed many performances when Tharp first made it in 1982. Underneath the recordings of Sinatra standards like "My Way" and "That’s Life," under the Oscar de la Renta costumes and the engaging characterizations is a rigorous examination of the duet form. Seven couples work out how two people dance together -- how they hold each other, lift each other, maneuver around each other and come back together. McCaw Hall: 301 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 441-2424. $25-$155. Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 5, 1 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 5, 1 p.m. Starts: Sept. 25. Continues through Oct. 5, 2008

 
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