Jean-Guillaume Bart isn’t one of those nostalgic choreographers, nor is he a French Ratmansky. He’s more of a ballet archeologist crossed with a dance philosopher, influenced by Paul Valéry. He doesn’t really revive steps from the past (most of the steps are his own invention), his concern is to bring a dying tradition alive. A tradition that is dear to his heart and a spirit that is nowhere to be seen on the world stage must be restored. According to him, now an empty art, ballet should make sense. Every move has to be infused with an inner meaning, aesthetically and philosophically.
Alla Bocharova as Aurora in Jean-Guillaume Bart's “Sleeping Beauty.” Photograph by Irina Tuminene
One way to get to know the history of a company is through the “liner notes” of its “Swan Lake” production, and for those of us continuing to build an admiring familiarity with Pacific Northwest Ballet via its digital season offerings, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell’s “Swan Lake” provides an interesting glimpse into PNB prior to Peter Boal’s leadership.FREE ARTICLE