On Wednesday night, the New York City Ballet premiered “Fortuitous Ash,” the first ballet choreographed by an Asian American woman, Keerati Jinakunwiphat, in the company’s history. It was set to the first score by a female Asian composer, Du Yun, to enter the repertory. Unfortunately, the overdue shattering of dual glass ceilings was more exciting than the work itself. When the curtain fell on the ballet’s final tableau, it came as a surprise; it felt like the piece was finally gearing up to say something. Before the gold fabric dropped, I thought the lights were dimming to signal the end of an expository first movement. Curiously, the entire work felt like preamble.
New York City Ballet in “Fortuitous Ash” by Keerati Jinakunwiphat. Photograph by Erin Baiano
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