In a recent conversation with the Royal Opera House, Wendy Whelan compares “Restless Creature” to a flower blossoming, explaining “at the beginning it is a tight bud ... but as the programme goes on the movement unravels.” To take her analogy further, I’d liken the bill to a romantic relationship unfolding, one that blooms in the wake of desire and fights to flourish, despite losing a few petals to the tribulations of couplehood. This interpretation may represent but a personal take, but there's no denying the four duets at hand—each of which features a young male choreographer who doubles as a partner—meditate on weighty human dynamics like trust, power and independence. With each successive partner, Whelan flowers in a different way, the dancers' interaction deepening as they negotiate ways to intertwine while preserving the shreds of self that inform their respective strengths.
Wendy Whelan in “Restless Creature.” Photograph by Christopher Duggan
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