In Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, protagonist Jake Barnes describes the work of a veteran bull fighter. “It was not brilliant bull-fighting,” he says of a match. “It was only perfect bull-fighting.” Once, this competitor wowed crowds in the ring with daring tricks and unparalleled passion. In this late stage of his career, though, these same movements seem slick and staged. He wins his matches—but he does not win over his audience.
BalletX in Matthew Neenan's “Show Me.” Photograph by Alexander Iziliaev
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