The “Five Minute Call” proceeds a bit differently for this final offering in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s unprecedented digital season. In the pre-curtain video montage created by principal dancer Dylan Wald, we see the dancers pulling off false eyelashes and packing up—including sealing an era-defining face mask back inside a Tupperware container—then walking out of the dressing room to their post-performance lives. Except suddenly the footage runs in reverse. The eyelashes and costumes go back on, the dancers are back on the stage. Here we are in the heightened “already-but-not-yet” experience of our moment: We feel we are already past the pandemic but not yet; this heroic PNB online season (six mainstage world premieres created in dancer “pods” under Covid restrictions) is ending, but not just yet. And it is good to linger in that “not yet” when the final program includes a stunner worth savoring: a new ballet by Christopher Wheeldon that I’d rank among his finest.
Laura Tisserand and Jerome Tisserand and company in Edwaard Liang’s “The Veil Between Worlds.” Photograph by Lindsay Thomas