Some choreographers integrate visuals, text and moods seemingly effortlessly. Colette Sadler is one such artist, as she has long created singular work which straddles performance art, visual art and dance. So it is with her gorgeous and meditative riposte to Daphne's punishment from Apollo, “Oracle Leaves.” In the original myth, while attempting to escape Apollo's brutal advances, Daphne is transformed into a tree. This piece pushes back, embracing an alternative vision, with a rebellious spirit at its core. It is a long, langorous stretch of limbs, a slow-burning beauty. Once you become attuned to its sparse setting, slow pace and short, angular bursts of movement, it is a performance of subtlety and invention, at once post-modern and traditional, using a unique methodology to steer the narrative into unknown places. There's even a reference to Artificial Intelligence within the script.
“Oracle Leaves” by Colette Sadler. Image courtesy of Colette Sadler
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