Dwight Rhoden might be the only person in the world who likes a high leg as much as I do, so I have a fondness for his work. Wacked-out extensions are the defining feature of the troupe he co-directs with Desmond Richardson, the Complexions Contemporary Ballet. But aside from this undeviating, extreme pliancy, the Complexions roster is one of the most diverse groups working today in terms of race and gender, and especially size and shape. There’s Jillian Davis, who towers even on flat, at 6’2”, and whose powerful, shapely legs could’ve used a bigger stage. And then there’s Vincenzo Di Primo, a delicate and refined technician whose charisma far surpasses his diminutive stature. This exciting bodily variety is underserved by the repertory, however, which suffers from a sameness in tone, style, and everything else. Program B, which premiered at the Joyce Theater on Tuesday night, consisted of five works by four choreographers, but it felt like one run-on sentence.
Thomas Dilley, Vincenzo Di Primo in “Serenity” by Jae Man Joo. Photograph by Steven Pisano
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