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February 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

What does New York City think of PNB?

Talk about taking coals to Newcastle.

Pacific Northwest Ballet is in New York City this weekend, performing an all-Balanchine program. It’s a risky proposition — presenting dances by the greatest classical choreographer of the 20th century, in the city that still remembers and honors the originals. Artistic director Peter Boal (himself an alum of Balanchine’s New York City Ballet) is no doubt eager to make a good impression.

So far it looks as if he’s succeeding.

New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay, who has visited Seattle regularly to see PNB, wrote that the company looked to be in fine form, if a little nervous. He lavished praise on music director Emil de Cou and the PNB orchestra (as he has before), and singled out numerous dancers, including Carla Korbes, Jonathan Porretta, Maria Chapman, Lesley Rausch and Batkhurel Bold. “This is a true company. May it return to City Center, with more Balanchine performances, before long,” he concluded.

A review in the Financial Times praises the troupe’s natural ease in Balanchine’s leggy, lunging “Concerto Barocco.” And if reviewer Apollinaire Scherr hoped for a little more amplitude and drama from “Apollo” and “Agon,” well, she did so in the nicest possible way.

Dance Magazine’s Wendy Perron tweeted: “Carla Korbes @pnballet is a thrilling ballerina from her feet to her eyes. Just saw her in Apollo @NYCityCenter.”

Romeo et Juliette.JPG

And other tweets from fans (@pnballet) have been equally complimentary.

PNB is also going to perform Jean-Christophe Maillot’s “Romeo et Juliette,” which recently closed here. (Photo by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times.) Our reviewer, Moira Macdonald, says the ballet looks better than ever. So New York: You’re in for a treat.

Oh, and here, just for fun, is a press photo of Balanchine’s “Concerto Barocco” from a “Dance in America” broadcast in the ’70s:

balanchinebarocco01.jpg

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