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A fortnight ago my husband and I went to the Seattle McCaw Hall to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet production of “Director’s Choice” program. It consisted of David Dawson’s “Empire Noir,” William Forsythe’s “New Suite” and Jessica Lang’s “Her Door to the Sky.” It was exhilarating to see these modern ballet pieces, each of which maintained its distinct mood and philosophy. While “Empire Noir” was spellbinding in its formal rigor and purity, akin to Mondrian’s abstract paintings, “New Suite” was lovely in many forms and movements of pas de deux as if showing varied manifestations of “romantic love.” Meanwhile, “Her Door to the Sky” excelled in its expression of sly humor. The staging and costume of all these pieces helped highlight the wonder and beauty of human bodies and movements. All these dance pieces were wonderful, but I would say “Empire Noir” to me was most electrifying and intellectually invigorating. Last time I felt this kind of exhilaration was when I saw Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” for the first time on stage. (I know that human memory is often unreliable. I may have felt this unusual exhilaration only because our social and political context has been dismal – to say the least.)

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