A Must-See Ballet of Poppin' and Lockin' with Kidd Pivot Nov 21, 2008

Wait. Before you read this post, get tickets--if there are any left!--for this weekend's performance. You will not be disappointed. Au contraire. You will be stunned, perhaps to the point of wordlessness, as many gaping audience members were last night.    The show features a phenomenal 70 minutes of intensely athletic, wildly skilled, emotionally moving choreography the boggles the mind as often as it touches the heart. The seven dancers, including company choreographer Crystal Pite, move across the stage in solos, duets, and groups, dancing in manner that bespoke both immeasurable training and organic rawness. How did she do that? I wondered this, so many times. There's a hip-hop flavor to the piece, partly in the big black hooded jackets the dancers don at times, but also in the impossible, break-dance-esque flow of their bodies. Do these people have more bones than the rest of us do? Can someone be triple-jointed? How can a human leg swivel into a perfect S? The articulation throughout was sheer liquidity.    I was surprised to learn that this company hadn't been working together for years and years--they move so perfectly together, and they are so very close together so much of the time--lifting each other, grasping, holding hands over each other's mouths. But the ease among the company is likely due to the fact that this is a "dream team" of dancers Pite pulled together specifically for this piece (started two years ago). Much like the basketball dream team of the 1992 Olympics, they totally, utterly dominated.    Several sequences are repeated in the piece ”¹-the industrial, bell-tolling, whispered-words soundscape even suggests they "try this again." The re-set quality struck a familiar chord to me, having recently seen the PNB's New Works program, in which the dancers in William Forsythe's (also industrial, pounding) "One Flat Thing, Reproduced" move relentlessly back and forth through 40 tables like some gorgeous live-action version of Frogger until someone says "re-set." Is it a coincidence that Pite studied and danced for years with Forsythe in Ballet Frankfurt? But while Forsythe's piece was deliberately harsh, cold, and sterile, Pite's is anything but. Her miraculous dancers caress and carry each other, and cover their crumpled bodies in death. -Brangien Davis This has been cross posted @ Seattle Magazine