In a field where theres already a high tolerance for repetition, Jerome Robbins still took it to extremes. Famously painstaking throughout his career on Broadway, in films, and in ballet, he wanted perfection from himself and his dancers. And he often came very, very close. Robbins first encounter with West Side Story was as part of the team creating the 1957 Broadway show that altered the direction of musical theater, proving that dance was a dramatic tool rather than just a pretty sideshow. When it came to the 1961 movie version, his insistence on multiple rehearsals put the project so far behind schedule that he was taken off the job before they filmed the Dance at the Gym number, but you can still see his mark throughout the film. His final version of West Side Story came close to the end of his life during his tenure with New York City Ballet. By making a suite of the dance numbers, he distilled both the story and his own craft. His work, along with that of George Balanchine, Susan Stroman, and Christopher Wheeldon, will be featured in Pacific Northwest Ballet's "Broadway Festival." SANDRA KURTZ 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 12-Fri., March 13; 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 14; 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 19-Sat., March 21; 1 p.m. Sun., March 22.
Thu., March 12, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., March 13, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 14, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Thu., March 19, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., March 20, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 21, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 22, 1 p.m., 2009