Contemporary 4

My dictionary only has three definitions of “contemporary,” but Pacific Northwest Ballet has four in its Contemporary 4 program. In-house choreographer Paul Gibson (The Piano Dance) and visiting rising star Alexander Ratmansky (Concerto DSCH) are both searching for the future of ballet by extending the path blazed by Balanchine and other 20th-century innovators. Also on the program: Modern dance icon Mark Morris laces his Pacific with sly rhythmic jokes and deeply satisfying musicality. The wild card is a premiere by German guest choreographer Marco Goecke, whose day job is with the Stuttgart Ballet, but whose last freelance job for PNB director Peter Boal was the angsty adolescent Mopey (with a score by C.P.E. Bach and The Cramps). This time out, with the new Place a Chill, he’s working with composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Expect a galaxy of detailed gestures and swirling hips—preview excerpts look rather like an octopus patting its head and rubbing its belly. SANDRA KURTZ [See Sandra's review.]

Fri., March 18, 7:30 p.m.; March 19-27, 2011

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