Christopher Wheeldon’s new work for Pacific Northwest Ballet is named “Curious Kingdom.” For the reason that music is all French, the title may seek advice from France, although it’s been a very long time since that nation had a king. Or maybe the alliterative phrase and its “Alice in Wonderland” adjective allude to modern ballet.

Regardless of the title means, what issues is that Wheeldon has created a definite and memorable realm. That may’t be mentioned for the opposite premiere on Pacific Northwest’s newest digital program (out there till Monday on the company website): Edwaard Liang’s “The Veil Between Worlds.”

“Curious Kingdom” is appropriately stylish. The tops of unitards by Harriet Jung and Reid Bartelme are cleverly shaded to look just like the bodices of strapless clothes. Because the music progresses from piano items by Satie and Ravel to songs of Edith Piaf, the dancers decorate with mesh overlays, brief or elbow-length gloves, tulle skirts, huge bows in rose. In Reed Nakayama’s lighting design, the stage ground gleams like a reflective pool, backed by a succession of single hues: gold, inexperienced, blue, purple.

Elegantly dressed, Wheeldon’s choreography, largely solos and duets, maintains a glamorous languor and achieves moments of beautiful magnificence. Satie’s “Gnossiennes” join the work to the poetic purity of Frederick Ashton’s “Monotones,” a hyperlink it earns with lengthy traces that out of the blue break. One duet is a surprise of interlocking flamingo shapes. Others are extra mirrorlike, taking a cue from the music, a few of which is drawn from Ravel’s suite “Miroirs.” To all this, the Piaf sections add a little bit colour and cabaret. The superb Lucien Postlewaite, a form of faun in his opening solo, ends with a trendy suggestion of drag.

Liang’s “Veil,” in contrast, is characterless. The music, a brand new composition by Oliver Davis, feels like a paint-by-numbers modern ballet rating, and Liang’s neoclassical choreography seems to be like one thing that any expert dancemaker may need created in the previous couple of many years. There’s a literal veil — a giant piece of silk tossed like a parachute or the handkerchief of an enormous magician. However nothing within the gentle and innocent choreography works any magic.

Nonetheless, the dancers — particularly Dylan Wald, who additionally shines within the Wheeldon, and Jerome and Laura Tisserand, who’re about to go away the corporate — look good and blissful in it. And that additionally issues.

Amongst American troupes, Pacific Northwest has been one of the profitable in changing to digital programming, holding its dancers lively and its viewers engaged. Its newest providing is attribute: handsomely filmed and full of further options, together with music-only alternatives by the corporate’s first-class musicians. Other than “Curious Kingdom,” the season’s new works have struck me as unexceptional, however as somebody who lives removed from Seattle, I’ve been grateful for the prospect to see these dancers and get to know them a little bit.

In a program be aware, Peter Boal, the creative director, boasts that the digital season has attracted subscribers in 50 states and 36 nations. “We won’t flip our again on you,” he writes, promising not solely that the corporate will return to stay efficiency within the fall but in addition that its digital programming will proceed. Each components are excellent news.

Pacific Northwest Ballet, Program 6

By way of Monday, pnb.org



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