Talking About Momentum

January 5, 2010

Benjamin Millepied’s
3 Movements
was nonstop energy last night. It ended Pacific Northwest Ballet’s program at the Joyce with a rush. It started with only two people onstage, and right away you felt the ongoing inventiveness of this ballet. They folded, entwined, and echoed with each other with speed and fluidity. Others entered, just striding, but while some were walking, others were dancing full out or dashing across the stage. At one point there was a duet in one part of the stage and a trio in another. Eventually they glommed together, becoming one group for a split second before another group burst onstage to infiltrate. The momentum was in the eye of the beholder who had to keep watching in order to watch well.


The piece reminded me a bit of Robbins’ masterful command of continuity within complexity in his
Glass Pieces.
It also had
Forsythe’s ability to slouch away from choreographed steps and still keep the momentum going. But the piece was dark and massive in Millepied’s own way.


The music of
3 Movements
is by Steve Reich, which helps a lot. It just keeps going, although there are times when it’s spare and percussive rather then propulsive. The lighting (by David Moodey) is dim, which is typical of Millepied, and helps build a texture of molten…..humanity.



3 Movements, photo by Angela Sterling, courtesy PNB