Locally Sourced at PNB is a Mixed Bag of Very Highs and Also Some Lows–Pretty Much Like Life!
By: Xavier Lopez Jr
… Donald Byrd’s investigation into the heartache and ultimate aloneness of contemporary romance, begins and ends with the biological bodies of men. Men and women, women and men and men and men. Love and Loss, Byrd’s sixth ballet at PNB, is the work of an artist at the absolute pinnacle of his work. While both Foil and Wash of Gray are both interesting works–they do not exemplify their best choreographies, but rather they show artists experimenting with their mediums, trying new things, searching for the best ways to share their vision–they are, essentially, looking for their voices– which is also extremely important. But there is something awe-inspiring watching the seemingling effortless power of someone like Donald Byrd as he flexes his muscles and creates moments of flawless pandemonium–that were unmatched, at least on this stage on this night.
Love and Loss was, for this critic, as perfect a mix of narrative, choreography and music as I have ever seen on the PNB stage–in fact, by the end of this dance–I felt as strong a sense of transcendence as any I have felt over my years of covering the ballet. What Byrd manages here was to create a sense of the real, that is something greater than the reality before us–his pas de deux are so amazing that they transcend ballet and instead are his language–that is what happens here, this is an artist communicating directly to us and if we do not understand it is merely because we are not paying attention. In summation, Love and Loss is nothing short of mesmerizing.
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