Boundless @ McCaw Hall

Out of the box and onto the stage 💫

📸: Courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet | Choreographer Jessica Lang works with Angelica Generosa and James Yoichi Moore. | Photo by Lindsay Thomas

In March 2020, Pacific Northwest Ballet asked choreo geniuses Alejandro Cerrudo, Jessica Lang, and Penny Saunders to do the unthinkable: encourage people to stay home. Through performances melding Alice in Wonderland vibes, big feelings, and the rigors of classical dance, they gave ballet aficionados an audiovisual vacation from a stagnant lockdown routine.

Flash-forward to 2023: Lockdowns are over. Live art is back, and so is PNB’s pandemic-era dance dream team on the stage. 2020 made us feel small, but Boundless does the opposite, bringing verve, innovation, and a sense of play to the no-longer-empty theater. Cerrudo’s taken big swings in the past with Little mortal jump, melding playful circus-like staging with casually awe-inspiring moves, and One Thousand Pieces, the slipperiest ballet you’ll ever see. For Boundless, he’ll bring us a world premiere. So will the effervescent Lang, whose 2020 Ghost Variations captured the somber moments of the early pandemic through PNB dancers’ robust, structural movements and an undercurrent of emotion that was maybe a little too relatable.

Originally devised in 2020 as a celebration of performance and “the shared experience so many of us [were] profoundly missing at the moment” as venues shuttered, Saunders’ sparkly trip down the rabbit hole will take on new power and poignance without the mediation of screens. It’s a big, beautiful, self-referential spectacle that turned something ugly and frightening into something magic, the perfect complement to the mystery box of two world premieres. Those tutus and Balanchine tributes your grandma swoons over have their time and place, but this isn’t it.

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Pacific Northwest Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet celebrates 50 years of ballet excellence with thrilling dance performances at McCaw Hall; inspiring community education partnerships; and dance training for students ages four to adult at PNB school locations in Seattle and Bellevue.