The intimate Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Cultural Campus provides an ideal setting for Philadelphia Ballet’s impressive new production, Forward Motion, three world premieres by rightly acclaimed contemporary choreographers.
The first dance on the program, PS, by Brazilian Juliano Nunes, resident choreographer at the company, begins with a large ensemble in statuesque pose against a green back drop (lighting design by Nick Kolin) and continues in a series of equally atmospheric images. Among the pas de deux and a striking three-male dance (Jack Thomas, Zecheng Liang, and Arian Molina Soca), the poise of principal dancer Dayesi Torriente is especially compelling.
ENdure, by Hope Boykin, to music by Bill Laurance, sees eight dancers in loose red clothing communicate struggle and perseverance in unified and small group movements. Boykin, an alumna of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Philadanco, seamlessly joins classical and modern movements
The highlight of the program comes in the final piece, Circumstellars, with the duets between Mayara Pineiro and Sterling Baca and the sequence of daring lifts of Pineiro and other dancers. With choreography by Andonis Foniadakis to the driving music by Julien Tarride and dramatic fog-laden lighting by Sakis Birbilis, it’s a display of high technical ability, grace, and athleticism, and an excellent showcase for the skills of the Philadelphia Ballet.
[Philadelphia Ballet at Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad St] February 3-11, 2023; philadelphiaballet.org