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Peter Boal "leading candidate" for AD position


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:48 AM

The company press release:

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET CONFIRMS LEAD CANDIDATE
IN SEARCH FOR NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

SEATTLE, WA —Pacific Northwest Ballet trustee and Chair of the Search Committee, Carl Behnke, confirmed today that Peter Boal has been selected as the lead candidate in the search for PNB’s new Artistic Director. Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, artistic directors of PNB and the PNB School since 1977, will retire at the end of the 2004-2005 season. Their replacement is expected to be announced by January 1, 2005.

Selected from a group of nearly 50 initial applicants which was subsequently narrowed down to five semi-finalists, Mr. Boal, age 39, was selected as the lead candidate for this final phase of the selection process after extensive interviews and a two-day visit to PNB which included work in the studio with PNB’s Company. Mr. Boal received high marks during this process, which was established by PNB’s Artistic Director Search Committee. The Search Committee is comprised of PNB leadership Trustees, and is assisted by two advisory panels. Members of the panels include dancers, musicians, administrative staff, trustees and community leaders.

After nearly two years of planning and meetings, the search committee identified several hallmark attributes that define PNB and which would, ideally, be reflected in and compatible with the skills and experience of its new artistic leader. These attributes include a creative and imaginative individual able to challenge and inspire PNB artistically, a deep commitment to dance education and ensuring the strong positive symbiotic relationship between the company and its school, and an individual who has varied experience in performance and choreography as well as demonstrated ability to direct a ballet company.

“Peter’s connection with the Balanchine tradition, his noted career as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, and his strong commitment to dance education made it possible for all participants in this broadly inclusive search process to arrive at the consensus of Peter as our lead candidate,” said Behnke. “We were also impressed with his quiet confidence, his obvious integrity and his ability to articulate a clear artistic vision. We’re looking forward to talking with him further about joining us in Seattle.”

Mr. Boal is highly respected in the dance world. Tobi Tobias of The Village Voice describes Mr. Boal as “a paragon of classicism. Both his stellar dancing and his teaching of the School of American Ballet’s rising generation are lessons in purity, exactitude, and refinement.”

Mr. Boal will return to Seattle during the third week of October to engage in further discussions with PNB’s Artistic Director Search Committee, meet with PNB’s Board of Trustees, and have another opportunity to meet again with PNB’s Company of dancers. The Search Committee has not yet made a recommendation to PNB’s governing Board but expects to finalize its work by its original target date of January 1, 2005. Stated Boal: “I have great respect for Kent and Francia and their many accomplishments as well as PNB’s long tradition of presenting the works of George Balanchine. PNB’s talented Company of dancers, its internationally respected ballet school and its unique community support reinforce the many attractive attributes of this opportunity.”

About Peter Boal:

Currently a Principal with the New York City Ballet, Peter Boal became a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet in 1983 and became a Soloist four years later. In 1989 he was promoted to the rank of Principal.
Mr. Boal has been featured in numerous ballets including many of the works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins, as well as numerous others. Mr. Boal’s television appearances include Dance in America’s “Balanchine in America” performing WESTERN SYMPHONY and “The Balanchine Celebration” performing AGON, the Live From Lincoln Center broadcast of “New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography,” dancing in RED ANGELS; and the May, 2004 Live From Lincoln Center broadcast of “Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100,” dancing in DUO CONCERTANT.

In addition to touring with New York City Ballet, Mr. Boal has performed as a Principal Dancer with a number of National and International companies. In 1996, Mr. Boal was a recipient of the Dance Magazine Award, and in 2000, he received a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for his solo performance in Molissa Fenley’s STATE OF DARKNESS.

Mr. Boal, while also maintaining full-time faculty member responsibilities at the School of American Ballet, recently founded and directs "Peter Boal and Company", a group of four NYCB dancers that commission new choreography and revivals. Having premiered this past March, the group has since performed at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan, Jacob's Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts and the Biennale in Venice, Italy.

Mr. Boal is married to dancer Kelly Cass and the couple has two sons, Sebastian and Oliver, and one daughter, Sarah.


ABOUT PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET

Founded in 1972 and under the artistic guidance of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell since 1977, Pacific Northwest Ballet is one the largest and most highly regarded ballet companies in the United States. The Company of forty-six dancers presents over ninety performances each year of full-length and mixed repertory ballets at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall and on tour. The Company has toured to Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, and throughout the United States with celebrated appearances in Washington D.C. and New York City. Pacific Northwest Ballet School, under the direction of Ms. Russell, is nationally recognized as setting the standard for ballet training offering a complete professional curriculum to over 850 students. The School also provides comprehensive dance education to the greater Seattle area reaching over 10,000 adults and children each year through DanceChance, Discover Dance, Bravo!Ballet and other outreach programs and activities.

#2 GWTW

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:58 AM

This is really strange. I fully support due process and administrative transparency - and wish that many other organizations were as open as PNB - but this is just too much information IMO. PNB already released a shortlist - let us know when you actually select someone - this could just set someone up for an embarassing situation.

#3 perky

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 07:10 AM

It already sounds like a done deal. Why don't they just say so?

#4 socalgal

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 07:44 AM

Oh my.....I am in shock how this 'came out'. The article certainly sounds official with quotes from PNB officials. Isn't weird that a smaller newspaper got this story?
From a Board member maybe?????
I'll wait for an official announcement I guess....... :)

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:15 AM

A company press release is about as official as it gets. And what "smaller newspaper"?

#6 dewdrop

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:26 AM

eom

#7 socalgal

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:47 AM

Sorry folks...some reason when I went to this topic it went to Perky's post. :blink:
Forgive me Major! :innocent:

#8 Ari

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:59 AM

And what "smaller newspaper"?

Check today's Links for the story, Mel.

#9 Helene

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 09:42 AM

I wonder if we could get them to take Peter Martins instead?

Thems are fighting words! :innocent:

#10 sandik

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 10:03 AM

It may just be semantics, but the press release emphasizes that the committee has not yet made their recommendation, while the King County Journal article implies that the decision is more concrete.

I think the KCJ does have a smaller circulation than the Seattle Times or Post-Intelligencer, but it is not necessarily a lesser paper -- it is based in the suburbs surrounding Seattle. The reporter who covers dance for them, as well as other beats, was the dance critic for the Seattle Times for several years, and has good connections to members of the board and administration.

#11 Alexandra

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 10:33 AM

Just to clarify, what I posted is, as stated in the post, the company's press release. Seattle dance writers would have gotten the same press release, of course.

It is an unusual procedure -- it will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit. It would leave everyone in an awkward situation if the Board makes another decision.

#12 dirac

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 01:17 PM

I find it hard to believe that the company would issue a press release along these lines unless the decision was 99% made. That said, there are occasions when that 1% can make all the difference in the world. I hope they know what they’re doing.

#13 Watermill

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:18 PM

I don't think they'd release this unless it was 99.999%. They have probably already "polled" the board and it's a slamdunk all aound. Mr Boal must also be showing great eagerness. It bodes well.
Congratulations to PNB.
Condolences to NYCB and SAB.
We left-coasters will keep you posted.

Yippee!

Watermill

#14 Amy Reusch

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 06:10 PM

And if it happens, does this mean we will never get to see Peter Boal dance again? It seems unlikely that he would do any more performing as Artistic Director, doesn't it? I'm beginning to have mixed feelings about this...

#15 dewdrop

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 07:53 PM

eom


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