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PNB New Dancers: Korbes to be Soloist +Now a Principal Dancer, with Casey Herd


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#31 Helene

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 10:07 PM

I thought it was a bit odd that Boal actually never said their names -- he said they were being promoted, and that they were the next performers, but he never said their names. I doubt it was intentional, but it made the whole thing seem very hush-hush!

The closest Boal got was when describing how he discovered her in Brazil, he referred to her as "Carlita."

#32 drb

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 08:20 AM

... he referred to her as "Carlita."

But that is closer than naming by name, it is endearing :clapping: .
Congratulations to PNB for promoting Carla. Congratulations to Seattle: this is somewhat akin to the Seahawks beating the Jets and the Giants in a football double-header! We sulking NYers know something of the wonders of Carla; could you please tell us something about Mr. Herd? The East-o-centric demographics of BT shouldn't deprive him of his due on such an important day.
Helene, in an earlier post you mentioned that there might be two promotions to Principal and one to Goddess. Any word on the latter? That is the only rank above Assoluta, and there's been only one in the history of ballet.

#33 Helene

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 08:55 AM

Congratulations to Seattle: this is somewhat akin to the Seahawks beating the Jets and the Giants in a football double-header!

I think it's more like the Yankees getting Babe Ruth in a trade from Boston.

Alas, Mr. Boal and PNB don't agree with the rank of Goddess, or Körbes would have been one, leaving room for two other promotions to Principal. But in a way I'm glad that Herd was recognized, if not alone, with one of the most beautiful dancers I've ever seen, and as the only dancer who came up the ranks the way he has.

Casey Heard is a tall, dark, and handsome dancer of quite extraordinary range, particularly given his height. Cast as the cavalier early on, his partnering has become richer and more ardent over the years -- in a very intensely physicalized way, not through lots of facial emoting or "acting" -- leading to two knock-out/grand slam/quad lutz interpretations last season in two polar opposite roles: partnering Kari Brunson in Susan Marshall's Kiss and Körbes in Emeralds. If he's ever been intimidated by a partner, I've never seen him show it, and there were a number of terrific and experienced partners at PNB as he was coming up the ranks and to whom he was compared.

Often the most convincing partners look a bit lost in the more virtuoso variations, particularly the tall men with long legs, but Herd is terrific in those parts as well, showing an agility that belies his height. He didn't get a chance to show us that side last night, since he and Körbes danced the White Swan Pas de Deux only. I think the breakthrough in this respect was when Russell cast him in 4th Movement of Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. He danced with Carrie Imler, and keeping up with her is no easy feat. But I think that role is key to one he will dance for the first time (at least with the Company) on Thursday's regular season opening: the Rhumba sailor in Fancy Free. He's in the cast with mega-wattage -- Jonathan Porretta and guest Rasta Thomas -- and I think this is telling.

#34 sandik

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 11:45 AM

Interesting that your view of Herd is grounded in his work as a partner -- my first distinct memories of him are in solo bits, where his physicality gave him an extra push that made him stand out. (a moment in Kent Stowell's Silver Linings -- I can't remember the name of the song but it's a male romp where Herd gave just that much more to the high points of his part. Anatomically it's about quickness and power, which translates in more colloquial terms to something like a punch, a bit like a flashbulb going off.) He's certainly got skills as a partner, and he seems to be developing a rapport with Korbes that I look forward to seeing this season, but the "picture" in my head is still an individual one.

#35 Helene

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 01:16 PM

It's probably because tall corps men who can partner get cast in Principal roles faster and get more exposure that way. It looks like the same is happening for Karel Cruz.

#36 SandyMcKean

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 03:35 PM

I remember some years ago at a post performance Q&A session where Francia and Casey Herd happened to be the speakers. At one point there was a slightly stiff interaction btwn them (if I remember right) where Francia spoke about Casey while he was present. She said something like: "Casey, you have a marvelous future. You could be one of the top dancers in the company, if you decide you want that." It was clear to me that she was encouraging him to stick with it, and I surmised that he was going thru a period of doubt.

Clearly Francia had her usual good eye for talent. He's certainly become an inspiring dancer for me. I like his confident "guy's guy" presence (yes, I'm a guy). His performance in Kiss last year is still very much with me. (And BTW, I too think of him in "solo bits"......must be a Sandy-thing :clapping:)

P.S. I can also remember years ago that, to my eye, Casey often looked awkward and somewhat "clunky". I always loved his power, but he somehow lacked grace I thought. That awkwardness is sure gone now.......you betcha!

#37 sandik

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 05:16 PM

Clearly Francia had her usual good eye for talent. He's certainly become an inspiring dancer for me. I like his confident "guy's guy" presence (yes, I'm a guy). His performance in Kiss last year is still very much with me. (And BTW, I too think of him in "solo bits"......must be a Sandy-thing :clapping:)

P.S. I can also remember years ago that, to my eye, Casey often looked awkward and somewhat "clunky". I always loved his power, but he somehow lacked grace I thought. That awkwardness is sure gone now.......you betcha!


It's so interesting to watch dancers become confident on stage -- willing to stand there and, in effect, say "look at me." It's particularly fascinating to see that in the the transition between corps and solo roles. I do remember some awkwardness at first -- like many people, I think he was trying to rely on his technique to see him through the performative stuff, but he's made such strides since that time.

#38 doug

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 07:43 PM

Here is today's press release from PNB:

CARLA KÖRBES AND CASEY HERD PROMOTED TO PRINCIPAL DANCERS

SEATTLE — Carla Körbes and Casey Herd have been promoted from Soloists to Principal Dancers with Pacific
Northwest Ballet, it was announced at last evening’s 2006 Opening Gala by Artistic Director Peter Boal. Mr. Boal’s announcement was immediately followed by Ms. Körbes’ and Mr. Herd’s first appearance as Principal Dancers, in a performance of the White Swan pas de deux from Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake.

Mr. Boal comments about Ms. Körbes: “Eleven years ago I met a 14 year-old ballet student in Porto Alegre, Brazil. She spoke only Portuguese. Through an interpreter I told her and her parents that I thought she possessed exquisite gifts as a dancer and as an artist. I asked her family to consider allowing “Carlita” to move to the U.S. to study at New York’s School of American Ballet. It has been a pleasure to watch Carla’s technique and presence blossom over a decade.”

He added, “The past year has been particularly rewarding for all of us at PNB as we have watched Carla triumph in role after role. We are all proud to promote her to the rank of Principal and look forward to a long future with our newest ballerina.”

Mr. Boal comments about Mr. Herd: “Over the past two years I have had the pleasure of encountering so many gifted and accomplished dancers at PNB. I have watched Casey Herd emerge as one of our strongest leading men. His range has always impressed – from the cocky swagger of his sailor in Jerome Robbin’s Fancy Free to the quiet and complete adoration he gives to his partner in Kent Stowell’s Swan Lake. His combination of classical line, soaring jumps, gallant partnering, and powerful acting have earned him this well-deserved promotion to the rank of Principal.”

Carla Körbes was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and began her ballet training at age five with local teachers. At age eleven, she began studying at Ballet Vera Bublitz. In 1996, Peter Boal danced with her as a guest artist of the school and encouraged her to come to New York to study at the School of American Ballet. For academic year 1997–1998, her tuition was paid by Alexandra Danilova so that she could continue studying at the School of American Ballet. In 1999, she was the Mae. L. Wien Award recipient and was made an apprentice with New York City Ballet. She joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000 and was the Janice Levin Dancer Honoree for 2001–2002. She was promoted to soloist in 2005 and later that year joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a Soloist.

Since joining Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ms. Körbes has danced leading roles in George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, Diamonds, Emeralds, La Valse, and Symphony in Three Movements; Val Caniparoli's The Bridge; Ulysses Dove's Red Angels; Nacho Duato's Jardí Tancat; William Forsythe's Artifact II; Ronald Hynd's The Sleeping Beauty (Lilac Fairy, Gold and Silver pas de trois); Jerome Robbins' In the Night; Kent Stowell's Hail to the Conquering Hero and Nutcracker (Clara, Flora, Peacock); Richard Tanner's Ancient Airs and Dances; and Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs; and most recently, in Sonia Dawnkins’ Ripple Mechanics at PNB performances at Jacob’s Pillow in August 2006 and Seattle’s Bumbershoot Arts Festival in September 2006. At New York City Ballet, Ms. Körbes danced leading and featured roles in Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15, Episodes, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania, Helena), and Serenade; Peter Martins' Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Sinfonia, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake; and Robbins' Antique Epigraphs, Fanfare, The Four Seasons, I'm Old Fashioned, and Interplay. She originated leading roles in Albert Evans' Haiku, Martins' Chichester Psalms, Susan Stroman's Double Feature, Richard Tanner's Soiree, and Christopher Wheeldon's An American in Paris and Shambards.

In 2002, Ms. Körbes performed Richard Tanner's Ancient Airs and Dances for the nationally televised PBS Live from Lincoln Center broadcast, "New York City Ballet's Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography."

In addition to her performances with New York City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ms. Körbes has
performed with Peter Boal and Company. Casey Herd is from Salt Lake City, Utah. He trained at the Ballet West Academy and Kirov Academy and attended summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet School in 1993 and 1994. He was a finalist in the 1996 Paris International Ballet Competition. In 1997, he joined American Ballet Theatre, and in 1999, he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to Soloist in 2002.

Casey Herd is from Salt Lake City, Utah. He trained at the Ballet West Academy and Kirov attended summer courses at Pacific Northwest Ballet School in 1993 and 1994. He was a finalist International Ballet Competition. In 1997, he joined American Ballet Theatre, and in 1999, he Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to Soloist in 2002.

Mr. Herd has performed leading roles in George Balanchine's Agon, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Concerto Barocco, Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania's Cavalier, Theseus), Symphony in C, Symphony in Three Movements, Theme and Variations, and Western Symphony; Todd Bolender's Souvenirs; Donald Byrd's Subtext Rage; Val Caniparoli's The Bridge, Lambarena, and Torque; Nacho Duato's Jardí Tancat; William Forsythe's Artifact II and In the middle, somewhat elevated; Paul Gibson's The Piano Dance; Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow (Count Danilo) and The Sleeping Beauty; Susan Marshall's Kiss; Kirk Peterson's Amazed in Burning Dreams; Marius Petipa's Le Corsaire Pas de Trois, Don Quixote, and Paquita; Christopher Stowell's Zaïs; Kent Stowell's Carmen, Carmina Burana, Delicate Balance, Dumbarton Oaks, Pas de Deux Campagnolo, Quaternary, Silver Lining, Swan Lake, and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (Romeo); Richard Tanner's Ancient Airs and Dances; Lynne Taylor- Corbett's Mercury and The Quilt; Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs; and Glen Tetley's Voluntaries and The Rite of Spring. He originated a featured role in Nicolo Fonte's Almost Tango.


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