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Pacific Northwest Ballet - more dancers leaving


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#1 sandik

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 04:27 PM

It's the traditional contract time, and the company has announced several changes for the 08-09 season.

Probably the biggest one is that Noelani Pactastico will be leaving for the Monte Carlo company. She's been with PNB for about 10 years, and feels that if she's going to make a change, she should do it while she still has a significant amount of career time left.

Three dancers are leaving the corps:

Rebecca Johnston (at PNB since 98) completed a college degree through PNB’s Second Stage program and is thinking of grad school. Brittany Reid is retiring, and Kara Zimmerman is going to Cincinnati Ballet as a soloist.

On the hiring side of things, William Lin-Yee will be joining the corps. He was with City Ballet 2005-07, and is originally from the Bay Area. The company is also bringing on several apprentices, including Sean Rollofson, who was a bug in their film of Midsummer Night's Dream...

#2 carbro

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 07:01 PM

I'm counting on BT's Seattle contingent to keep us posted on Will Lin-Yee's progress. New York's loss is Seattle's considerable gain.

#3 Helene

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 07:36 PM

It's a good thing that there isn't a weeping icon, with Pantastico and three of my favorite corps members leaving...

#4 sandik

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 10:58 PM

I'm sad as well -- it's been a blast to watch Pantastico's career develop, and I will miss the next stages.

#5 SandyMcKean

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:09 AM

It's a good thing that there isn't a weeping icon....

I don't need the icon, I did weep (my wife was amazed that there could actually be tears welling up in my eyes as I told her about Neolani's departure). There is only one other PNB dancer whose leaving could affect me so personally. Neolani Pantasico has been my ideal "princess" dancer. No one else in the company can capture like Neolani the sweetness, femininity, grace, and youth demanded in certain roles -- her portrayal of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Juliette in the recent R&J (Malliot) spring immediately to mind.

Part of ballet for me is the magical world of pristine perfection and other-worldliness that only this art form can deliver on such a powerful emotional level. Tears are coming again as I think back on the utter perfection of Neolani's Juliette. I remember an audience member (a somewhat older man, clearly well educated in the arts) in a Q&A session after one of the R&J performances stated that he had seen many performances of R&J, particularly Shakespeare on stage, but had never truly felt the emotions we associate with the tragedy of this young, innocent woman until that night. I suspect he is as grateful for Neolani's talent to create such iconic characters as I, a ballet fanatic, am.

It's a tribute to Neolani that the stagers Malliot sent from Monte Carlo to teach R&J to PNB (and perhaps Malliot himself when he flew out to see PNB's stellar rendition of his piece) saw/felt her talent and wanted her for themselves. More power to you Monte Carlo.....you chose well.

#6 bart

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:14 AM

It's always sad when the local company loses or has to give up a beloved dancer (or dancers). Good luck to each of these performers.

Re: Pantastico's new opportunities. According to the Ballets de Monte Carlo website, they are dancing in San Francisco as we speak.

When I saw their version of Sleeping Beauty last summer ("Belle") they seemed to have 2 senior ballerinas, Bernice Coppieters and Paola Cantalupo, who are remarkably effective and expressive performers with more than adequate ballet technique for this choreography.

The 2 companies are roughly equal in size. Although PNB has a much more varied and challenging repertoire, Ballets de Monte-Carlo tours widely, spends lots of time at their home base on the French Riviera, and has a season or two each year in Paris. Not bad! :smilie_mondieu:

#7 Chocomel

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:52 AM

In a Q & A session Peter Boal said he was able to talk Brittany Reid out of retiring.

Also, in my 8 Encores e-mail this morning, there are 2 other dancers who are leaving. I don't know if they are retiring or moving on.

Your very last chance to see departing principal dancers Noelani Pantastico and Casey Herd and corps de ballet dancers Rebecca Johnston, Kara Zimmerman, Alison Basford and Adrienne Diaz on stage with PNB!

#8 Helene

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:08 PM

Yay for Boal! That's great news about Brittany Reid.

Diaz just joined the company in 2006. I didn't know that she and Basford were leaving, but I was thinking the other day that I haven't seen much of Basford lately.

#9 ballet1612

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:55 PM

Has there been any offical word as to where Allison Basford is going?

#10 tutu

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 12:01 AM

I was thinking the other day that I haven't seen much of Basford lately.


Alison Basford has been dealing with major injuries for the past two years. She discussed this in an interview on the PNB Unleashed Website. (PNB Unleashed Interview with Alison Basford)

#11 sandik

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:46 PM

I was thinking the other day that I haven't seen much of Basford lately.


Alison Basford has been dealing with major injuries for the past two years. She discussed this in an interview on the PNB Unleashed Website. (PNB Unleashed Interview with Alison Basford)



Oh thanks! I'd missed that one.

#12 bean

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 11:39 AM

Alison Basford will be joining Boston Ballet next season. It was announced at the staff/donor party following the Eight Encores performance this past Sunday.

#13 Helene

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 11:51 AM

Congratulations to her! We want to hear reports about her from Boston Balletgoers :clapping:

From her PNB Unleashed profile, it sounded like she's recovered from her injuries, and I'm very glad she's going to continue her career.

#14 tutu

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:18 PM

On the hiring side of things... The company is also bringing on several apprentices...


According to this post on the Ballet Talk for Dancers forum, among the new apprentices will be Kyle Davis, one of the winners at Prix de Lausanne 2008.

#15 Helene

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 10:36 PM

From "Director's Notebook" (p.3) in the Director's Choice issue of "Encore":

"At the end of every season we must bid farewell to a few dancers. We applaud them for so many treasured performances and wish them well on the next chapter in their lives. I spent more years proudly sharing the stage with Miranda Weese than watching her on ours. She is one of the most musical dancers I have ever seen, with an innate sense of what each note requires. She has given spectacular performances on both coasts and we wish her only the best for the future.

"It is with sadness that I offer my support to Jodie Thomas' decision to move to Copenhagen to dance for the Royal Danish Ballet. Watching Jodie blossom as a dancer over the past four years has been rewarding for all. I will not forget her star turns in Rubies, Carousel, and countless other roles. Watching her poignant portrayal of the Nurse in Romeo et Juliette was to see the artist born. We wish that artist more great heights in the next phase of a wonderful career.

"My final words are for Louise Nadeau, who pulled out all the stops in a Swan Lake after a season that did not deserve injuries. We will savor her performances in this program. She has consistently elevated this company for nineteen years with her artistry and talent. We will miss her on the stage and thank her for so many vivid beautiful memories."


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