Helene

Three By Dove

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Here is the press release:

March 18 – 28, 2010

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109

March 18 – 20 at 7:30 pm

April 20 at 2:00 pm

March 25 – 27 at 7:30 pm

March 28 at 1:00 pm

SEATTLE, WA—Pacific Northwest Ballet’s March mixed-repertory program features three works by the late Ulysses Dove (1947–1996): Vespers, Red Angels, and the PNB premiere of Serious Pleasures. The program also features the return of Suspension of Disbelief by contemporary dance-fusion choreographer Victor Quijada who credits Dove among those who have inspired his work. 3 by DOVE (and 1 by Quijada) runs from March 18 to March 28 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets may be purchased by calling the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, online at www.pnb.org, or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street. PLEASE NOTE: This program is suggested for mature audiences.

PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal, who danced in the New York City Ballet premiere of Dove’s Red Angels, said “Ulysses lived in the moment, feeding off the energy of dancers and relishing the fruits of his creation. He pushed and criticized as much as he praised and applauded. He made you want to achieve greater heights and helped you realize potential you didn’t know you had. Ulysses took on classical ballet and knocked it out of the park.”

Boal continued: “Ulysses’ works are danced by many companies, but rarely gathered under one roof. His gifts as a choreographer are great enough that he deserves an opportunity to have several seen in one program. He was robbed of a long life, but his choreography deserves to live on.”

The program’s lineup will include:

Red Angels

Music: Richard Einhorn (Maxwell's Demon, 1988-1990)

Choreography: Ulysses Dove

Staging: Peter Boal

Costume Design: Holly Hynes

Lighting Design: Mark Stanley

Violin Soloist: Mary Rowell

Premiere: May 9, 1994; New York City Ballet (Diamond Project)

Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: September 17, 2005

Running time: 14 minutes

Vespers

Music: Mikel Rouse (Quorum, 1984)

Choreography: Ulysses Dove

Staging: Nasha Thomas-Schmitt

Lighting Design: William H. Grant III

Premiere: October 18, 1986; Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (Dayton, Ohio)

Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 13, 2008

Running time: 19 minutes

Suspension of Disbelief

Music: Mitchell Akiyama (2006)

Choreography: Victor Quijada

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design: Yan Lee Chan

Premiere: November 2, 2006; Pacific Northwest Ballet

Running time: 22 minutes

PNB Premiere

Serious Pleasures - The merciless battle between spirit and flesh

Music: Robert Ruggieri (1992)

Choreography: Ulysses Dove

Staging: Parrish Maynard

Scenic and Costume Design: Jorge Gallardo, supervised by Robert Perdziola

Lighting Design: William H. Grant III

Premiere: March 24, 1992; American Ballet Theatre (Chicago)

Running time: 30 minutes

Serious Pleasures, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s fourth Dove acquisition, presents an atmospheric view of contemporary urban social issues in a series of athletic solos and duets that feature Dove’s own fusion of ballet and modern dance. PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal saw ABT’s 1992 premiere of Serious Pleasures “and I found it full of signature Dove qualities. The dancers seemed unleashed with a wildness and a daring that one didn’t associate with a company considered the temple of classical ballet. The work was controversial for addressing the shadowy underworld of sexuality at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic. Parrish Maynard was the central figure in the work and turned in career-defining performances. The work was nearly lost, with the exception of a few grainy videos and Parrish’s keen memory. He has brought the work back from extinction for this revival.”

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First week's casting is posted to the PNB website:

http://www.pnb.org/Season/09-10/Dove/#Details-Casting

Vespers

Rachel Foster Chalnessa Eames Chalnessa Eames Rachel Foster

Laura Gilbreath* Brittany Reid* Brittany Reid Laura Gilbreath

Lindsi Dec Lesley Rausch Lesley Rausch Lindsi Dec

Kaori Nakamura Margaret Mullin Margaret Mullin Kaori Nakamura

Carrie Imler Ariana Lallone Ariana Lallone Carrie Imler

Kylee Kitchens Leah O'Connor Leah O'Connor Kylee Kitchens

Red Angels

Ariana Lallone Olivier Wevers ; Carla Körbes Batkhurel Bold ; Laura Gilbreath Seth Orza ; Carla Körbes Batkhurel Bold To Be Announced

Lesley Rausch Lucien Postlewaite ; Kaori Nakamura Jonathan Porretta; Carrie Imler* Jordan Pacitti; Lesley Rausch Lucien Postlewaite

Suspension of Disbelief

Leah O'Connor* Leah O'Connor Leah O'Connor Leah O'Connor

Lindsi Dec* Lindsi Dec Abby Relic* Lindsi Dec

Chalnessa Eames Chalnessa Eames Chelsea Adomaitis* Chalnessa Eames

Rachel Foster Rachel Foster Margaret Mullin* Rachel Foster

Carrie Imler* Carrie Imler Carrie Imler Carrie Imler

Barry Kerollis* Barry Kerollis Ezra Thomson* Barry Kerollis

Benjamin Griffiths Benjamin Griffiths Benjamin Griffiths Benjamin Griffiths

James Moore James Moore James Moore James Moore

Jonathan Porretta Jonathan Porretta Andrew Bartee* Jonathan Porretta

Lucien Postlewaite Lucien Postlewaite Lucien Postlewaite Lucien Postlewaite

Olivier Wevers Olivier Wevers Olivier Wevers Olivier Wevers

Serious Pleasures

Narrator Lucien Postlewaite* Lucien Postlewaite Jonathan Porretta* Jonathan Porretta

Carla Körbes* Batkhurel Bold* ; Carla Körbes Batkhurel Bold ; Sarah Ricard Orza* Seth Orza* ;Sarah Ricard Orza Seth Orza

Lindsi Dec* Karel Cruz* ; Lindsi Dec Karel Cruz ; Chalnessa Eames* Barry Kerollis* ; Chalnessa Eames Barry Kerollis

Lesley Rausch* James Moore* ; Lesley Rausch James Moore ; Kylee Kitchens* Benjamin Griffiths* ; Kylee Kitchens Benjamin Griffiths

Ariana Lallone* Jordan Pacitti* ; Ariana Lallone Jordan Pacitti ; Rachel Foster* Jerome Tisserand* ; Rachel Foster Jerome Tisserand

*First time in role.

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Helene, so you decoded that horrid drop down list facility again. You , angel, you.

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Helene, so you decoded that horrid drop down list facility again. You , angel, you.

Agreed!!!

Also, looking forward to seeing some of the more "junior" dancers—especially after reading their posts on PNB's Facebook.

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FYI: the row of chairs in which the dancers sit stage left in Vespers was behind the curtain Thursday for many in the audience on that side of the hall (gallery front, side, and upper; orchestra side seats near the aisle from row P or so back.

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This "3 by Dove + 1" program was also one of the most powerful I've seen in years.

BRAVO!! PNB.

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pirouetta27, were you also there Friday night? I ask because a member of the audience at the Q&A after Friday's performance used the same word you did in your blog "fierce" in a long and somewhat hard to hear comment. Is that a coincidence?

[Later edit.....BTW, I liked your review very much. I feel you expressed in words what I thought I saw with my eyes.]

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No, unfortunately I wasn't there on Friday night, since I had to travel out of town on Friday morning. I was grateful that, for this year at least, there are still Thursday night performances!

I wonder why Carla Korbes and Batkhurel Bold were replaced by Seth and Sarah Orza that night...injury, maybe? Especially sad not to see Carla.

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No, unfortunately I wasn't there on Friday night, since I had to travel out of town on Friday morning. I was grateful that, for this year at least, there are still Thursday night performances!

Interesting. This person at the Q&A on Friday kept using the word "fierce" over and over. This lady must have read your blog before coming :)....too much of a coincidence otherwise. (Indeed, her entire comment was strange.....I've never heard anyone go on for so long making a comment. Her hard to hear soliloquy sounded like a critic of ballet companies doing modern.....the entire room got rather uncomfortable wondering if she would ever stop. She certainly never got to a question.)

I wonder why Carla Korbes and Batkhurel Bold were replaced by Seth and Sarah Orza that night...injury, maybe? Especially sad not to see Carla.

I'm not sure what you mean. The casting list shows Carla and Batkhurel dancing both nights. They definitely danced Friday night. They danced Red Angels and Serious Pleasures on Friday, and the cast list shows that they were scheduled to dance Serious Pleasures on opening night. Are you saying that they didn't dance at all on opening night?

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No, Korbes and Bold didn't dance at all on opening night. They made an announcement shortly before Serious Pleasures that the two of them would be replaced by the Orzas.

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Well, it was unlikely to have been an injury since they danced up a storm the very next night. Illness perhaps? Hot date? :):lol:

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My understanding is that Korbes had been ill and didn't feel ready to perform on opening night, but was back in form for Friday. I was afraid that she might have been injured (there's always a sinking feeling when the PA system starts up with "ladies and gentlemen" right before a dance is supposed to start).

I was seated a little closer to the woman with the lengthy question on Friday night during the Q/A, and I think I understood the gist of her concern. She is assuming that Quijada's work is based on contact improvisation, a dance practice that puts an incredible emphasis on the egalitarian quality of partnerships, almost to the exclusion of a presentational aspect, and she felt that the dancers didn't fulfill those expectations. I think, though I do not know, that she wasn't really aware that the fusion is between ballet and breaking, which is very presentational, indeed, almost confrontational. I can certainly see how she might miss that distinction, since many of the gymnastics skills that we saw in the work are shared by both styles, but she was right in saying that if this was a contact work, it would not be an especially successful one.

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I was seated a little closer to the woman with the lengthy question on Friday night during the Q/A....

I could not hear her well; I missed much of what she said. So she did eventually ask a question then. Do you remember what her actual question was?

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I was seated a little closer to the woman with the lengthy question on Friday night during the Q/A....

I could not hear her well; I missed much of what she said. So she did eventually ask a question then. Do you remember what her actual question was?

My bad -- it wasn't so much a question as looking for agreement with her point of view. The rising inflection at the end of a sentence that is so popular now makes everything sound like a question even when it is not.

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Quijada's work is based on contact improvisation, a dance practice that puts an incredible emphasis on the egalitarian quality of partnerships.....

Thank you for this comment Sandi. Since I never heard the term "contact improvisation" before, I looked it up in Wikipedia. The definition it gave was:

"Contact improvisation (CI) is a dance technique in which points of physical contact provide the starting point for exploration through movement improvisation"

I've seen this "3 by Dove" program at PNB 3 times now. The first time I saw Quijada's "Suspension of Disbelief" I only had a mild understanding of it. Between that 1st and the 2nd viewing, I read your comment above. What a difference it made to see this work knowing this distinction of contact improvisation!! It was like turning a black and white into technicolor.....so thanks for that.

BTW, I absolutely loved this program (altho the Quijada piece was my least favorite). The Dove pieces may not be ballet in the strict sense; and the choreography may not contain the elements we normally look for in great choreography (altho perhaps it does), but regardless I thought the Dove works were some of the most powerful dramatic dance -- to make up a term -- that I have ever seen......especially the last piece "Serious Pleasures". I like all the Dove works in PNB's rep, but I find "Serious Pleasures" to be particularly moving and expressive. I am grateful that Peter Boal has rescued this work from oblivion. (Incidentally, I asked if Boal plans to do the work again in future seasons, he assured me he was planning on do just that; and interestingly, he mentioned that the piece has gotten better audience response than he had expected.)

There is much I could say about this remarkable program, but I will only take the time to mention one: Lucien Postlewaite as the Narrator in "Serious Pleasures" was perhaps the single most amazing display of what's possible in dance that I have ever seen. He not only creates character and motivation for his every move, and for the very reason of each moment, but as many dancers can do, he commands the stage.....but what few dancers can do, and what Lucien seems to do in everything he does, and particualrly in this role, is command the entire theater, and perhaps command the space within 6 blocks of the theater in every direction. He doesn't just dance, he IS.

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My belated review, which I will post on sections, as my new laptop keeps "accidentally" deleting my half-written posts......I think due to a hyper sensitive touch board, that I am still getting used to...

I saw the March 28 matinee (last performance)

Vespers

Loved it, Carrie Imler and Kaori Nakamura were the lead dancers. Everyone threw themselves into the choreography. I did long to see Alvin Ailey's troupe perform it. Fortunately YouTube.

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Red Angels

By far my favorite, it was dance boiled down to the purely visceral experience. I was fortunate to see Kiyon Gaines debut in the 1st lead, and had an amazing performance. I think he has a charisma that cannot be coached, it is simply a gift from above. Andrew Bartee took the role Peter Boal originated. He was wobbly the famous balance arabesque, but worse for me, he maintained a half-grin throughout. I don't know if that is simply his expression when executing strenuous moves, or if he was trying not to laugh at an off-stage dancer. I understand from PNB dancers that they try to maintain some levity off stage to deal with the pressure. It was distracting.

The women were both technically great, and maintained the super serious demeanor required for the piece. Lindsi Dec is having a break out year. She is the quintessential Balanchine dancer -- slim, tall, hyper flexible, beautiful face, and she performed in all 4 pieces. Rachel Foster was strong, but I don't remember specifics about her performance (it's been 7 days).

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Suspension of Disbelief

Meh. I didn't dislike it, but I wouldn't see it a 3rd time (I saw it in 2006 as well). It just looked unfinished to me, like an attempt at Jerome Robbins fight scenes 2.0 for the 21st century. The set reveals to the barebones stage was interesting, but also distracting from the dance itself.

Serious Pleasures

The doors reminded me of Amsterdam or Frankfurt's Red Light Districts (yes, I've walked through both, but during the daytime, and no, I didn't buy anything). I enjoyed this and would see it again. It seemed like a much longer dance than the others. Jonathan Poretta was the and he was great in a very athletically demanding role. Although one could say that of any Ulysses Dove creation. But. this one had more hairography. Wish I could have seen ABT perform the original. BTW the sexual warnings were overblown, the sexual content was far more subtle than the R+J performed last autumn.

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I attended the post performance Q&A. Lindsi Dec and Kiyon Gaines were the featured dancers. Both are well spoken, friendly, and full of good humor. They mentioned that Victor Quijada made them mix tapes to play on ipods to get into the mood of break dancing, and how they had to reset their postures lower than traditional ballet requires. They also noted at the first few performances they weren't sure what to do with themselves when all the scenery is taken away, revealing the full stage. What was the proper etiquette? ok to drink water? stretch? move around to keep your body warm? But Kiyon said by the end, they were fully relaxed off stage, scratching the itches, adjusting costumes, etc.

Most of the discussion was about Serious Pleasures. Peter said they had 2 videotapes to work from, one was a grainy back of orchestra level filming, where he couldn't really see if foot placement was in front or back. The second was a hand held audience member, a friend of an ABT dancer. But he feared the ushers would catch him, so there were some good shots of the performance, followed by the camera showing his shoes, then back on stage, then the shoes....

Kiyon said the stage set was only ready 3 days before the first performance. They had a 1 door mock up to work with in studio, but not the full stage. Behind each door a red and green light is rigged, so the dancers know when to come onto stage. But Kiyon noted there were a few miscues during the first weekend. Dancers entering / exiting the wrong doors! Whispers of "you're in my door!" and then internally freaking out to find the right door.

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At the start of Q&A Peter introduced the dancers and their biographies. I had previously noted to my seat mate at intermission that Kiyon has been a corps member for 9+ years, yet gets solo parts, yet isn't classified as a soloist. So many other dancers have been promoted, but why not him?

So....at the end of Q&A, I raised my hand and Peter called on me. I sad I had a 2 part question. First - has the Dove family ever come to see performances of his work at PNB? Peter nodded yes. Second - I am putting Peter on the spot here, I think Kiyon is an amazing dancer, and (with emphasis) when are you going to promote him???

The audience laughed and clapped loudly in agreement. Peter chuckled and said dancers' agents will be banned from future Q&A sessions. But that I should go ahead and hold my breath, because he agreed that Kiyon is fantastic, and that then made a few more cryptic remarks about wait and see.

I'm pretty proud of myself for asking as an audience member, I have nothing to lose. What is Peter going to do? Yank my season tickets?

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I was seated a little closer to the woman with the lengthy question on Friday night during the Q/A....

I could not hear her well; I missed much of what she said. So she did eventually ask a question then. Do you remember what her actual question was?

My bad -- it wasn't so much a question as looking for agreement with her point of view. The rising inflection at the end of a sentence that is so popular now makes everything sound like a question even when it is not.

At the Q&A I attended, there were many lengthy statements, without any real questions. I wished we were in court, so I could rise up and say "Objection, your honor. Is there a question for the witness, or has opposing counsel moved on to closing arguments?"

someone needs to emphasize Brevity and actual questions at the start of these Q&A's.

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At the Q&A I attended, there were many lengthy statements, without any real questions. I wished we were in court, so I could rise up and say "Objection, your honor. Is there a question for the witness, or has opposing counsel moved on to closing arguments?" Someone needs to emphasize Brevity and actual questions at the start of these Q&A's.

I don't mind the statements per se, so much as I do the repetition. One or tow heartfelt "I thought your performance was really terrific" is fine -- the fifth or sixth reiteration can be a bit much.

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