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Maurice Sendak, RIP

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More than a fan, Maurice Sendak designed the current Pacific Northwest Ballet production of "The Nutcracker", considered the company's classic production. (It was filmed in the mid-80's, but only the staged version does his designs justice.

Rest in peace, Mr. Sendak.

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The Sendak designs for the PNB Nutcracker are stunning -- the production was made in 1983, and I still find new details when I see them.

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Though he played no direct part in the production, Sendak got credited in the Atlanta Ballet's recent run of Twyla Tharp's The Princess and the Goblin.

a slip in the program read as follows:

"This ballet is dedicated to Maurice Sendak and gratefully acknowledges his work INSIDE OUTSIDE OVER THERE.

--Twyla Tharp"

p.s. a survey of designers who worked w/ ABT during the first 50 years, compiled in 1990, which includes the Baryshnikov era, has no mention of Sendak. few know better the way the memory can play tricks over the years, but in this case the sense that Sendak worked with ABT seems to be a non-starter. Edward Gorey designed MURDER for a David Gordon production in the Baryshnikov years, but that may be neither here nor there.

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Such a wonderful artist. RIP, indeed.

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Peter Boal's statement was released by "Seattle Times" today:

We at Pacific Northwest Ballet are saddened by the news of Maurice Sendak's passing. Each of us has a deep connection to Maurice through treasured tales that were read to us as children. In turn, I loved revisiting favorite stories with my children as they will with their children. His books are part of us and part of a family tradition. At the ballet we have another Sendak tradition equally dear to us: Each winter when we step into the wondrous storybook world of Kent Stowell and Maurice Sendak's Nutcracker. Mischievous mice, an exotic peacock, the Pasha's seraglio and even a curious monster from Where the Wild Things Are create a blissful return to childhood. Many at PNB remember working side by side with Maurice while he discovered the world of ballet and we discovered the alchemy of magic and wonder. We will proudly dedicate this year's Nutcracker to Maurice Sendak, an artist who taught us to dream in color.

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Indeed, RG, I was thinking of ABT's Murder, which was designed by Gorey. Thanks for the correction. Sendak collaborated with Washington Ballet's AD, Septime Webre, on a children's ballet version of Where the Wild Things Are (originally produced by Webre/Sendak for the Atlanta Olympics in '96):

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