Helene

Sleeping Beauty, Jan 31-Feb 2 and Feb 6-Feb 9

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The first production after the "Nutcracker" is Ronald Hynd's after Petipa production of "Sleeping Beauty," and it opens on Friday, 31 January.

Three notes: all matinee performances begin at 1pm. There are two additional matinee performances, first weekend Sunday (2 February) and second weekend Saturday (8 February). There will be a total of nine performances.

There will be no post-performance Q&A's, but Doug Fullington's will present 30-minute pre-performance lectures starting one hour before curtain.

So far, the only casting confirmation we have is that Rachel Foster will dance Aurora: in a post-performance Q&A from the Kylian + Pite program, Foster noted that she had not danced in pointe shoes for two months -- her roles in "Emergence" were the only female parts danced in ballet slippers -- and he jokingly wished her good luck with Aurora.

In the full-length version current dancers who've performed Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund are:

  • Carrie Imler and Batkhurel Bold: 2001, 2006, 2010
  • Kaori Nakamura: 2001 and 2006 (with Olivier Wevers), 2010 (with Lucien Postlewaite)
  • Carla Korbes and Karel Cruz: 2010
  • Lesley Rausch and Bold
  • (Added, see Sandy McKean's post below)
In "Aurora's Wedding" performed in the November 2011 "Love Stories" program, we saw:
  • Maria Chapman and Seth Orza
  • Sarah Ricard Orza and Cruz
  • Lesley Rausch and Bold
From Carla Korbes' description of her injury and rehab in the Ballet Initiative podcasts (parts one and two, which I don't see linked), it doesn't sound like she will be ready for Aurora, since rehearsals are in progress, but perhaps a slow start will result in a quicker later stage of recovery. She, Imler, Ricard Orza, and Laura Gilbreath have danced Lilac Fairy.

Here's the trailer: Korbes is Aurora, Cruz is Florimund, and Imler is Lilac Fairy.

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From Carla Korbes' description of her injury and rehab in the Ballet Initiative podcasts (parts one and two, which I don't see linked)...

Note: users will need to click the "Older" navigation link at the bottom of the pages to see previous pages in the archive. The 2nd part of the Korbes interview is back one page.

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So far, the only casting confirmation we have is that Rachel Foster will dance Aurora......

YEA!! I greatly hope that this happens. As I've opined before, Rachel has always been a superlative dancer in the more contemporary ballets, but in recent years her classical skills have also rocketed upward. Aurora will be the ultimate test of her ability to excel in both worlds.

Brava Rachel.

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Related events for "Sleeping Beauty" listed on the PNB website are:

Coaching The Sleeping Beauty Studio Presentation

Thursday, January 16, 2014, 5:30–7:00 pm, The Phelps Center, Studio C.

The role of Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty is one of ballet’s most challenging and rewarding. From the Rose Adagio to the Vision scene to the Wedding pas de deux, the ballerina must portray nobility coming of age within the language of the danse d’ecole. Artistic Director Peter Boal works with PNB’s Auroras in this studio coaching session of the celebrated ballet.

Listen to the Ballet

PNB partners with 98.1 Classical KING FM to bring listeners some of history’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in to KING FM for a live broadcast of Tchaikovsky’s beautifully scored The Sleeping Beauty on Saturday, February 8 at 7:30 pm. Only on 98.1 fm or online at www.king.org/listen.

Friday Previews

Friday, January 24, 2014, 6:00–7:00 pm, The Phelps Center

PNB’s popular Friday Previews are hour-long studio rehearsals hosted by Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB artistic staff, featuring Company dancers in excerpts from upcoming ballets. More Information

Ballet Previews—Free

Lunchtime Preview Lecture: Seattle Public Library

Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 12:00–1:00 pm

Join PNB for a free lunchtime preview lecture at the Central Seattle Public Library. Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington will offer insights about The Sleeping Beauty, complete with video excerpts. More Information

Lecture Series & Dress Rehearsal

Dress Reharsal:

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Lecture 6:00–6:45 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, McCaw Hall
Dress Rehearsal 7:00–9:30 pm, McCaw Hall
Join us for an engaging interview during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for the dress rehearsal. More Information

Note: users will need to click the "Older" navigation link at the bottom of the pages to see previous pages in the archive. The 2nd part of the Korbes interview is back one page.

Oops, I must have clicked "Older" twice accidentally.

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I'm so sorry to hear that they're skipping the post-show Q/A for this rep -- I would love to hear from the dancers about their experiences with a heritage classical ballet.

I have my fingers crossed for Imler as the Lilac Fairy. She's done a spectacular job with this role in the past, and I would love to see it again.

And I'm wondering who might be cast as Carabosse -- it's a role with real possibilities for a character performer!

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Particularly after the Tharp and Kylian/Pite programs. They do need to rest up, though, with the extra shows.

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In the full-length version current dancers who've performed Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund are:

  • Carrie Imler and Batkhurel Bold: 2001, 2006, 2010
  • Kaori Nakamura: 2001 and 2006 (with Olivier Wevers), 2010 (with Lucien Postlewaite)
  • Carla Korbes and Karel Cruz: 2010

Leslie Rausch has also danced a full-length Aurora. She debuted on 2/14/10 with Bold as the Prince. As is often the case at PNB, new Auroras debut at the last Sunday Matinee. Such was the case with Leslie.

I remember that performance distinctly since I have been a huge fan of Leslie's since days when she was at the back of the corps. I have followed her rapid career eagerly every step of the way; and obviously her first Aurora was a major milestone (as it is for any ballerina).

I have only once gone to a stage door to congratulate a performer after a performance......and that one time was to congratulate Leslie on that Sunday afternoon of 2/14/10.

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I'm glad you remembered that, Sandy! I thought she made her debut in a school performance. (I'm not sure if the school performances count as debuts: I think they're abridged versions.)

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And I'm wondering who might be cast as Carabosse -- it's a role with real possibilities for a character performer!

I would assume Poretta who has done this role so well in the past. My guess for a new Carabosse would be William Lin-Yee or Kiyon Gains. Someone who would be a kick to see would be Andrew Bartee.....he's so creative. Ezra Thomson would give it pizzazz for sure.

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Timothy Lynch and Olivier Wevers were the last Carabosse's I saw. I saw Paul Gibson in 2001. Lynch is PNBS faculty, but Wevers is deep in Whim W'him's new program, "Instantly Bound," which runs 17-19 January, which is not practical.

I have only once gone to a stage door to congratulate a performer after a performance......and that one time was to congratulate Leslie on that Sunday afternoon of 2/14/10.

I was trying to figure out how on Earth I would have missed that, and I realized that the date was during the Olympics, and the performances I was watching were in the speed skating oval in Richmond, BC.

Hopefully this season I'll see her reprise. I hope Chapman gets to do the full length, too. She was radiance personified in "Aurora's Wedding."

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I have only once gone to a stage door to congratulate a performer after a performance......and that one time was to congratulate Leslie on that Sunday afternoon of 2/14/10.

I remember thinking it was very sweet that she made her debut on Valentine's Day

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And I'm wondering who might be cast as Carabosse -- it's a role with real possibilities for a character performer!

I would assume Poretta who has done this role so well in the past. My guess for a new Carabosse would be William Lin-Yee or Kiyon Gains. Someone who would be a kick to see would be Andrew Bartee.....he's so creative. Ezra Thomson would give it pizzazz for sure.

All very interesting possibilities -- something to mull over while we wait for casting!

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I wonder if that part "requires" a shorter man? If so, then William Lin-Yee and Andrew Bartee would be out.

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Wevers is not a shorter man, and he owned the role for years. If Gilbreath is Lilac -- and I hope Dec gets it this year, too -- a tall Carabosse would be great.

I'm hoping for Josh Grant, too.

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Wevers is not a shorter man, and he owned the role for years. If Gilbreath is Lilac -- and I hope Dec gets it this year, too -- a tall Carabosse would be great.

I'm hoping for Josh Grant, too.

Oh, now that's an idea. Wevers used to dance both the prince and Carabosse -- Grant could do that as well, I think.

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Wevers used to dance both the prince and Carabosse -- Grant could do that as well, I think.

Oh, yes he could.

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Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think taller is more in character for Carabosse than shorter.

It will be fun to see both tall and short do the role since this highly gesturing and angular role could be "jazzed up" very differently depending on your body type........I'm reminded of the difference in how power forwards and point guards move on the basketball court -- same game but the movements of the 2 positions are very different given the differences in agility and power.

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I'm reminded of the difference in how power forwards and point guards move on the basketball court -- same game but the movements of the 2 positions are very different given the differences in agility and power.

Someday we'll have to watch some basketball together and you can tell me what you see -- it's a world I don't understand.

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Someday we'll have to watch some basketball together

Love to.

.......and you can tell me what you see

I can't resist telling a story. It is at least a partial answer to the above......

As many of you know, I am a hopeless ballet fanatic.....and have been for some 45+ years. In contrast, for most of my life I had no use for almost any kind of "major" sports. UNTIL one day, skiing with a buddy at Mt Batchelor in Oregon, we turned on the condo TV while cooking dinner. There was nothing interesting on, so my buddy asked if I minded if he left the TV tuned to an NBA basketball game (he has the same passionate love for b-ball that I do for ballet). "No problem", says I. With his pointing out of this and that, I became mildly interested.

Then came the moment! A player did a flying dunk.....OK, impressive; but then they did a re-play of that dunk in slow motion. OMG, in that moment I saw it: the same grace of the human form in motion; the same perfection of these human bodies; the same dedication and unbelievable level of athletic prowess; the same focus on individual performance but within the context of a team; and yes, even a similar artistry.

In that moment, I became an instant NBA fan. And I chuckle when I think how this "typical American male" was lead to professional basketball (and to professional sports generally) via his love for ballet. Going the other way, maybe.......but my way? I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell..........smile.png

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I guess I assumed that Rausch would be rehearsing for this -- she made her debut in the part when they last performed it, in 2010.

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Just a reminder that the Coaching SB program at PNB's home studio is tomorrow night (1/16) -- these kind of projects are so illuminating!

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Tonight's "Coaching the Sleeping Beauty" presentation revealed the four Aurora/Florimund couples;

  • Kaori Nakamura and Seth Orza. Nakamura opened with a slower demonstration version of Aurora's entrance. She and Orza later performed the Vision Scene Pas de Deux. Nakamura also subbed in as Carabosse to give Rausch the spindle during the Act I coda, while Boal played the King.
  • Rachel Foster and Batkhurel Bold. Foster danced Aurora's entrance at full speed, and then she performed the Rose Adagio, with all four men as her suitors. (She has those balances down.) Bold also danced the Act II opening variation.
  • Lesley Rausch and Karel Cruz. Rausch also performed Aurora's entrance at full speed, the Act I coda, the beginning of the Act II variation, and the Wedding Pas de Deus with Cruz. She also did the Queen mime before the Rose Adagio, with Boal acting as King.
  • Leta Biasucci and Jerome Tisserand. Biasucci danced the Act I variation, the Act III coda with Tisserand, who danced the Act III variation. Boal suggested that Biasucci used the detail in her entrance that Pantastico did when she danced Aurora, to peek around a pillar before making her big entrance.

Allan Dameron was the piano accompanist.

Boal gave corrections after each piece or excerpt, demonstrating clearly and precisely. Some things he mentioned, some in the Q&A that followed, were:

  • How great each of the four men were as partners: they're all also doing the Duke among the suitors, who has the most partnering during the Rose Adagio.
  • The dancers have been working with Ellen Bauer and Otto Neubert. Nakamura and Rausch worked with Annette Page and Ronald Hynd during the last run, but there was a schedule conflict, and Page and Hynd couldn't be here to work with the Company.
  • The Company has been doing three-hour run-throughs with all four casts, so that the dancers get used to the pacing.
  • In general "Sleeping Beauty" rehearsals started during "Nutcracker," but Rachel Foster and Leta Biasucci, the new Auroras, started working on Act I only this week. That is amazing considering how well Foster performed the Rose Adagio, especially since Boal mentioned she had already rehearsed it that day.
  • Timothy Lynch and Jonathan Porretta will reprise Carabosse. Porretta had surgery on his toe and isn't ready for roles like Bluebird, which he normally would perform. Boal said Carabosse was a great role for him now and that he loves to do it.
  • Carla Korbes is taking class, and they all hope she will be ready for the March rep.

I can't wait to see all of them.

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Leta Biasucci as Aurora! I'm quite excited (can you tell?) She is hopping over all the soloists for this opportunity. If she does well, I anticipate a promotion. I'll bet she thinks she made the correct choice to jump from OBT to PNB.

IMHO I'd also like to see soloists Linsdi Dec and Sarah Ricard Orza perform Aurora. But with only 9 performances it will be difficult to cast all the principals twice and still have room for soloists,

Angelica Generosa would also make for a lovely Aurora. We just need more PNB audience members so there are more performances!

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No Imler and no Chapman as Aurora either sad.png Imler has done Lilac in the past, and so has Ricard Orza. I'm hoping Dec gets it, too, this season, but since there are four casts, I suppose that means four Lilac Fairies, and there are a number of dancers who could do the role. I'd love to see Dec and Grant do Carabosse. I'm guessing that Generosa will get a Fairy or two, and then there's the Pas de Trois in Act III of Hynd's version, as well as Florine and Bluebird and the fairy tale pas.

I'm excited about seeing all of the couples who have been cast. Casting for first weekend (four performances) should be out on Tuesday.

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