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Everything posted by seattle_dancer

  1. Well it's now been 5 days since my last PNB show and I'm feeling just fine. I had bought N95 masks online just for the shows and potential flights in 2022. They are the foldable version, fit well and are actually very comfortable. The area near McCaw Hall has changed a lot and my favorite pre-theater dinner place has changed locations to a much smaller venue with no outdoor space. I was able to find another place who takes reservations for outdoor seating so that was a huge win. I wore something colorful and festive and was glad I did that as I saw and waved to a few dancers on their way to the theater. I'm sure they knew I was there for the show; I hope it added to their excitement to return to a live audience! My friend and I planned to arrive at McCaw Hall early as we anticipated long lines to enter with the checking of vaccination and ID cards but it was actually quite short. There was really good coverage of seats in the orchestra and galleries, since the box office put empty seats in between parties. And by the way, I did not see anyone wearing their masks improperly as Moira MacDonald reported in the Seattle Times. Opening night was probably the most special opening night ever. There was a lot of excitement in the audience. The evening started with brief remarks by Peter Boal then Silent Ghost. It was so great to see the dancers again but SG is darkly lit, or maybe because of lighting from above it's hard to see faces. It was especially nice to see Lesley Rausch, I read this was her first sock ballet, and we didn't see much of her at the end of last season. I wish I had brought my opera glasses to see the dancers faces better. I could tell some of them had tears of joy when taking their bows. Next was this short video while the stage crew set up for the next piece: The One Thousand Pieces excerpt is the first piece that premiered digitally and in my opinion that format just didn't do it justice. Having the immense size of the stage and backdrop is really such a sight for the eyes, and you can hear the water/fog misting in the background and well as the dancers splashing on the floor. It was a totally different experience! I hope the entire piece will be back next season. The piece opened with a duet by relatively new corp members Yuki Takahashi and Luther DeMyer stage right and then veterans Angelica Generosa and Kyle Davis (stage left) before water. Liz Murphy danced in the water scenes and she just had a baby in June! Chris D'Ariano has been doing some really nice dancing lately, he showed off his partnering chops with Leah Terada. The one and only intermission was 25 minutes long. It was interesting to see people I haven't seen in over 18 months! Little Mortal Jump was the closing piece, and it's been a while so everyone really enjoyed it. James Moore really stood out to me in the Pablo role. If he's done it before, I didn't see him that night. He has such a special and unique movement quality. The closing duet I feel like Dylan Wald's partner has always been Liz Murphy and this time it was Elle Macy. She contracts her upper body very effectively and makes gorgeous shapes. Everyone in the audience rose to their feet. Concertmaster Michael Jinsoo Lim and the rest of the string quartet took to the stage and joined the dancers for bows. It was interesting and heartening to ackwnowledge everyone for the last 18 months. I think they all knew. In summary I felt like I watched with much more intensity than I ever did. If it was a sentence, I hung on every word. I studied every movement, every transition. The music seemed brighter and more colorful. So even though the evening was shorter than normal, it seemed like a full evening out to me. Oh and I almost forgot, there was a post-performance Q&A. Opening night it featured Elle Macy & Dylan Wald. It was very well attended. Saturday night it was Clara Ruf Maldonado and Jonathon Batista, who were so fluid and smooth in One Thousand Pieces. They both started out in theater, by the way. I'm looking foward to seeing more from the two of them. The weekend also was a farewell to Emma Love Suddarth. Saturday evening she danced in Silent Ghost as well as the Jessica role in Little Mortal Jump. It was so nice to see her and Price (Pablo role) dance together one last time.
  2. Tonight is opening night of PNB's 2021-22 season! It's the company's official return to McCaw Hall since February 2020, although there was a First Look gala on Wednesday for an intimate audience (pre-show cocktails, appetizers and post-show champage toast with artists outside). This rep features all works of resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo: Silent Ghost, One Thousand Pieces (excerpt), Little Mortal Jump. Details of the show, including a Ballet Talk normally provided before the show by Doug Fullington, and casting can be found here: https://www.pnb.org/season/singularly-cerrudo/ The live show is only available to full season subscribers and they are performing one weekend instead of two, or four shows instead of seven. However, there is a full season digital subscription available for $249. There is also an option to buy this Rep 1 show for $35 - it starts streaming Oct 7 and is available for unlimited viewing for 5 days.
  3. MCB has welcomed Steven this week as a new Principal dancer! Congratulations to Steven!!! I will miss his dancing so much - he had so many different sides to his dancing, including hoofing, drama and comedy! I am so looking forward to his Encore performance since we didn’t see him featured hardly at all this season.
  4. PNB posted on Instagram that Benjamin Griffiths will dance opposite Leta Biasucci in the role of Franz. I’m so happy I was hoping to see this cast I’ve missed this partnership so much! And with his retirement announced last season we didn’t get to see too much of Ben before he left PNB, so I’m perfectly happy to see an archived performance of Coppelia from 2016. https://www.instagram.com/p/CNsexTEAVYp/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
  5. I loved Pictures at an Exhibition! It great to see everybody dance, but especially all the retired dancers. I found Rachel Foster especially charming, and I had forgotten that Sarah Ricard Orza and her husband Seth dance together so that was a big bonus! kaysay was really well done, with all the choreography suited to each of the dancers. I loved the narration and global feel, it reminded me a bit of Alonzo King's work. Although I liked the pdd a lot, and I love that Chopin music, I felt like it would have been better as a separate piece as I didn't see how it related to the three preceding solos. The other two pieces were interesting but not exactly my cup of tea. But I'm glad to see so many positive comments on PNB's FB. It's good to have a program that has something for everyone, and to grow the audience base.
  6. Casting is up on the PNB website for the new Byrd and Pictures: https://www.pnb.org/season/rep4/ I have been waiting and waiting to see Pictures casting knowing the archive would be from a few years ago. So excited to see beloved retired dancers: Rachel Foster, Carrie Imler, Sara Ricard Orza, Karel Cruz, and Jonathon Porretta!!! Out of the dancers on the current roster, it seems like we have seen Noelani Pantastico dance the least, so I am really excited to see her on the list! I am so excited for Pictures! Every day there was a show, I went during the last run. I will watch at least once every day this time around!!! Pictures at an Exhibition Rachel Foster Carrie Imler Elizabeth Murphy Sarah Ricard Orza Noelani Pantastico Karel Cruz Kyle Davis Seth Orza Jonathan Porretta Jerome Tisserand
  7. I know you said you're not a fan of the talking dancers but in Dores Andres' MTA interview, she discussed the narrative behind her role in Symphony #9 and her take on the piece in general. She is one of the speakers in Wednesday's POV lecture if you want a sneak peek. It was in the last half of the interview, after they discuss Wooden Dimes.
  8. From PNB's FB: Two beloved Principal dancers stepped away from PNB this summer. In celebration of these incredible artists, we're sharing with you today short film tributes to the inimitable Lindsi Dec and Sarah Ricard Orza. Phenomenal ballerinas on stage, off the stage these women are dearly loved by their PNB colleagues for their generous grace, wisdom and mentorship. Lindsi Dec and her husband and fellow former PNB Principal dancer Karel Cruz have relocated to San Antonio Texas with their two boys where they are continuing to create the future of ballet with their school, DeCruz Ballet. Learn more about their programs on the website >> https://www.lindsiandkarel.com/ Get your tissues, and schedule yourself time to celebrate Lindsi Dec. https://www.facebook.com/PNBallet/videos/285341399604641/
  9. From PNB's FB: Two beloved Principal dancers stepped away from PNB this summer. In celebration of these incredible artists, we're sharing with you today short film tributes to the inimitable Lindsi Dec and Sarah Ricard Orza. Phenomenal ballerinas on stage, off the stage these women are dearly loved by their PNB colleagues for their generous grace, wisdom and mentorship. Sarah Ricard Orza began her post-partum doula work as a dancer, and is now supporting families lovingly adjust to life with a new baby through her company Tapestry Doula. Learn more about Sarah's work >> https://www.tapestrydoula.com/. Get your tissues, and schedule yourself time to celebrate Sarah Ricard Orza. https://www.facebook.com/PNBallet/videos/celebrating-sarah-ricard-orza/1908396249334500/?__so__=permalink&__rv__=related_videos
  10. I was off the grid with almost no internet at the end of January through early Feb and was on the fence between the full subscription and buying half the season a la carte. When I heard the gala highlights were still available when I was back in WIFI territory, I bought the full season on Feb 10th. I prioritized watching the gala excerpts and Program 1 interviews, since it is PNB's production of AMND. AMND was available, but I'm not sure for how long. Over the weekend I had PNB's Romeo et Juliette to watch before it expired Monday midnight, so on Feb 16th I went to see if AMND was still available and only the trailer was there. The MTA and POV interviews from Program 1 are still there now, so in hindsight I could have saved those for later. Maybe I was given 72 hours like I single purchase of AMND? I noticed the full season is available for purchase still for $289. I suspect SFB will eventually reduce the price as there are now 6 programs remaining. PNB has done that as their season progressed. It's interesting how the different companies provide different amounts of time for viewing, organize the content, and what they provide for extras. I'm glad I bought the entire SFB season, I have really enjoyed the extra interviews, and I've only watched program 1 so far. And I'm excited to see Jahna in Sandpaper, I was at that Sunday matinee last year. We still miss her in Seattle.
  11. I received my digital ticket about three hours ago. There is not a Five Minute Call this time, I suspect because the dancers are still on a super long layoff and haven't been around to record any fun stuff. Instead the show is introduced by James Yoichi Moore, including the annual Second Stage (transitional career fund for dancers) ask, followed by additional inspiring remarks by Noelani Pantastico. We don't get to see Doug Fullington this time; they've inserted a Ballet Talk link. Good if you need to fix a drink or some food before the show I guess. The Meet the Artist video is hosted by Peter Boal with Noelani (Juliet) and James (Romeo). Advertised, but I didn't realize, are Larae Hascall and Mark Zappone discussing the build of Jerome Kaplan's designs. Larae was the PNB Costume Shop manager for some thirty years or so and Mark worked in France way back when and currently designs for multiple ballet companies. Should be fun. They always have humorous anecdotes about acquiring materials, etc. Spoiler alert: Not advertised, so a pleasant surprise, is Vivaldi's Four Seasons (Summer) performed by the PNB Orchestra https://order.pnb.org/digital/rep3 if you still need to buy a ticket. Streaming avail until Feb 15 midnight.
  12. I've seen a few other Maillot's works (Lac, Cendrillon, La Belle), I believe R&J to be his career highlight. It is not way out there like the other ones, it's softer and quite beautiful. It is not traditional in that he tells the story a bit differently but it works well. The Seattle audience (generally) loved it immediately. There was a Kent Stowell R&J that has been retired and I haven't heard any complaints. It uses the Prokofiev score and it flows like a film. I guess I'd say it is a bit abstract mostly in the death scene in the end but I actually liked how Maillot stripped down imagery heavy imagery like churches and crypts so we could focus on the action. Mercutio also has a bigger role and it is so excellently played by Jonathon Poretta. There is a lot of risque humor (it is French) and I love the show within the show, it is brilliant. When I first saw the slow motion melee, wow I was entranced. It will be interesting to watch this piece at home on a big screen. Helene pointed out some noteworthy casting. It's also worth mentioning that the Juliet, Noelani Pantastisco, was offered a contract by Maillot in 2008 and left PNB to dance with Maillot's company for 7 years, returning to PNB in 2015. Juliet is one of her treasured signature roles. For anyone considering a single ticket purchase, I highly recommend it. Funny story for example: A friend from SFO (hard core SFB fan on this platform) flew up one weekend with two pre-purchased tickets. He hadn't seen it yet. We had discussed whether we might pick up a third show, but he wasn't sure ahead of time. When the curtain came down after the first show Friday night he immediately leaned over and said "I'm definitely going to need to see this a third time". 🤭
  13. https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/gender-fluid-dancer-pacific-northwest-ballet-is-breaking-barriers/CBVHJLK4FVDEBHFJ7ARKZ534L4/ Here's the article in video and text form. Edwards explains his motivation behind asking to study pointe and his personal self discovery. What a brave young man. At the end of the interview there's a statement on why KIRO covered this interview.
  14. Today there was second local news interview, this time by KIRO, the CBS affiliate, I saw it on the 11:00 news I don't see it posted online otherwise I would include a link. I'll add it if I find it later. This one seemed longer, and included Peter Boal who said Edwards was the first male student to ask to study pointe. I've not seen KIRO spend any screen time on ballet or dance recently so I was surprised by this segment. KIRO does seem to be big on diversity; I actually watch that station for the racial diversity in anchors/reporters. KING, the first station who interviewed Edwards, showed quite a bit of support for PNB in December. Early in the month there they showed Peter Boal discussing the impact of not performing Nutcracker live (strategically timed to sell digital Nutcracker tickets), and between KING and its sister station KONG, a one hour special of PNB's Balanchine Nutcracker highlights was televised four times. So I thought the Edwards interview was kind of a continuation of PNB publicity but this time more of a human interest story. I'm just so glad for dance, or any type of arts, to get air time. So much time is spent on sports and whining when they can't play their games. I'm also glad I live in a city where precious air time was spent on a gay African American male ballet student who wants to dance on pointe like a female. I'm afraid there are still some cities in this country where social norms are not liberal enough to withstand such content.
  15. I've had all of these thoughts as well and so disappointed SFB locked up their gala after PNB offered their first free virtual gala (and asked for donations) in November. When the company goes the donation route, they also have the opportunity to add names to their donor database, and since virtual, can really expand around the globe. That's an opportunity to sell more virtual subscriptions in so many states and countries. I only attended the SFB gala once and only the performance, so what do I know. Perhaps the dinner crowd would be offended if not an exclusive event and they don't want to upset them and future sales/support. It is very nice that virtual subscribers will have limited access for one week. I'm curious to see what the selections will be. Also, I'm hoping the entire gala will be available later in the summer like last year with the matching gift offer from the Board of Trustees.
  16. The tv interviewer said KING5 received a message from a viewer who said they should know Ashton's story and share it. I'm so glad she or he sent that message! His GoFundMe donations are growing!!! In the tv interview it showed Ashton dancing both male and female roles, and to naomikage's point, the female roles were not comedic, they were beautiful and graceful. If I were sitting in the balcony of the opera house, I wouldn't know that a young man was dancing instead of a young lady. I am fascinated by this young man. His IG account has videos of him practicing pirouttes and fouette turns in a narrow outdoor terrace. He has no fear! It will be really interesting to see how far he goes and if he will be cast in female roles some day. That may make him more competitive in the job market. I can't wait to see him cast/dance in the Next Step program this year! It's great PNB is open to men training on pointe. Also at the beginning of the interview I noticed his pointe shoes are color matched to his skin, not stock light pink shoes - very important.
  17. His barrel roll turns were so huge! And to my delight he's a lefty! I'm so looking forward to seeing more of him, and when things return to normal, seeing him dance live in the (renovated) theater!!!
  18. I enjoyed attending the performance in person last year and reliving it online in the summer. Maybe SFB will allow viewing later in the year and ask for donations again? PNB went with a free virtual gala this year. I posted a link under the "Free Streaming during Covid-19 Crisis" thread. I hope some people checked it out. New exceptional pieces IMO were PacoPepePluto by Alejandro Cerrudo and Dylan Wald's debut in Apollo (he was also promoted to Principal Dancer).
  19. I know it has been mentioned elsewhere that PNB is streaming its version of Balanchine's Nutcracker, but I wanted to give it it's own thread and let you all know CASTING HAS BEEN POSTED, if you were waiting on that. Two ticket levels: $39: Eight days of streaming 12/18-12/26 $55: An extra week in addition to the eight days of streaming, 12/11-12/26, plus bonus content. Buy for yourself and also buy as gifts here: http://www.pnb.org/nutcracker (casting all the way at the bottom). I also noticed you can add on the remainder of the season (4 programs) for $155. There will world premieres by Donald Byrd and Chris Wheeldon later in the season. This version premiered with all new sets and costumes designed by Ian Falconer (of New Yorker and Olivia the Pig fame) in 2015. The colors are quite vivid and the sets and costumes are so new, sparkly and fresh. It's quite nice to see if you live in a place that can be dark and dreary in the winter (like Seattle!).
  20. Following up on The Travelling Ballerina’s review, those of us who are longtime subscribers/followers are familiar with Peter Boal’s programming and this November Rep tends to be the most contemporary. I will say that I was in the mood for something a bit brighter, it would have been better for me if the two Eva Stone excerpts in Rep 1 were included in Rep 2. Wonderland was really interesting. I really enjoyed seeing the theater, I miss it so much. I had trouble getting into the piece though, since I found the introductory music challenging. In Waterbaby Bagatelles, yes Kyle Davis’ and Jerome Tisserand’s dancing really stood out to me. Steven Loch was fun too, not as technical, but showed his great range comparing to the last time we saw him as Prince Siegfried. Like Helene, I too loved all of the music and the individual dresses for Ghost Variations. The way they would shadow the featured dancer then flip to shadow and “invisible” dancer(s) was so clever. All the dancing was wonderful. Two solos stood out to me: Kyle Davis’ and Angelica Generosa’s. Angelica’s was quite brief, Kyle’s was a formal solo. I thought they were interesting because they showed the dancers in a less classical/technical genre, and something a bit darker and more contemporary. With Kyle’s longer hair now, he almost seemed like a completely different artist. Great to see both stretching their wings!
  21. Thank you Grace8 for starting this thread. I was just about to do it myself so the newly promoted dancers receive their recognition on this forum! Also if you like to follow these details, on the PNB Blog re: promotions, it notes three new apprentices hired from the PNB School Professional Division: Malena Ani, Connor Horton, and Noah Martzall. I am so excited Kuu Sakuragi has been hired into the corp! I was sad when he was not hired upon finishing PNB School and got a job at Alberta Ballet. One Halloween on PNB FB they posted him dressed up like a superhero doing all these amazing turns. He is has a lot of spirit and is a lot of fun to watch. During the First Look to the Future virtual gala it looked to me that Cecilia Ilesiu's and Angelica Generosa's footage was from Rep 1 (Red Angels and Odile, respectively). But Dylan Wald got to debut as Apollo dancing with Lesley Rausch as Terpsichore and I really enjoyed his interpretation.
  22. PNB's Annual Gala: First Look to the Future was this past Friday! Hosted by PNB dancers Lucien Postlewaite and Angelica Generosa, this celebratory and inspirational evening features six ballet excerpts including a PNB premiere, three exciting dancer promotion announcements, words of support from the community and PNB leadership, and an inspiring Raise the Paddle in support of PNB’s Future Fund. The Gala is free to attend, but pre-registration is required. Streaming available through November 25th, 7pm PST. http://www.pnb.org/season/events/first-look/ https://www.facebook.com/search/posts/?q=pacific%20northwest%20ballet Note about format: before the financial crisis of 2008, PNB had a traditional gala of various works. After that crushing blow, they had to change gala to opening night of Rep 1 (no separate show). Just last year they changed the format to an intimate separate show, with guests seated on the stage. This year's show seems to be a continuation of last year's theme, combined with Covid restrictions and spotlighting promoted dancers. If you watch, any donation no matter how small would be appreciated! Thank you in advance!
  23. Thanks for posting! I saw this on Angelica Generosa’s IG where she said she was happy to be part of it, but I didn’t know what Sequentia was about. Thanks for explaining! It’s really fun to see their individual creativity. The shot in the dark with the bonfire was really unique.
  24. Finally listed to this podcast, thanks for posting Helene! So much respect for Peter Boal! Having to reprogram Sun Valley festival and this upcoming season so many times and all the challenges to rehearse, oh my goodness! We are lucky to receive the filming equipment and personnel from Key Arena. I thought the new footage was really well done, especially the Leta Biasucci debut in Emeralds. I will watch it many times again during Rep 1. I hope we have a chance to see the Sylvia pdd again and James Moore in The Calling sometime this season.
  25. Someone asked about unlimited viewings for subscribers on Facebook, which PNB confirmed. I believe live music will be used as much as possible, they want to keep the musicians working and employed. In the new season trailer you can see musicians and Emil de Cou working with masks on. Pieces like Mopey will probably be recorded but Red Angels most likely performed live. Not sure about something like Swan Lake, that is a large group, and there are safety issues with wind instruments. I thought all the new filming for the Sun Valley Festival was really well done. PNB historically films for their own recording purposes, not for entertainment, which are two different goals. Since all the pieces are solos and duets we won't have to worry about close ups vs zoom outs. I also really enjoyed the introduction of each piece by a choreographer, dancer or actor. The digital season is going to be great, and a steal at $190, although most of us probably paid our normal subscription amount. I do hope that the dancer chats become interactive. For instance, when San Francisco Ballet holds them, in their format, the audience can write in questions, and the moderator can pose the question to the dancer(s). Someone wanted to know Yuan Yuan Tan's favorite chocolate, and the moderator actually asked her!
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