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Everything posted by seattle_dancer

  1. I recall some forum members have interest in seeing Carrie Imler perform. She is cast as Myrtha. More opportunities to see treasured retired dancers such as Batkurel Bold and Jonathon Poretta, and especially Kaori Nakamura in the title role. Casting below: Hilarion, the game keeper — Batkhurel Bold Duke Albrecht of Silesia, in the attire of a villager — Jerome Tisserand Wilfride, the Duke’s squire — William Lin-Yee Giselle, a peasant girl — Kaori Nakamura An Old Man — Ryan Cardea Berthe, Giselle’s mother — Margaret Mullin The Prince of Courland — Otto Neubert Bathilde, the Duke’s fiancée — Sarah Ricard Orza Peasant pas de deux — Leta Biasucci & Jonathan Porretta Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis — Carrie Imler Moyna, a Wili — Liora Neuville Zulmé, a Wili — Margaret Mullin
  2. In regard to the last comment about hesitation in donating after a PPP loan has been received, hopefully people understand there are other costs besides payroll for dancers, musicians, etc. There is overhead like rent, usage of performance venue, and sunk costs for programs that aren't going to be performed like music rights, choreographer/stager time, costumes. This pandemic also hit during subscriber renewal time. Renewals are 30% below normal levels, negatively affecting cashflow (https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/dance/pacific-northwest-ballet-furloughs-all-dancers-musicians-and-many-on-staff-due-to-coronavirus-pandemic/). My reason for posting about the May 8th virtual Giselle performance is to let people know there is an opportunity to see this production after all, as I know some were planning to fly in and there were questions about it after the Bolshoi in Cinema presentation of Ratmansky's new production. And PNB is offering it for a donation of ANY size, unlike SFB who set a $200 threshold to see Midsummers.
  3. Mark your calendars, we have an opportunity to see Giselle in entirety May 8th! On PNB's FB they announced donors to the Relief Fund will receive an invitation to the next house party. Excerpt below: "Pacific Northwest Ballet April 25 at 10:15 AM · Make a date with PNB! Friday, May 8 we're premiering House Party 2.0 - everything you need for an evening from home with PNB, including a full performance of Giselle from 2014 with Kaori Nakamura and Jerome Tisserand. We've got the Wilis we're so excited to share this with you. Care to join us? Donate your cancelled performance tickets (details here:https://bit.ly/PNBTixOptions) or make a gift of any size to our Relief Fund: http://bit.ly/PNBReliefFund"
  4. I am so sad this legend was taken prematurely. He used to teach the most fun classes Saturday morning with amazing dancers, many professionals. RIP Willy Burmann, you are missed and will always be remembered.
  5. I am holding out for hope the symposium will be rescheduled and that they can perform Giselle sooner than later. 🙏
  6. I sure hope PNB finds a way to insert Giselle into next season, however it works best for them. We’ve waited soooo long. I still think it makes a great season opener!!!
  7. Sofiabn, thank you so so much for sharing!!! I haven't seen Osipova's Giselle since 2015 when I used to fly to NYC to see her dance. Seeing this performance is a consolation that Pacific Northwest Ballet will probably not hold its Giselle Symposium and all the performances that were scheduled in April. I will watch tomorrow if it is still available.
  8. My vote is to replace Jewels with Giselle. That would be such a great way to kick off the season and I don't want to wait until next spring for Giselle. Also since R&J is the story ballet after Nutcracker, they need Coppelia for the little kids. I'm super bummed about missing Empire Noir, One Thousand Pieces, and probably Giselle, but I don't feel so sorry for myself compared to the dancers and all the PNB staff. I thought that was so sad that Marcie Sillman wrote that some dancers wiped away tears during the bows at Thursday's dress rehearsal. I'm also thankful my livelihood does not depend on performances and studios being open. I'm just not quite as happy and have to create more basic activities to look forward to.
  9. I DID receive an email for Program 6, almost immediately after they announced it was cancelled. My ticket was through a CYO subscription. However I have not received anything specifically for Jewels yet. Those tickets were add-ons to my subscription.
  10. Statement from SFB when you watch the video: "Last night's A Midsummer Night's Dream, performed to an empty Opera House, was a bittersweet moment. Grateful to the five unions that signed an emergency waiver, the George Balanchine Trust, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, who enabled SF Ballet to create a stream to share with Midsummer ticketholders whose performances were cancelled. And heartbroken on a company level about having to cancel 3 programs of our very condensed Season, and on a wider level by the suffering around the world. We're thinking about how to share the joy of dance in a way that's safe for all. What would you like to see? #SFBalletCares #SFBalletCreates #SFBalletCan" Five unions, wow! I'm glad all you ticketholders will be able to see this beautiful and magical production. Would be great if the ballet companies can figure out a way for people to watch by donation. On PNB's FB many out-of-towners commented they would be glad to donate to watch, since they obviously did not hold tickets already.
  11. I just received an email from SFB this program is cancelled. Since program 5 was to overlap I'm assumung it was cancelled as well. Fingers crossed for Jewels!
  12. The message from Ellen Walker and Peter Boal is really well written. I hope people will consider donating their tickets. And major kudos to PNB for working with the unions and artists to be able to stream the dress rehearsals! Those viewings are definitely worth donating a ticket, or two, or three. Let’s pray the ban will be lifted in time for the Giselle run.
  13. I saw Bound To by Wheeldon at the Unbound Festival. It’s very smart and poignant, it definitely was a standout. I don’t want to spoil anything for anybody, so if you want to know more, please DM me. I believe it will be an immediate hit!
  14. Here's a video preview of Empire Noir: and One Thousand Pieces: I wonder if the stage is really wet? If so is it water, or some kind of thicker gel? Looks dangerous. Can't wait to see the dress rehearsal on Thursday!
  15. Not to make light of this terrible situation, but it would be nice if SFB still presented the shows to an empty house, like how European sports events are still being played. At least all the performers would feel like they had their stage time. It's so awful this happened right when Midsummer opened. PNB presents it about every three years, but I know you SF locals have been waiting decades. Hopefully it works out SFB can keep the set and costumes longer. So far Midsummer has not been announced for PNB's '20-'21 season, but they have only announced part of the season so far (Maillot's R&J, world premieres by Jessica Lang and Alejandro Cerrudo). Midsummer was last season, so I suspect it will be another couple years before it returns.
  16. Tonight I was just about to finalize my checkout of a flight down on April 5th to see Program 6. I flipped to the SFB website to confirm the date of my show, and saw the announcement and decided to hold off for now. It’s a pretty extreme measure. Our Comic Com convention has been delayed to summer but that was the event organizer’s decision. Seattle’s mayor has made no such announcements, and we have more cases and deaths in this area thus far. P.S. Seattle Opera is continuing it’s run of Yardbird, through March 7, but is working with those who should not or plain don’t want to attend.
  17. First weekend casting is online! There's a few debuts first weekend in Empire Noir. And twenty-some dancers premiering in One Thousand Pieces. Scroll to bottom here: https://www.pnb.org/season/one-thousand-pieces/ It looks like PNB has added additional Empire Noir photos from Angela Sterling below the casting real estate. They are gorgeous! I am getting really excited for opening night!!!
  18. Awww - I have been missing Ben already the last couple years when he had injuries. I also miss his partnership with Leta Biasucci, I've been wondering if something is up. Ben's statement is great - and he has accomplished SO much in 15 years. I will miss him next year but how wonderful for him to be able to perform Empire Noir in his last season. I can't wait to see he programming for Encore. And what a great opportunity for him and Jordan to move to NYC as adults with incomes and not students, with all the connections and friends they've made over the years! Best wishes Ben & Jordan!!!
  19. The coronavirus scare has caused flight and hotel prices to drop. My friend mentioned this to me last Friday when she booked SFO only for this coming weekend. And today the first U.S. death outside Washington state occurred in California. I booked The Urban last night for my April trip. $98 + tax = $114 total. It is very similar to Hayes Valley Inn but it seems more simple in terms of decor. The WCs and shower rooms are bigger and more modern than HVI. I am attending an event in that neighborhood and just staying one night. For the last weekend in March Yotel was really cheap - $129 incl tax for the cheapest room. Outside the hotel is sketchy at night after a show though. Pherank - I hope you can cancel and rebook at I@tO! Josette et al - yes, the breakfast at HVI did include yogurt, ham and cheese. I can't eat any of those items so they failed to stick in my memory. But yes, that was there in January. There may have been peanut butter too, I don't recall though.
  20. I’ve only seen the four pieces spanning PNB’s rep and Restless Créature, so I feel that’s pretty limited. And only Memory Glow was made on a ballet company, although Wendy Whelan was a ballet dancer. I’ve heard One Thousand Pieces is really special. Unfortunately there is not much video available to the public. I, like everyone else, loved Little Mortal Jump immediately. There are some really unique staging ideas, genius really. The other pieces I don’t have a strong recollection. I guess I didn’t have a super strong like or dislike. Since he’ll be here for three years I’m thinking the new pieces will be pretty good since he’ll know the dancers so much better and have more time than being imported for a single commission. It will be great to have him as a resource for all of the budding and existing choreographers in the school and company.
  21. More from press release: TICKET INFORMATION & DISCOUNT OFFERS Tickets ($30-$190) are available through the PNB Box Office:  Phone - 206.441.2424  In Person - 301 Mercer Street at Seattle Center  Online - PNB.org Subject to availability, tickets are also available 90 minutes prior to show times at McCaw Hall. GROUP SALES Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call Group Sales Manager Julie Jamieson at 206.441.2416, email JulieJ@PNB.org or use PNB’s online contact form at PNB.org/Season/Group-Sales. GET THE POINTE The Pointe is PNB’s exclusive mailing list for ballet fans between the ages of 20 and 40. Members of The Pointe receive information about special events and flash sales tailored just for them. Born between 1980 and 2000? Visit PNB.org/ThePointe for more information and to sign up. TEENTIX PNB is a proud participant of TeenTix, whose members (13 to 19 years old) can purchase tickets to PNB and other music, dance, theater and arts events for only $5. To join TeenTix or view a list of participating organizations, visit TeenTix.org. STUDENT AND SENIOR RUSH TICKETS Subject to availability, half-price rush tickets for students and senior citizens (65+) may be purchased in- person with ID, from 90 minutes prior to show time at the McCaw Hall box office. SPECIAL EVENTS PNB IMMERSION EXPERIENCE Part I: Tuesday, March 3, 5:00 pm – Studio Rehearsal (Phelps Center Part II: Wednesday, March 11, 10:30 am – Orchestra Rehearsal (McCaw Hall) The PNB Immersion Experience presents a new way to enhance patrons’ performance experiences for the 2019-2020 season: Each program will include an Immersion Experience Studio Rehearsal – hour- long studio rehearsals hosted by Artistic Director Peter Boal, featuring Company dancers rehearsing excerpts from upcoming ballets – as well as the opportunity to observe a rehearsal of the PNB Orchestra, or an up-close Q&A with PNB artists and tour of the PNB Costume Shop. Tickets ($40 per program) are available through the PNB Box Office. (Immersion Experience tickets do not include a performance.) PNB CONVERSATIONS & DRESS REHEARSAL Thursday, March 12, 5:30 pm Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, in conversation with Artistic Director Peter Boal, will share insights into the creative process of bringing his work to the stage. Attend the Conversations event only or stay for the dress rehearsal. Tickets ($30) may be purchased through the PNB Box Office. BALLET TALK Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall Join Audience Education Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing ballet to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders. (The Saturday, March 14 matinee Ballet Talk will be live-captioned.) MEET THE ARTIST Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall Skip the post-show traffic and enjoy a Q&A with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers, immediately following each performance. FREE for ticketholders. (The Saturday, March 14 matinee Meet the Artist talk will be live-captioned. Live-captioning is supported by CCACaptioning.org: Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning.) YOUNG PATRONS CIRCLE NIGHT Friday, March 20 Join members of PNB’s Young Patrons Circle (YPC) in an exclusive lounge for complimentary wine and coffee before the show and at intermission. YPC is PNB’s social and educational group for ballet patrons ages 21 through 39. YPC members save up to 40% off their tickets. For more information, visit PNB.org/YPC. BALLET 101: The Business of Ballet Tuesday, March 24, 6:30 pm (Phelps Center) BALLET 101 is a four-part series exploring a range of ballet topics, taking a behind-the-scenes look at many facets of the ballet industry, and providing an engaging point of entry for audiences both well- acquainted with and new to PNB. Join Artistic Director Peter Boal and senior artistic and administrative staff for a discussion of PNB’s 2019-20 season, including the business of ballet acquisition, commissioning, touring, and working with scenery, costumes, and more. Tickets ($25) are available thru the PNB Box Office.
  22. From the beginning and end of the press release: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET presents ONE THOUSAND PIECES Featuring works by David Dawson and Alejandro Cerrudo. Artistic Director Peter Boal announces Alejandro Cerrudo as PNB’s first Resident Choreographer. March 13 – 22, 2020 Marion Oliver McCaw Hall 321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center Seattle, WA 98109 Seven Performances Only! March 13 at 7:30 PM March 14 at 2:00* and 7:30 PM March 19, 20 & 21 at 7:30 PM March 22 at 1:00 PM *Live captioning of pre- and post-performance events. See “Special Events,” below. SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2019-2020 season continues with ONE THOUSAND PIECES, a double-bill of powerful dance works by Alejandro Cerrudo and David Dawson. Following acclaimed PNB performances of Little mortal jump and Silent Ghost, Cerrudo’s rapidly-expanding Seattle fan base is eagerly anticipating PNB’s premiere of One Thousand Pieces, a large-scale ensemble work inspired by artist Marc Chagall. The program also features the return of Dawson’s (A Million Kisses to my Skin) powerfully athletic Empire Noir, set against a massive, curving sculpture. One Thousand Pieces is the fourth Cerrudo work to enter PNB’s repertory – following Memory Glow (world premiere 2014), Little mortal jump (PNB premiere 2016), and Silent Ghost (PNB premiere 2018) – and Artistic Director Peter Boal today announced that Mr. Cerrudo has been appointed as PNB’s first Resident Choreographer. “Alejandro's work is more than innovative; it captures the humor and pathos of humanity in unexpected and illuminating ways,” said Mr. Boal in his announcement. “Each time Alejandro has come to PNB, the connection between choreographer and dancers deepens. Inspiration fills the room. With this appointment, we can channel this inspiration into new creations, repertory additions, and multiple opportunities to collaborate with and get to know one of the great creative forces working in dance today. We thank Susan Brotman for supporting Alejandro's residency and we look forward to a great new creative chapter for PNB.” As part of his three-year residency, Mr. Cerrudo will create two world premieres and restage two repertory works for the Company, plus one for the PNB School. In addition, he will provide mentoring to student and Company choreographers while offering opportunities for dialogue with PNB audience members about his creative process. ONE THOUSAND PIECES runs for seven performances only, March 13 through 22 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $30. For more information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, in person at 301 Mercer Street, or online at PNB.org. The line-up includes: Empire Noir Music: Greg Haines (2015) Choreography: David Dawson Staging: Rebecca Gladstone Scenic Design: John Otto Costume Design: Yumiko Takeshima Lighting Design: Bert Dalhuysen Running Time: 24 minutes Premiere: June 17, 2015, Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) PNB Premiere: March 17, 2017 The world of Empire Noir is a ballet designed as a blast of graphic energy—fast-paced and relentless in its own journey through the darkness of the night, the color black, the void of madness. Performed as a pure-dance event, Empire Noir works to allow each of its ten dancers to shine as individuals, but also to present themselves as a team. This dance is contained inside an architectural illusion created by John Otto, who as set designer manages to create simplicity in building a structural surprise. Completed with an upbeat original score by Greg Haines, an over-exposed light design by Bert Dalhuysen, and costumes that behave as a second skin by Yumiko Takeshima, Empire Noir is a force unto itself. An observed entertainment played at its fullest force aiming to leave its audience breathless. [Notes reprinted by permission of dawsonarts.net.] One Thousand Pieces – PNB Premiere Music: Philip Glass* Choreography: Alejandro Cerrudo Staging: Ana Lopez, Pablo Piantino Scenic and Costume Design: Thomas Mika Lighting Design: Michael Korsch Running Time: 70 minutes Premiere: October 18, 2012; Hubbard Street Dance Chicago *Music details: “The Illusionist” from the motion npicture soundtrack The Illusionist, 2006; “Tissue No. 7” from the film Naqoyqatsi: Life as War, 2002; “Song VII” from Songs & Poems for Solo Cello, 2007; “Renfield,” “When the Dream Comes,” “Seward Sanatorium,” “The Crypt,” “Renfield in the Drawing Room,” “Carriage Without a Driver,” and “Dr. Van Helsing & Dracula” from the motion picture soundtrack Dracula, 1998; “Etude No. 12” from Etudes for Solo Piano, Book 2: Nos. 11-20, 1994/2012; “Cassandra’s Dream” from the motion picture soundtrack Cassandra’s Dream, 2007; “The Land” from Piano Concerto No. 2: After Lewis and Clark, 2004; Mad Rush, 1979; “Knee Play No. 5” from the opera Einstein on the Beach, 1975 “For me, a stained glass window is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world. Stained glass has to be serious and passionate. It is something elevating and exhilarating” — Marc Chagall One Thousand Pieces was created in celebration of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s 35th anniversary in 2012. The work was inspired by Marc Chagall’s America Windows, stunning panels of glowing stained glass created by the Russian-French artist and donated to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1977—the same year Hubbard Street was founded—to commemorate America’s bicentennial. When asked during the creative process why he chose the title One Thousand Pieces, Cerrudo replied, “Literally because of the symbolism of the work, observing how each piece of glass combines to make a whole larger piece made from many individual pieces, the same way human beings come together to create a project. The windows have inspired my choreography, but I’m not intending to teach anyone about this artwork. Instead, it’s my personal interpretation. The set designer, the music by Philip Glass, and the dancers have all inspired me. I’m not trying to tell a story or represent the art. The work will have three sections, and the scenic design is quite abstract, yet I hope everyone will be immersed in the images that will appear and connect them to the windows.” ABOUT THE ARTISTS Alejandro Cerrudo is a Chicago based-choreographer born in Madrid, Spain. His professional career includes work with Stuttgart Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC). Cerrudo became HSDCʼs first-ever Resident Choreographer in 2008 and held that position until 2018. His body of work has been performed by more than 20 professional dance companies around the world. In March 2012, upon receiving the Joyce Theater Foundationʼs second Rudolf Nureyev Prize for New Dance, Cerrudo was invited by Pacific Northwest Ballet to choreograph his first work for the company, Memory Glow. Additional honors include an award from the Boomerang Fund for Artists (2011) and the Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work from the Prince Charitable Trusts (2012) for his acclaimed major work, One Thousand Pieces. In 2014, he was awarded the USA Donnelley Fellowship by United States Artists. Mr. Cerrudo was one of four choreographers invited by New York City Balletʼs Wendy Whelan to create and perform original duets for her program Restless Creature. In 2017, Cerrudo was invited by Daniil Simkin to choreograph a site-specific performance for the Guggenheim Rotunda, a Works & Process Rotunda Project commission featuring Daniil Simkin, with original costumes by Dior. Cerrudoʼs Sleeping Beauty, created for Ballet Theater Basel in 2016, was nominated as Production of the Year in Switzerland in Tanz, Jahrbuch 2016 by Neue Zürcher Zeitung. British choreographer David Dawson is one of the leading dance makers working in classical ballet today. His choreographic style and his signature works have been praised by critics and audiences worldwide. His creations have been introduced to the repertoires of many ballet companies including Boston Ballet, Ballet National de Marseilles, Dutch National Ballet, Semperoper Ballet, English National Ballet, Aalto Ballet Theatre Essen, Finnish National Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Royal New Zealand Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Slovenian National Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Staatsballett Karlsruhe, Royal Swedish Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Ballet du Capitole Toulouse, Tulsa Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Ballett im Revier and West Australian Ballet. Born in London, Mr. Dawson trained at the Rona Hart School of Dance, Arts Educational School and The Royal Ballet School. In 1991 he won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne, and the same year joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet. He joined the English National Ballet in 1994 as a soloist, and a year later moved to Amsterdam to perform with Dutch National Ballet. Subsequently, he joined Ballet Frankfurt in 2000, where he worked with William Forsythe and performed for two more years before deciding to devote his time to creating his own new works. He has been Associate Artist with the Dutch National Ballet since 2015, and was given the honored position of Artistic Patron to Junior Ballet Antwerp in 2019. Between 2004 and 2012 Mr. Dawson was Resident Choreographer for the Dutch National Ballet, the Semperoper Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. [Excerpted from daviddawson.com.] Through his opera, symphonies, compositions for his own ensemble, and collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg and Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass (composer, One Thousand Pieces) has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact on the musical and intellectual life of his times. In just the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than 25 operas; twelve symphonies; three piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks for films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris’ documentary about former defense secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; and a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, among many others. He presents lectures, workshops, and solo keyboard performances around the world and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble. English musician Greg Haines (composer, Empire Noir) developed an interest in sound and the devices used to create it at a young age. Snow Airport, the opening track of his first album Slumber Tides (2006) was featured on the Point Music/Universal compilation Reflections on Classical Music. Mr. Haines’s other recordings include Until the Point of Hushed Support (2010) and the albums Digressions (2012) and Where We Were (2013). As a performer, he has toured internationally and is a member of several groups, including The Alvaret Ensemble and The Group. Mr. Haines has worked regularly as a composer for dance since 2008 and has composed the scores for Dawson’s day4 and Empire Noir, both commissioned by Dutch National Ballet. # # #
  23. Last year when I went to see The Little Mermaid I stayed at the new Yotel (Market & 7th), there was a good introductory rate. There was a shuttle from the WMOH to the Civic Center BART, so I only had to walk a partial sketchy block after the performance. The rooms are small and my mattress was upstairs in a loft. There was a common room with a fancy coffee machine and hot water available. But the shuttle has been discontinued (I asked the opera house staff during the gala), which is a bummer since that is how I would get to Union Square, or other places to stay. Yotel is also really expensive now, even with the current 29% Leap Year special. Since 2016 except for Yotel I've stayed at Inn at the Opera. It hasn't changed much. The Ballet room has a small fridge, microwave, and a small selection of dishes and flatware. This year I noticed new two mug Cuisinart coffee makers in the room. Breakfast is included in the Plaj restaurant on the main floor. It is pretty good - a buffet including hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, deli slices of ham and cheese, fruit salad, bananas, tomatoes with cucumbers, and a selection of bagels, breads and muffins. There is also a waffle bar, where they are made on the spot. There is cereal and instant oatmeal, and this year I noticed the addition of soy milk at the coffee bar. There are other small amenities, like fresh cookies at the front desk in the afternoon. And always hot water, coffee, tea at the elevator in the lobby. A new item is a water machine with filtered water where you can fill up a water bottle or other container for your room. It is located by the restrooms just outside Plaj, where there is also a computer and printer. Wifi is no extra charge, I've looked at some other hotels in the Union Square area, and they all seem to charge a "resort fee", $30 or so. I've noticed the rates have gone up the last few years. During the winter holidays there was a 20% off special, so if you know your dates for the season, that is a good time to book. I went to use that special at 6pm PST and I was upset it hadexpired already (it was the last day though). However, there was a non-refundable rate and that was actually a tiny bit cheaper. There is also a Senior (50+) discount - 10% off. I received good AAA rates when I first started staying there. One issue with Inn at The Opera is that they require a two night minimum. I finally bit the bullet and tried Hayes Valley Inn when I went to the gala this year, one can book for only one night. Like others have said, it is very clean. There are two toilets and one shower for each floor. I never had to wait to use a toilet, however it was middle of January and I think they were not very full. The shower room is tiny. My standard double room had a sink and vanity with good light. It was just a place to change and sleep so the room size was adequate for me. My room was at the intersection of Gough and Hayes, so it was noisy but quieted down later at night. There is a nice kitchen with multiple tables for guest to sit. Afternoon tea and cookies were available when I checked in. Breakfast is included however it is not as plentiful as Inn at the Opera. Mostly breads, cereals and fruit. No proteins. Breakfast coffee was good though. There is a large fridge where I think you can store some food. A computer was available in that room, and no extra charge for wifi. Irons and space heater available upon request. The other guests were normal people and considerate. For my February stay, the non-refundable rate at Inn at the Opera was actually cheaper than Hayes Valley Inn, so it makes sense to compare. I have another trip planned in April, where I am only staying one night. If anyone has suggestions besides Hayes Valley Inn, please post.
  24. At this past Sunday's Meet the Artist, Kimberly Marie Olivier said she is learning Hippolyta. At 5'7", she is considered a "tall" dancer within the SFB and qualified for the role. I thought that was interesting, at PNB I believe she would be a medium height dancer. I've only seen the PNB production of Balanchine's Midsummer so I don't know if this is normal, but in this production Hippolyta dances with a huge bow. She even does a series of fouette turns holding it!
  25. I attended the last two shows, Friday evening and Sunday matinee. Stupid me wrote all my comments at the airport Sunday evening but didn't hit send yet - so the all got lost after I turned my phone back off airplane mode when I landed in Seattle. One of my comments was about Benjamin Freemantle. On Sunday he danced The Big Hunger with Dores Andre and then right after was one of the lead men in the White section of Etudes. That is an awful lot to do back to back. In The Big Hunger, not only is it a lot of stage time, but I was also struck by these flying leaps/jumps Dores made and BF had to catch a flying human! Both BF and Wei Wang had some bobbling at the end of a la seconde turn sequences, I chalk this up to the overuse of them and the company being down two principal men, I don't believe that is normal for them. One of the men, I think it was BF had a super long petite allegro with beats in every step. It is extremely difficult choreography and has to be so precise, I didn't realize this was his Etudes debut (with no tech) until I read the comments above. Some other company members looked tired on Sunday compared to Saturday evening and Friday evening. It must be so difficult for everyone to present alternating programs for two weeks - including stage crew and orchestra. I went to the Sunday Meet the Artist with Kimberly Marie Olivier. She had an interesting metaphor for their/rep schedule. In ths summer they learn their next season rep then she said you have to "pack it away like summer clothes". Then they tour in the fall and then of course Nutcracker. Then at the beginning of the calendar year they have to "unpack their summer clothes". One of the reasons I came down this weekend was to revisit The Infinite Ocean. Unbound was a lot to watch, and I only saw each program once. Edwaard Liang is creating a world premiere for PNB with an original Oliver Davis composition, it will be in the Rep 6 program. PNB also dance Bacchus last year, which is to Oliver Davis music as well. This weekend I could hear the similarities in the music. I especially loved all the pas de deux and there was a bit where Jahna F had the spotlight within the group which I appreciated since she is still missed at PNB. I lucked out and had the orchestra B2 seat, so I could see the beautiful Mark Zappone costumes which are different than the other most recent creations from him (less fabric helped me enjoy the coral motif and sequins). My favorite dancing in The Big Hunger was all the pas de deux by BF and DA. I found all the pink wigs distracting. There was a lot of interesting choreography, but the piece didn't leave me uplifted, and my favorite ballets do that for me. The big star for me was the pianist, Yekwon Sunwoo, such a difficult piece by such a young person. I read in the program notes even Prokofiev was nervous to play it, it is so difficult. I wish he and the piano were on the stage, it looked like there was room stage right. At least I got to see him in the pit on Sunday, although I was not on the keyboard side. Now that I have two recent trips I will make my updates on the "Places to Stay" thread. I had surgery yesterday so have a lot of downtime at home.
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