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    Vancouver, Canada
  1. Thanks Helene for two more wonderful reviews. The richness of your reviews has left me satisfied. I CAN wait until Thursday. I woke up this morning, turned to my husband, and said "it's almost Thursday!" The return of the sun and looking forward to the ballet has put me in a very good mood...especially for a Monday. Helene, have a safe trip to your family wedding. Cheers, Allegrafan
  2. Thank you for the lovely review Helene! At work I kept checking to see if anyone who had attended last night had posted. I am looking forward to reading your impression of the next two performances. Counting down the days until Thursday. Cheers, Allegrafan
  3. Thanks so much Helene. Both the hubby and I are looking forward to the casting. I didn't know that Carla Körbes was coached by Verdy for the role, so thanks for that info. Should prove to be a lovely evening. Last time we sat in the lower left gallery (which was good), but this time we upgraded to Orchestra Preferred. I'm busy now trying to pick a hotel for us to stay in. Which evening(s) will you be attending? I am looking forward to reading your review. Cheers, Allegrafan
  4. Very excited...just bought tickets for the June 8th performance for hubby and I. We had such a good time in September, that we thought we would make a little trip out of this visit. Thursday is the only date that we could make it, so we won't have an opportunity to see Patricia Barker dance the lead in Diamonds. Oh well; just happy to be going . Looking forward to reading the reports of people who are able to attend earlier performances. Allegrafan
  5. Thank you Helene for the wonderful review of the Past, Present, and Future performances...almost like being there As I said before, I would love to be able to make it up to Seattle for every performance, but that just isn't possible. Thanks for sharing. Allegrafan
  6. Thanks to you too Joshua. I am looking forward to reading your impression of "Symphony in Three Movements". Cheers, allegrafan
  7. Wonderful news...perhaps another little star in the making
  8. Thank you Rhapsody for adding another perspective!! It appears that the casting was quite similar to the Sept 24th matinee. I too found that "In the Night" was my least favourite piece. Like I said, solid and sturdy, but certainly not outstanding. Not because all of the elements weren't good, but as you said... it was predictable. I guess this is a case of the 'whole' not being equal to the sum of all its parts. It would be great if others who attended could report back their impression of the performances.
  9. Sorry that it has taken me a week to respond, but life gets so hectic. I thought I better get something typed out before the finer details of the afternoon disappear from my memory bank. My husband had to do some work in his lab that morning, so I was a little iffy on making it to Seattle on time for the performance, but I am happy to report that we made it there with plenty of time to spare. We were pleasantly surprised to find parking for a $5 flat rate right behind the official parkade, which we could pay by credit card. Last year this parking lot didn’t have this machine or we would have parked there. Seattle has an interesting system of paying for parking by putting your money or cheque into a mailbox type system. We were warned last year that if we didn’t have cheques, it was best if we found parking which was either pre-paid or with a visa machine, in order to avoid disputes. When we found this lot, we felt we were in for a good afternoon…and that proved to be very accurate. My husband was very impressed with McCaw Hall, especially the fountain outside—very organic. We were seated in row k of the lower gallery (stage left), and my husband was surprised that the tickets were so inexpensive, as we had a great view. We could see the sweat and hear the breathing (not always), and he was very impressed with the how they can make something that is obviously very difficult, look so effortless. The afternoon started with a wonderful surprise. Peter Boal and his son came out on stage and thanked everyone for coming. He discussed a bit about his choices for the program and mentioned that he hoped that next time everyone would bring a friend to the ballet—as an example, he had brought his son. He also said that he would be joining us by watching the ballet from the front of house, as it would give him an added perspective on the work itself. What a treat. It was such a pleasant surprise to be addressed directly, and to have him watch the performance from the audience. He and his son were there for every act. In the Night: Mara Vinson and Lucien Postlewaite were young love; Ariana Lallone and Stanko Milov were mature love; Louise Nadeau and Chrstophe Maraval were balanced love. It was a beautiful piece and a lovely first choice for the performance, as I felt that there was a nice build to the entire afternoon. A house is not sturdy without a solid foundation. All of excerpts were lovely. Mara and Lucien seemed to be the crowd favourites, but I really enjoyed Ariana and Stanko performance myself. Ariana has beautiful épaulement, which really added to the ‘comfort’ of mature love. Overall, a lovely, well danced piece. It was followed by a 25 minute intermission, which as too long in my opinion. Artifact II I have only ever seen Forsythe’s “In the middle somewhat elevated”, which I absolutely adored, and was quite looking forward to seeing this piece. As well, Carla Kőrbes was dancing, and after reading all of the hype, I was very curious to see her perform. From the start, it is very apparent that the piece was choreographed for Ballett Frankfurt. The stage was stripped bare of all of the drapery, and the only lighting was the big, bright, stage lights. Flesh coloured unitards for the men and flesh leotards with flesh tights on the outside for the women. The only other colour was the grey full body suite of “The Other Person” (spectre) which was performed by Kylee Kitchens. I would have preferred to see Kylee in a dancing role, as I remember her to be quite lovely. As soon as I saw the stage, I really wondered what my husband was going to think of this one. It was either going to be a love or hate thing. Well…he ended up really enjoying it. It was his overall favourite piece. In reading the program notes prior to the start, we were informed that this piece was punctuated by the curtain crashing to the floor throughout the performance. The first time it happened I heard my husband chuckle and people around us gasp “I don’t think that was supposed to happen”, but by the fourth drop, everyone was pretty habituated to it. In discussing it after, my husband said that he really liked the fact the curtain dropped, as it give his senses a chance to ‘re-group’. It made me thinking about the way that music is generally used to signify a stop or change in the choreography. For example, in the first piece “In the Night”, the transitions between the different stages of love were made apparent by the end of one nocturne and then the beginning of another. In the Forsythe piece, the transitions were made by the curtain dropping, while the music continued to play. It really is quite an innovative way to complete transitions. The more I think about this piece, the more I like it for the intellectual stretching that it forced me to go through. The real standouts of the performance for both my husband and I were Maria Chapman and Karel Cruz! They were outstanding. They were a beautiful match and Maria was amazing. I had high expectations for Carla, but next to Maria, there was no contest. Style-wise, body, feet, musicality, I felt real passion from Maria. Duo Concertant I saw this piece last year, so it was interesting to compare the staging from the new to the old. Peter Boal did a beautiful job with this piece. The connection between Noelani Pantastico and Olivier Wevers was evident. The final few moments are extremely touching, and brought tears to my eyes. I don’t remember having the same emotional reaction to the first staging of the piece. Beautiful music (haunting at times), along with beautiful dancing, made for an exquisite experience. In terms of its placement within the afternoon, it was perfect. The soft, lightness of the piece was a welcome contrast to the bright and bold Forsythe that had preceded it. Symphony in Three Movements What a wonderful piece to showcase the talent of the PNB dancers. Gorgeous music and movement… what a feast for the audience. Principal couples for the first movement were: Carrie Imler and Jonathan Porretta; Patricia Barker and Casey Heard; and Jodie Thomas and Jordan Pacitti. Quite striking to see all the corps women in full white leos and tights, the female soloist in black leos and the principals in pink. Jonathan Porretta commanded attention and deserves a special mention. The execution was wonderful, especially considering the complexity of the patterns. I did not see any wobbles or collisions. At one point I found myself thinking that was a ballet version of “Westside Story”. The second movement was a beautiful pas de deux performed by Patricia Barker and Casey Heard. Patricia Barker was lovely in this role; although I would have liked to have seen her paired with someone else. The third movement was the entire cast, and as I said earlier, it was a real feast for the eyes. My husband said that although he really liked it, he found it to be over stimulating. With so many people on stage, he wasn’t sure where to focus his attention. Wow, this has kind of become an essay. I hope I haven’t bored everyone to death. We truly are blessed to have such a talented company so close to home. The good news is that my husband has agreed to make the return trip in June to see Jewels . I am a lucky woman on many fronts.
  10. Just getting ready to leave for Seattle to see this afternoon's performance. I am very excited to see Peter Boal's choice of piece set on each particular artist. I live in Vancouver, so I do try to get to Seattle at least once per season to see the ballet. When I saw the choices for this season, I wanted to make it up there for every performance. We have our own resident company here in Vancouver (Ballet BC), which I admire very much, but the lack or creativity in the selections of ballets that come to our city (that is a whole other topic), makes me very glad that Seattle is only a few hours away. My husband is coming with me today, which is wonderful. He has only been to one other ballet performance (Nat'l Ballet of Canada), which he enjoyed. He really liked the Firebird (very story driven), and liked the Four Seasons (more abstract, less storybook). We'll see how he does today. He'll either love it, and be excited as me to see Jewels in June, or else I will be making the trip myself. I will report back on both my own view and my husband’s view of today's performance, when I get back.
  11. Thanks mmded--I'll be setting the VCR for that one I have a pair of signed pointe shoes and a piece of her tutu from a NBoC performance back in the late 70's, so I am always thrilled to see what she's up to. It can be a rough transition for retiring dancers, but she has managed to do eveything with such style. Allegrafan
  12. Just wanted to thank everybody for their seating advice A girlfriend and I made the trip from Vancouver (sans husbands), and had a wonderful time. We sat in section 2 of the orchastra, in row L. A special thanks to Dave for the advice on rows A-G. Being somewhat height challenged, sitting in row L made a big difference. I'll write later about my impressions of the performances. Thank you all again for your thoughtful advice!! Allegrafan
  13. A girlfriend and I made the trek from Vancouver, BC, for the February 7th matinee. I have been too busy to post on my impression of the day (not for lack of trying :sweating: ), but I will post later tonight once I have the program in front of me. Soloistmom--please don't stop posting and checking in here. It's important to have as many perspectives represented on this board as possible!!!! Cheers, Allegrafan
  14. Thank you everyone for your suggestions. You've all been extremely helpful. That's the wonderful thing about Ballet Alert--no matter where you are, there's someone who can help you out. What a wonderful community. I'll report back once I've seen the performance!! Can't wait. Allegrafan
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