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Posts posted by Helene

  1. From the Season Encore press release,  William Lin-Yee, Leah Merchant, Nancy Casciano, and Angeli Kiana Mamon-Urrea (a DanceChance alumna) will be leaving PNB at the end of this season, and will be featured in the Season Encore Performance, which will stream from June 18-22.


    “Season Encore offers a unique opportunity to celebrate dancers’ careers at PNB,” said Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal, in announcing the program line-up. “Whether tenures span seasons or decades, we recognize the profound contribution each dancer makes to our company.”


    “I’ve watched four men enter a studio each day for weeks and witnessed true camaraderie and friendship,” said Mr. Boal. “Ryan Cardea, Ezra Thomson, Jerome Tisserand, and William Lin-Yee are fast friends, and Ezra has made a splendid celebration of that bond. Will is - at the core - always supportive, positive, committed, musical, and downright funny. We’ve tapped him for his humor in Drosselmeier, Doctor Coppelius, Sechs Tanze, and Basilio. He’s also a Prince and a Cavalier, not only in his thoughtful partnering, but in his dancing and presence. I’ve been working with Will since he was a boy and he has never wavered in his generosity, care for those around him, and true professionalism. We are all grateful and appreciative of his contributions to PNB.”

    William Lin-Yee is from San Francisco, California. He trained at Contra Costa Ballet Centre, San Francisco Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. In 2004, he joined New York City Ballet as an apprentice and also was a Mae. L. Wien Award recipient. Mr. Lin-Yee joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2008 and was promoted to soloist in 2014 and principal in 2016.


    Leah Merchant beguiles in her interpretations of choreography by Alejandro Cerrudo, Jiri Kylian, Benjamin Millepied, Crystal Pite, and Robyn Mineko Williams,” continued Mr. Boal. “Her conviction and vulnerability strike a chord in contemporary works. She is also regal and generous as Sugar Plum Fairy and Titania. Leah takes audiences on a journey; unknown and enchanting. Fellow dancer and choreographer Christopher D’Ariano captures that journey in a tribute piece d’occasion as we recognize Leah’s unparalleled artistic signature.”

    Leah Merchant is from Mobile, Alabama. She trained at North Carolina School of the Arts, the School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ms. Merchant joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2007 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2008 and soloist in 2016.


    Nancy Casciano brought a natural talent to the stage and welcome laughter to the studio. She danced countless roles in The Nutcracker and seemed truly at home in works by Balanchine. She created two original works for NEXT STEP and taught her choreography to students in our school. Nancy now embarks on a new career, and we thank her for bringing her singular joy of dance to the stage.”

    Nancy Casciano is from Atlanta, Georgia. She studied at the School of American Ballet and PNB School, and she attended summer courses at PNB School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell. Ms. Casciano joined PNB as an apprentice in 2014 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2015.


    “In 2003, Angeli Kiana Mamon-Urrea took part in an audition along with fellow third-graders for a program she had never heard of called DanceChance. Weeks later, she found herself at the barre in first position, wishing she was in her schoolyard playing tetherball. It wasn’t long until her passion shifted to ballet, and dreams of a career as a ballerina took hold. In 2015, that dream came true when Angeli became the first female DanceChance alum to join the company. Now, months after welcoming son, Apollo, into the world, Angeli is discovering and following a new path and passion.”

    Angeli Kiana Mamon-Urrea is from Seattle, Washington. She trained on scholarship at PNB School, beginning as a DanceChance student in 2003. She attended summer courses at PNB School, Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. In 2014, Ms. Mamon-Urrea participated in PNB School’s exchange with the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, where she also was a guest apprentice with Dresden Semperoper Ballett. Ms. Mamon-Urrea joined PNB as an apprentice in 2015, becoming the first female DanceChance student to join the Company. She was promoted to corps de ballet in 2016.

  2. Dancers spend far, far more time working offstage than onstage.  What she describes are legitimate professional grieveances about the offstage working conditions..  What she describes is a breaking point over which they were important enough to risk her career, as she knew going into the discussion her partner was more important to McKenzie than she was. 

    It's rare that dancers take that risk.  However, sad as it is that we don't get to see them dance, they don't owe us anything, especially to sacrifice on our behalf.


  3. The Vienna State Ballet stream is worth watching.  It's always interesting to see what companies outside NYC do with Robbins.  I think from cross-referencing to the Wiener Staatsoper website photos page, the alpha order in the credits is coincidental.  Based on that, I really liked Fiona McGee,  the woman in green, for her energy and phrasing, and Nina Polakova, in the central pas de deux.  Polakova's performance was pure legato and control, and she seemed to be conveying a mature conversation.    That was a pas I rewatched multiple times after I watched it through the first time.

    The corps got the steps, but not the pulse and precipitousness.  This was most obvious in the "basketball" plies in the first part.  I have to feel that the person dribbling the ball and stopping for a second could pounce in any direction.  I was also so taken by Polakova that, at the end, I had to remind myself that I wasn't distracted at all by the line of women at the back of the stage, one of the few things I've ever seen that made me want to jump in and dance along.  I watched for a few seconds, but, no, I didn't see the push-pull there, either.  Some of the men kind of got it in the last movement, but after the last Met production, I think the jugglers physicalized the music from Akhnaten best.

    I'm not a fan of Duo Concertante, aside from the music: I find it contrived in multiple ways.  Nonetheless, I really liked Konovalova.  The problem with the male part is that it was made for Peter Martins, who didn't have a lot of movement in his upper body, and when a dancer like Kimoto dances it full-bodied, it looks too busy to me. It's not his dancing, but something built into the role, to my eyes.

    I heartily dislike Groucho Marx and misogyny, so most of The Concert is lost on me, but, as infuriating as it is to have to see the ballet to get to this part, my favorite Robbins is the "umbrella" Prelude (in E minor).  For some reason, the person who decided what camera to air towards the end of it thought that getting fancy was best. :wallbash:.

    I'm least familiar with Suite of Dances and need to watch it a few more times.  Dato danced it a bit placidly.  I know it was made for Baryshnikov, which makes me think the dynamic intention was different, but I don't remember having seen it before, and I think I would have remembered if I'd seen Baryshnikov dance it.  (I was still in NYC when he premiered it.)


  4. If I understand this correctly now, the R&J on the schedule was one of the three she mentions, and because it was cancelled, any subsequent performance would have been her debut in the role.  That is what she turned down.


  5. Speculation has been removed from several posts.

    If Lane has made public accusations, that is official news.  As always, official news is just that: publicly facing speech, writing, or action by a ballet or relevant professional.

    In the article cited above, Lane said that she asked not to be partnered with someone she doesn't name because he was injured and didn't rehearse.  I'm not sure what other side there is to that story: either he was injured or not. Either he showed up for rehearsal or he didn't.  As far as her conversations with McKenzie or that status of her contract, I don't remember that he or ABT has commented, nor would I expect them to.  

    Speaking up or speaking out is generally not politic no matter where one works.  Whistleblowers get treated like dirt across the board.  But ballet and many of the performing arts and judged sports live with their own forms of omerta.




  6. Victoria Morgan will retire as Artistic Director of Cincinnati Ballet at the end of her 25th season, 2021-22:


    After the 1.5 years we've had, it isn't surprising that there would be changes at the top of companies, especially as many companies are determining how to survive, which isn't the case in Cincinnati, where the company is moving into a new building, and it is financially sound.  

    But she is the third long-term AD to announce over the last year, and in other companies, there are many from the post-Balanchine diaspora alone who have lead their companies for decades, and are all in their late sixties to early '80's.  Many have established staffs and ties with donors and sponsors in their communities after many years of work and have provided stability that is so hard to achieve.

    If I wanted to be in an arts-related business, it would be as the recruiter, because there will be a lot of business in the next five-ten years.

  7. San Francisco was as expensive as NYC, at least at the time, with the an exceedingly low vacancy rate for housing.  There's was an article at the time Simone Messmer took a job there, and she said the way she and her husband could find an affordable place is that her husband renovated the place in a barter deal.  And that was with two people.  It would have been a financial challenge on ballet salaries.

  8. Whether Cornejo is at fault for being injured is beside the point: McKenzie is responsible for his own response to a reasonable request for professional consideration and respect, a request I don't think she should have had to have made in the first place.

  9. Two real shames are that Lane and her husband couldn't have joined San Francisco Ballet together -- Tomasson knows how to feature shorter ballerinas -- and that short ballerinas are often dismissed until there is a short man who needs one.

  10. From PNB's press release:


    See the stars of tomorrow, online today!

    Pacific Northwest Ballet and PNB School present NEXT STEP

    June 4 – 18, 2021

    PNB’s annual choreographic showcase of premieres, created by PNB Company dancers for Professional Division students, goes online in 2021.

    SEATTLE, WA— NEXT STEP, Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual choreographers’ showcase, goes online this year, with a cornucopia of choreography created by company members. As with everything else during this unmentionable year, NEXT STEP is being presented online, via PNB’s YouTube and Facebook channels. [See hyperlinks below.] The program launches Friday, June 4 at 7:00 pm PST and will be viewable for two weeks, through June 18, 2021. The line-up features five premieres from Christopher D’Ariano, Joshua Grant, Miles Pertl, Lucien Postlewaite, and Leah Terada. All works are set on the Professional Division students of PNB School – the dance stars of tomorrow, online today! The program is managed by PNB faculty member and choreographer Eva Stone.

     Intended as a vehicle for emerging dance talent both onstage and off, NEXT STEP provides dancers, studio space, and rehearsal time for company members who wish to hone their skills of choreography. It was conceived as a strategy to develop emerging choreographic talent, and as a channel for PNB School’s Professional Division students, talented young dance artists one step away from their professional careers, to participate in the creation of a new work.

    “Five talented artists were selected for this year’s program with the clear understanding that the traditional live stage performance opportunity would shift to an online format,” said Program Coordinator Eva Stone. “NEXT STEP artists were asked to create a dance for film. With that in mind, these artists began a journey to explore their knowledge of dance in a vastly new and challenging form. After several sessions that included discussions about creative process, filming, editing, and artistic arc, the choreographers set off to define and build their artistic visions. 

    “Creating art, specifically dance, during these current times can be some of the most difficult and frustrating experiences in a dance artist’s life. This project was extremely challenging due to the constraints of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols, but these incredible choreographers persevered and all five have created some of the best dance films I have seen all year. These films beautifully demonstrate the thriving spirit of dance, the indestructibility of hope and love, and offer windows to our shared humanity. This year’s NEXT STEP is an event not to be missed!”

    The NEXT STEP line-up of new works includes:


    Choreography and Videography: Christopher D’Ariano

    Music: Thomas Nickell & Fiona Stocks-Lyons

    Support for Christopher D’Ariano’s Follower was provided by Dr. Joe G. Norman and Young Patrons Circle.


    Bright Young Things

    Choreography and Videography: Joshua Grant

    Music: William Lin-Yee

    Support for Joshua Grant’s Bright Young Things was provided by Dr. Frank & Lynn Lindsay.


    Grow to Give, Give to Grow

    A Film by Miles Pertl

    Movement and Creation by the cast

    Music: Tomi Oladunjoye

    Spoken Word Improvisation: Brian Pertl and Leila Ramagopal Pertl

    Videography: Sydney M. Pertl, Miles Pertl, and Leah Terada

    Support for Miles Pertl’s Grow to Give, Give to Grow was provided by T.R. Ko.


    this is Us, now

    Choreography and Film Direction: Lucien Postlewaite

    Music: Olafur Arnalds; Jóhan Jóhannsson; Laura Karpman and Raphael Saadiq; Max Richter, Daniel Hope, and Jachen Carls

    Videography and Editing: Noel Pederson

    Support for Lucien Postlewaite’s this is Us, now was provided by Kathy Alvord Gerlich.


    On Being

    Choreography and Direction: Leah Terada

    Seattle Videography: Leah Terada, Miles Pertl

    Chicago Videography: Jaryd Jensen, Andre Alabastro

    Editors: Leah Terada, Jaryd Jensen

    Music: Cosmo Sheldrake, Oleg Stepanov

    Lighting Design: Reed Nakayama

    Costume Design: PNB Costume Shop in collaboration with Marilyn Burbank and Leah Terada

    Support for Leah Terada’s On Being was provided by Levke Haas and Young Patrons Circle. Special thanks to Irene Terada, Eva Stone, Sydney M. Pertl, and John Baloy. Sections of On Being were developed while in residence at On the Boards in April 2021. It is through their generosity and commitment to the arts that this project was made possible.




    All NEXT STEP works will be available for viewing from 7:00 pm (PST) on Friday, June 4 through June 18 on PNB’s YouTube page (YouTube.com/PacificNorthwestBallet) and Facebook (Facebook.com/PNBallet). For questions or further information, please contact the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or online 24/7 at PNB.org.

  11. When Leigh Witchel and I did our own dance tour in Europe in 2008, many of them were rising in the ranks and getting featured roles.  That wasn't that much more than a decade ago, but how time flies...

  12. From the press releasem withe some added emphases:

    Two more world premieres round out Rep 6 of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s first (and hopefully only) all-digital season.

    Rep 6 to feature world premieres by Christopher Wheeldon and Edwaard Liang, plus Alejandro Cerrudo’s cheeky PACOPEPEPLUTO.

    Rep 6: Streaming for five days only!

    June 10 – 14, 2021 


    Dance Happens Everywhere: PNB’s 2020/2021 Digital Season

    Filmed at the Seattle Center Studios at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.

    Viewable in the comfort, convenience and safety of your own home.

    SEATTLE, WA – They said it couldn’t be done, and yet Pacific Northwest Ballet pushed forward with its plans for an all-digital season, featuring a cornucopia of new works choreographed, rehearsed, and filmed under strict pandemic protocols, mixed in with a selection of archival recordings. And audiences responded, tuning in from near and far, with patrons in all 50 states and 34 countries.Now PNB concludes its first- (and hopefully last-) ever digital season with its Rep 6, featuring two more world premiere works from Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, and artistic director of Ballet Met, Edwaard Liang. The program also includes an encore performance of Alejandro Cerrudo’s cheeky PACOPEPEPLUTO which entertained audiences during PNB’s First Look gala earlier in the season. (This work contains partial nudity.) PNB’s Rep 6 launches on Thursday, June 10, and the program is streamable for five days, through June 14. Digital performance tickets are $29, or $39 for Digital Performance-Plus. The latter provides access to bonus content including two additional new works choreographed by Vincent Michael Lopez and Nia-Amina Minor. (See “Ticket Information” and “Bonus Content” below.) For more information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 or online at PNB.org.

    (But wait, there’s more! Coming soon, look for additional exciting new dance works when PNB announces the line-ups for its NEXT STEP choreographers’ showcase, launching June 4; and Season Encore performance, June 18-22.)PROGRAM LINE-

    Curious Kingdom (World Premiere)

    Music: Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, and songs performed by Edith Piaf (Non, je ne regrette rien; La vie en rose; L'homme a la moto [Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots])

    Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon

    Featuring: Leta Biasucci, Elle Macy, Lucien Postlewaite, Jerome Tisserand and Dylan Wald

    Costume Design: Harriet Jung and Reid Bartelme

    Lighting Design: Reed Nakayama

    Approximate Running Time: 30 minutes

    The world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s ­­­­Curious Kingdom is generously underwritten by Susan Brotman. 

    Christopher Wheeldon trained at The Royal Ballet School and joined The Royal Ballet in 1991. In 1993, he joined New York City Ballet (NYCB) and was promoted to Soloist in 1998. He was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer in 2001. Since then, he has created and staged productions for many of the world’s major ballet companies. In 2007, Wheeldon founded Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and was appointed an Associate Artist for Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. He now serves as Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet and has created many works for the company including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale. Career highlights include directing and choreographing the 2014 stage version of An American In Paris, which had productions in Paris, New York, London and Tokyo; The world premiere of The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker (2016); the gala presentation of Lerner & Leowe’s Brigadoon at New York City Center (2017); and the premiere of Corybantic Games and a re-staged version of Cinderella (2019). Among Wheeldon’s awards are a Tony Award for Best Choreography, an Outer Critics Award for Best Choreography and Direction, the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, the American Choreography Award, the Dance Magazine Award, multiple London Critic’s Circle Awards, the Léonide Massine Prize for new choreography, the Benois de la Danse, and he is an Olivier Award winner. In 2016, he was named an O.B. E. and was made an Honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For more information, visit ChristopherWheeldon.com. 

    The Veil Between Worlds (World Premiere)

    Music: Oliver Davis
    Choreography: Edwaard Liang

    Costume Design: Mark Zappone
    Lighting Design: Reed Nakayama

    Principal support for the world premiere of Edwaard Liang’s The Veil Between Worlds is provided by Denise Littlefield Sobel, with additional support provided by Chap & Eve Alvord, T.R. Ko, Lyndall Boal, Jodi Wong, Stephanie Jung, and Elizabeth Pirnat. 

    A former dancer with New York City Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Edwaard Liang has built an international reputation as a choreographer. Over the last decade, he has created work for the Bolshoi Ballet, Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kirov Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Shanghai Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and Washington Ballet. Born in Taipei, Taiwan and raised in Marin County, California, Liang began his dance training at age five with Marin Ballet. After studying at the School of American Ballet, he joined New York City Ballet in 1993. That same year, he was a medal winner at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition and won the Mae L. Wien Award. By 1998, he was promoted to Soloist. In 2001, Liang joined the Tony Award-winning Broadway cast of Fosse. His performance in Fosse was later televised on PBS’ Great Performances series and subsequently released on DVD. In 2002, Liang was invited by Jiri Kylian to become a member of the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater 1. While dancing with NDT 1, Liang discovered his passion and love for choreography. His works have been performed by dance companies around the world and he has won numerous awards for his choreography including the 2006 National Choreographic Competition. In 2013, Liang was named Artistic Director at BalletMet. In 2017, he received an Emmy Award for his short dance film, Vaulted. In 2018, he created a new ballet with Roberto Bolle for the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. 


    Music: Songs sung by Dean Martin and Joe Scalissi (In the Chapel in the Moonlight, Memories Are Made of This, and That’s Amore)

    Choreography: Alejandro Cerrudo

    Featuring: Christopher D’Ariano, James Moore, and Lucien Postlewaite

    Staging: Pablo Piantino

    Costume Design: Rebecca M. Shouse

    Lighting Design: Matt Miller

    Approximate Running Time: Eight minutes

    Premiere: June 17, 2011, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

    PNB Premiere: November 20, 2020 (First Look Gala)

    The 2020 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Alejandro Cerrudo’s PACOPEPEPLUTO was generously underwritten by Susan Brotman.

    This work contains partial nudity.

    Alejandro Cerrudo is a Chicago-based choreographer born in Madrid, Spain. His professional career includes work with Czech National Ballet, Victor Ullate Ballet, 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 work, One Thousand Pieces. In 2014, he was awarded the USA Donnelley Fellowship by United States Artists. In 2017, Cerrudo was invited 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 by Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

    PACOPEPEPLUTO and Future Memory, both performed during this current digital season, were the fifth and sixth Cerrudo ballets, respectively, to enter PNB’s repertory – following Memory Glow (world premiere 2014), Little mortal jump (PNB premiere 2016), Silent Ghost (PNB premiere 2018), and One Thousand Pieces, which the company only performed once at its March 2020 dress rehearsal, before PNB was temporarily shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, Artistic Director Peter Boal announced that Mr. Cerrudo had been appointed as PNB’s first Resident Choreographer.



    PNB digital season subscribers, and patrons who purchase the Digital Performance-Plus ticket, will receive access to an archival recording of Edwaard Liang’s Distant Cries (2005, Peter Boal and Company) as well as the world premieres of Op. 21 by Vincent Michael Lopez, and a new work created by Nia-Amina Minor.

     Vincent Michael Lopez began his dance career receiving the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship in 2005 to study at Alvin Ailey. In 2008, he became a co-founding member of the touring company Wideman/Davis Dance and also joined Spectrum Dance Theater. Other performances include guest artist engagements with Whim W’Him, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, The 5th Avenue Theatre, and Seattle Opera, among others. Lopez left Spectrum in 2015 to pursue a one-year residency in Alaska and a three-month residency in Dhaka, Bangladesh teaching dance workshops to children with limited arts access. Shortly after returning to Seattle in 2017, he premiered an evening-length ballet titled Noraefa, which was re-staged for Spectrum in April 2019. Lopez is now in his ninth season with Spectrum Dance Theater. 

    Nia-Amina Minor is a movement artist and dance educator based in Seattle. She studied at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and received her BA from Stanford University. Minor holds her MFA in Dance from UC Irvine. Her work has many disciplinary points of interest focusing on the body and what it carries. Through performance and teaching, Minor converses with Black realities and investigates the intersections of movement, memory, and rhythm.  She is a co-founder and former curator for Los Angeles based collective, No)one Art House. Minor is in her fifth season with Spectrum Dance Theater and holds the position of Company Dancer as well as Community Engagement Artist Liaison. 



    Pacific Northwest Ballet’s digital presentation of Rep 6 runs June 10 – 14. Tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office, 206.441.2424 or online at PNB.org 

    Ticket-buyers will receive an email prior to the program with a link and password, as well as helpful information to assist in viewing the digital content. Rep 6 and bonus content will be available for a five-day viewing window beginning at 10am (Pacific) on Thursday, June 10. Digital content can only be viewed during the allotted time period; No extensions or exceptions will be granted. For additional information, please contact the PNB Box Office. 

    All patrons of PNB’s basic Digital Performance ($29) will also receive, in addition to the Rep 6 program line-up:

    ·         Five Minute Call – A peek backstage at the artists, musicians, and crew preparing for the performances.

    ·         Ballet Talk – Doug Fullington’s informative introduction to the performance, discussing choreography, music, history, and design.

    ·         Meet the Artist – Peter Boal with company dancers in a lively conversation about the work.

    Additionally, season subscribers and patrons of the Digital Performance Plus ($39) will receive access to an archival recording of Edwaard Liang’s Distant Cries (2005, Peter Boal and Company) and the world premieres of Op. 21 by Vincent Michael Lopez, and a new work created by Nia-Amina Minor.

  13. Ballet West sent out the following 2021-22 season announcement to which I've added some bold:


    May 20, 2021





    Salt Lake City, UT— Today, Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute announced the iconic Company would return to all live and in-person programming for the 58th Season and feature six full productions, beginning in October at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre. The 21/22 Season is generously sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and Salt Lake Zoo, Arts & Parks.

    “While Ballet West replaced much of our past season with virtual and digital presentations, nothing can replace the visceral experience of live performance, which is why I am thrilled to announce our return,” said Sklute. “We were very proud, last year, to be one of the only companies to present in-person performances during our 57th Season. Now, we are thrilled to be getting back to the glories of large-scale productions and the joy and energy that comes from a shared theater experience between audiences and performers.

    Ben Stevenson’s family-friendly Dracula (October 22-30) opens the season in extravagant flair, just in time for Halloween. Ballet West last performed this epic ballet nearly 10 years ago to standing ovations for the production’s stunning sets, exploding chandeliers, and sweeping choreography. The Los Angeles Times called this Dracula, “a spectacle of an order ballet audiences seldom see today… exquisitely beautiful and atmospheric.” Stevenson is a master storyteller, and in this production, he turns Bram Stoker’s iconic tale into a sensory thrill ride while maintaining the structure and form of an old-school classical ballet.

    The Nutcracker returns December 4-26. More than three quarters of a century after Ballet West’s founder Willam Christensen choreographed it, America’s first Nutcracker looks as fresh and relevant as it did the day it opened. Today, it is as emblematic of the holidays as Christmas trees or menorahs. Artistic Director Adam Sklute has been recognized recently in The New York Times and on NPR for his updates to the Chinese variation, by working with the Christensen family to interpolate Mr. C’s brother Lew’s divertissement and adjusting the make-up to create a greater celebration of Chinese culture.

    After a long hiatus, Michael Smuin’s Romeo and Juliet (February 11-19) returns to Ballet West. Smuin was an early student of Willam Christensen and became distinguished in his own right – first as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet, later as co-artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet alongside Lew Christensen, and finally as founder of his eponymous ballet company. A choreographer of ballets and Broadway musicals, Smuin’s dynamic Romeo and Juliet is a deeply theatrical and heartfelt version of Shakespeare’s epic and beloved story, filled with exciting dancing for the entire company. Intensely human, the story is conveyed through emotive choreography and Sergei Prokofiev’s dramatic score.

    Carmina Burana, a Utah fan favorite appears April 1-9 alongside the Utah premiere of Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces. “The day after Nicolo Fonte’s Carmina Burana closed in 2017, patrons were asking when I would stage it again,” said Sklute. With an immense choir suspended over the stage, the reviews were outstanding, “Beautiful, gripping, and dynamic,” declared The Salt Lake Tribune. The program opens with Glass Pieces, Robbins’ pioneering masterpiece set to music by Philip Glass. The work first debuted in 1983 and was considered an instant classic that captured the pulsating heartbeat of metropolitan life.

    Ballet West’s Choreographic Festival returns, May 11-15, with a world premiere by Scottish Ballet resident choreographer Sophie Laplane, created on Ballet West dancers. Laplane, an up-and-coming talent, brings comedy and humanism to her work, as seen in Sibilo – one of Laplane’s first large-scale works that the Scottish Ballet performed at the Choreographic Festival in 2019.

    In addition to the mainstage season, Ballet West will celebrate 10 years of the Family Classics Series with the staging of The Little Mermaid. This one-hour family-friendly ballet will be performed by Ballet West II and students of the Frederick Quinney Lawson Ballet West Academy. The Family Classics Series includes guided narration to help viewers follow the action on stage. Conceived by Artistic Director Adam Sklute and choreographed by Principal Rehearsal Director Pamela Robinson Harris and Peggy Dolkas, former Associate Director of Ballet West II, audiences are welcomed into a watery world that follows Hans Christian Andersen’s story of a brave mermaid in search of true love.


    Single tickets do not go on sale until September, so patrons are encouraged to subscribe now or renew their season subscriptions early to get best seats available. Four-show packages start at just $97. Contact Ballet West at 801-869-6920 or visit www.balletwest.org.

  14. We're coming up to Memorial Day, and our Fundraiser has ground to a halt, leaving us with enough funds to get through 2021.  We've never had to stop the fundraiser and do another later in the year, but the holiday season is not a viable or fair time to restart.

    We already have had very generous support this year, both in size and ability, mostly from members who've been long time supporters, and we are specifically not asking them for more.  We are asking that if you haven't already contributed and you can, that you do help us to get to the winter of 2022.  It does take a village, and we are grateful for donations of any size:  we know that there are a lot of different circumstances and the last year has been very hard, and there are still so many worthy asks.  In our case, we can only keep the sites up as long as we have funds in the bank, and we hope you can send a few dollars our way.

    Thank you!

  15. 6 hours ago, pherank said:

    I think the cannibalization notion may well turn out to be another needless fear. Sports are televised 24-7 and fans still go to the games (and pay truly outrageous prices for seats). Once the companies figure out how to make a steady stream of income from digital releases, they won't want to loose that revenue stream.

    It very well may:  Speight Jenkins often said that new technologies were met with fear and trepidation that it would mean the end of opera, and no one would come to the theater, and, in each case, this was wrong, including the fear that Met in HD would put local companies out of business because for under $30, you could hear Netrebko and Kaufmann.  Similarly with VHS/DVD and film. 

    However, in the case of the demographics of the audience for ballet, which are similar, if not the same, as opera, but entirely different than sports or film audiences, and a pandemic, it isn't clear whether the audience will come back into a theater or feel enough loyalty to the institutions to pay premium prices and that there is enough new audience who will pay half the cost of a physical sub for a digital subscription to make up the difference.  Some companies I think will get a nation-wide and potentially world-wide audience. Others, not so much, even if they have the equipment.  But there are companies like PNB who are taking the chance.

  16. I'm not sure if it's a perk, and I don't know how long it will last, but this year (for 2021-22)  PNB is offering digital with all full-season subs, an all-digital sub, and a partial Spring sub with optional Fall digital add-on. The latter is pandemic-related and timing-based, but PNB has long had partial season subs, usually focus on post-Nutcracker and full-lengths or family subs.

    PNB also has two studio programs that are relatively low-cost, but tickets are limited, and they usually run from 5:30-7pm, which is not always doable for commuters.  (Similarly, the 6-7pm lecture before final, open dress.) Examples have been Doug Fullington's stupendous reconstruction studies and the Jewels coaching sessions with d'Amboise and Villella, as well as tour previews.  These are filmed, and excepts sometimes shown on YouTube, but, in full, they might be able to be monetized individually and/or offered as a series and/or offered to donors.  

    It's so hard to say how much digital might cannibalize in-theater revenues, but I would pay full price to see some of the NYCB retirement performances, for example, which will sell out, or a "make your own" digital sub, where you pay for access to X performances and choose among them, and I wouldn't care if they were available only after the last live show. (I've given up trying to follow NYCB's program/subscription construction.)


  17. From the press release, part 2:

    F. A. Q.s


    What safety protocols will be in place at McCaw Hall?

    The 2021/22 season will be our first in-person season since the COVID pandemic began. The safety of our artists, audiences, and staff is our first priority. This far in advance, it is difficult to predict exactly what safety procedures may look like over the course of the next year. Masks will be required for attending Pacific Northwest Ballet performances, and we will follow public health and safety mandates. Up-to-date safety procedures will be sent regularly via email and available at any time on PNB.org. By purchasing an in-person ticket or subscription to our 2021/22 Season patrons agree to abide by all safety requirements at McCaw Hall.


    Can subscribers sit in their same seats this season?

    We hope to return subscribers to their seats by February 2022. Because Reps 1 and 2 are the first performances back in McCaw Hall and have shorter performance runs, seating will be socially distanced and the best available in subscribers’ seating section (or a comparable section). Seating will follow public health and safety mandates and be at the discretion of the Box Office.


    How will capacity requirements at McCaw Hall affect the ability to attend a performance?

    McCaw Hall capacity will follow public health and safety mandates and may affect where patrons sit or the day they attend. Subscribers have priority access to available seating. Single tickets (non-subscription ticket purchases) will be based on availability, and will go on sale at a later date.


    What will food and beverage service look like?

    Prelude, McCaw Hall’s full service restaurant, will not be open in the fall. Spectra, McCaw Hall’s concessionaire, is planning for grab-and-go pre-packaged food and beverage options.


    Will vaccinations against COVID-19 be mandatory to attend?

    PNB encourages all audience members to be vaccinated. We will be following public health and safety mandates regarding mandatory vaccine and/or rapid testing to attend performances at McCaw Hall.


    Will the Digital Season match the content seen by those attending in-person performances at McCaw Hall?

    We are working closely with our partners with the goal of translating as much of the in-person performance experience to the digital version as possible.


    How long will digital ticketholders have access to the performance?

    Subscribers will have access to their digital content for five days after the link is made available. The content will come offline at midnight on the fifth day after it is released. For example, a performance released on a Thursday will be available until midnight on the evening of the following Monday.


    Why are digital performances limited in time?

    Generally speaking, PNB does not own the creative rights to the content we perform. This applies to both choreography as well as music performed by the PNB Orchestra. Our digital release windows are arranged with the permission of the owners of this content, and PNB is committed to honor these terms.


    Will subscribers get their same seat(s) for Reps 1 and 2?

    Reps 1 and 2 will be one-week runs with only four performances each. The PNB Box Office will assign subscribers the best seats available in their section or a comparable section, following all public health and safety mandates. Seating will happen at a later date closer to the performance when we know more about crowd size requirements. (We hope to return subscribers to their usual seats by February 2022.)


    Will subscribers have access to a digital viewing if they can't use their in-person ticket?

    Full-Season subscribers will automatically receive access to the Digital Season. Mini-season subscribers and single ticket holders may exchange their performance ticket into digital if they wish.

  18. From the press release (part 1):

    BACK IN THE HALL! Pacific Northwest Ballet Announces Line-Up for 2021-2022 Season of live performances in McCaw Hall.

    PNB’s 49th season – marking the company’s return to live performances – to include world premiere from Robyn Mineko Williams and PNB premieres from Alonzo King and Justin Peck, along with programs dedicated to Alejandro Cerrudo and Twyla Tharp, and works by Ulysses Dove, Jessica Lang, and Crystal Pite. Story ballets feature the returns of Swan Lake and Roméo et Juliette (oh, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®.)

    PNB Box Office is now taking orders for subscription renewals and digital-season subscriptions.

    (New subscriptions, Nutcracker and season single tickets to go on sale later this summer.)

    Full-season subscriptions start at $190.

    Four-show partial-season subscriptions (February – June performances) start at $130.

    Digital season subscriptions available for $249.

    (Free with full-season season subscriptions; $150 with partial-season seated subscriptions.)

    September 2021 – June 2022

    Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

    321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center

    Seattle, Washington

    May 11, 2021, SEATTLE, WA – Following a year that nobody wants to revisit anytime soon, Artistic Director Peter Boal has optimistically announced the line-up for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 49th season, running from September 2021 to June 2022. A love letter to PNB’s loyal fans, highlights of PNB’s return to the McCaw Hall stage include full-evening programs devoted to the works of Alejandro Cerrudo and Twyla Tharp, PNB premieres by Alonzo King and Justin Peck and a world premiere by Robyn Mineko Williams, the triumphant return of classic story ballets Swan Lake and Roméo et Juliette, as well as works by Ulysses Dove, Jessica Lang, and Crystal Pite. (And, of course, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®.) PNB will continue to offer its digital subscription as well – during the past pandemic year the company’s offerings were viewed by ballet fans in every state and 34 countries – although the digital season will not run day-and-date with the live performances. (Details to be announced.) Full-season subscribers will have access to the digital season as part of their subscription.

    PNB is currently accepting season subscription renewals and new digital-season subscription orders; new subscriptions, single tickets to the season, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® will go on sale to the public later this summer. For further information, contact the PNB Box Office by phone at 206.441.2424, or online at PNB.org. As always, everything is subject to change. For further details, see “SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION” and “F.A.Q.s,” below.

    PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET’S 2021-22 SEASON LINE-UP (Programming and schedule subject to change.)


    September 24 – 26, 2021 

    The creative power of PNB’s Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo is on full display in this triple bill. Breathe in the moving tranquility of Silent Ghost, take a tantalizing look at spectacular teamwork in an excerpt from One Thousand Pieces, and journey through the unexpected twists and turns of Little mortal jump.

    Silent Ghost

    Music: Dustin Hamman, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm

    Choreography: Alejandro Cerrudo

    One Thousand Pieces (Excerpt)

    Music: Philip Glass

    Choreography: Alejandro Cerrudo 

    Little mortal jump

    Music: Beirut, Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire, Alexandre Desplat, Philip Glass, Hans Otte, Max Richter, Tom

    Waits and Kathleen Brennan

    Choreography: Alejandro Cerrudo


    November 5 – 7, 2021 

    Three unique voices of three internationally-acclaimed choreographers: the combination of Ulysses Dove’s mournful Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, Jessica Lang’s haunting Ghost Variations, and the PNB premiere of Alonzo King’s The Personal Element promises unmatched emotion, expression, and musicality. 

    Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven

    Music: Arvo Pärt

    Choreography: Ulysses Dove

    Ghost Variations

    Music: Clara Schumann and Robert Schumann

    Choreography: Jessica Lang 

    The Personal Element (PNB Premiere)

    Music: Jason Moran

    Choreography: Alonzo King


    George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®

    November 20 – December 28, 2021 (NOTE: Not part of the 2021-22 Subscription season.)

    Celebrate the holidays with renewed gusto! With its classic score, thrilling dancing, resplendent costumes, and magical scenery, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® is the perfect centerpiece for any holiday celebration. Cheers!

    Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

                    Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

                    Costume & Scenic Design: Ian Falconer 


    Roméo et Juliette

    February 4 – 13, 2022

    Presented during PNB’s 2020-21 digital season, but nothing compares to the in-person experience: Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette will sweep audiences to Verona through powerful choreography, Prokofiev’s rich score, the flush of first love, and the drama of Shakespeare’s classic story.

    Music: Sergei Prokofiev

    Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot


    Rep 4 – PLOT POINTS

    March 18 – 27, 2022

    Bold experimentation is the theme for this set of trailblazing pieces. PNB audiences will remember the power of Crystal Pite’s Plot Point; the arresting complexity of Justin Peck’s The Times Are Racing and a world premiere by Robin Mineko Williams (The Trees The Trees) are sure to make a similar impression.

    The Times Are Racing (PNB Premiere)

    Music: Dan Deacon

    Choreography: Justin Peck

    World Premiere

    Choreography: Robin Mineko Williams

    Plot Point

    Music: Bernard Herrmann

    Choreography: Crystal Pite 


    Beauty and the Beast

    March 20 – 27, 2022 (NOTE: Not part of the 2021-22 Subscription season.)

    Featuring students of Pacific Northwest Ballet School. 

    Based on the beloved fairy tale, this narrated, one-hour performance is the perfect introduction to ballet for young theatre-goers. Performed by the accomplished students of PNB School, Bruce Wells’ Beauty and the Beast will take the audience on a journey to a magical world of adventure, unlikely friendships, and true love. 

    Music: Léo Delibes

                    Concept and Choreography: Bruce Wells


    Swan Lake

    April 15 – 24, 2022 

    PNB’s return to the stage wouldn’t be complete without Swan Lake. Every element of this production is carefully crafted to keep the audience on the edge of their seat, from the masterful choreography, to the stunning sets and costumes, to the undeniably iconic score. And most captivating of all: the story at the ballet’s heart – a classic tale of good versus evil, temptation, tragedy, and love of the highest order. 

    Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Choreography: Kent Stowell

    Staging: Francia Russell (after Petipa and Ivanov) 



    June 3 – 12, 2022

    PNB’s final rep of the season is all about the legendary dancer, director, and choreographer Twyla Tharp. From the echo of her own Quaker roots in Sweet Fields, to the haunting Scottish clan in Brief Fling, to the all-out joy of New Orleans that runs through Waiting at the Station, Tharp draws inspiration from around the globe and yet her style remains quintessentially her own.                                  

    Brief Fling

    Music: Michel Colombier and Percy Grainger

    Choreography: Twyla Tharp                                                                       

    Sweet Fields (PNB Premiere)

    Music: 18th- and 19th-century American hymns and Shaker songs

    Choreography: Twyla Tharp

    Waiting at the Station

    Music: Allen Toussaint

    Choreography: Twyla Tharp



    The Pacific Northwest Ballet Box Office is now taking orders for subscription renewals and digital-season subscriptions to PNB’s 2021-22 season. Full-season [seated] subscriptions start at $190 for seats to all six programs. Four-show partial-season subscriptions, with seats to the February – June performances, start at $130. 

    Full-season subscriptions include access to six digital performances as well. Partial-season subscribers may purchase digital access for $150. A digital-only subscription is available for $249. 

    Subscribers should be receiving detailed renewal information via email, and may contact the PNB Box Office by calling 206.441.2424 or online at PNB.org.

    New subscriptions and single tickets to season performances as well as tickets to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker will be available for purchase from the PNB Box Office beginning later this summer, date TBA.

  19. The Fall programs, particularly mixed bills, are generally more sparsely attended.   It is possible that subscribers who prefer the full-lengths and/or are hesitant about coming to the theater will take option 2, four performances in 2022, with or without the digital option, and that there will be single tickets available.  The risk is that current full subscribers will opt for partial subscriptions in the future, when single ticket buyers would be incremental income, if they don't mind losing dedicated seats, whenever old seating plans are back in place.

    When Ballet West reopened this Spring, if they maxxed out on subscriber tickets, there were no single tickets to be sold.

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